It happens so fast that you barely have time to react. How is it possible that something that only takes a matter of seconds to transpire can have such a lasting effect? I’m talking about a hit and run. Have you ever been involved in one? Whether you have been involved in a literal hit and run car accident or a metaphorical hit and run that affected your personal relationships, emotions, or career, you know the lasting impact that such an incident can leave in your life if it goes untreated.

Normally, when a hit and run occurs certain steps should immediately be taken.

Step 1: Call the police and report the incident to your insurance. Alerting the police and your insurance company are vital steps to take because one should alert the proper authorities after harm has occurred. In our day-to-day lives, we often attempt to handle personal crises or “hit and run incidents” on our own instead or alerting the proper authorities in our lives (e.g., family, loved ones, friends, etc.) who can help us assess the matter in order to determine the next steps we can take to resolve the traumatic situation.

Step 2: Seek medical treatment if physical injury occurred. If you are involved in a hit and run, you would immediately seek medical treatment if you have suffered any physical harm as a result of the accident. This sounds sensible, yet it is the step least followed by many individuals. When trauma occurs, sometimes, we as human beings are not aware of the negative effects of the trauma or we choose to ignore it and “work through the pain.” The problem with this method is that pain resonates — when pain goes untreated, it will only get worse until it eventually becomes unbearable. Many factors such as the lack of a solid support system or low self confidence can give any one the catalyst to argue that their physical, emotion, and mental health is not a priority, and thus the injured person will create a list of excuses concerning how they will be able to function normally in their current broken state.

Let’s face the truth… we all need help at some time in our lives. We often fail to seek help from the proper sources (e.g., family, psychologist, pastor, etc.) to help us out of a particularly stressful situation because we are afraid that we would be viewed as weak or fragile for seeking assistance. In reality, the individuals who seek help are wiser and stronger than those who choose to “endure the pain.” Let’s be clear, seeking help does not make you weak, it simply shows that you are secure enough to know that trauma exists in your life and you are not comfortable living with its negative effects on a continuous basis.

The question is, are you a victim or a victor? Life is 10 percent of what you go through and 90 percent of how you handle it. Which of the categories do you fall in? Are you suffering through life, enduring the aches and pains of trauma that previously occurred in your life, or are you the person who has endured pain and is willing to use available resources to achieve a healthy, balanced life?

Pain is relative and suffering is optional. Do not choose to suffer through anything in silence. Make a promise to yourself that you can and will take the necessary steps to fully recover from a hit and run. Who knows, you could be the driving force responsible for assisting a person in completely recovering or even avoiding their next personal crisis.

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