Mockingjay Part 1 starts with the main character, Katniss Everdeen, hiding in a stairwell. Having just survived a second round of fighting for her life in what was called The Hunger Games, she was struggling with severe PTSD including nightmares, flashbacks, and somatic symptoms. We hear her say to herself that she needs to keep it simple and stick to the facts. Her name is Katniss Everdeen. She’s seventeen years old. She’s from a place called District 12. She goes on to name other small facts which help her stay attached to the reality of the present moment- where she’s far away from The Hunger Games, she isn’t being hunted like prey, and she doesn’t have to be the predator for anyone else. Thought the movie, and the following sequel Mockingjay Part 2, Katniss repeats these facts to herself. Keeping it simple helps her stay focused, regulate her emotions, and cope with the stress of the trauma she has experienced.
We can learn a lot from this seemingly innocuous practice.
“Keep it simple” is one of the most popular ‘catchphrases’ of the 12-step world of recovery. Getting too ahead of oneself, worrying oneself with more than is in their control, and taking on other emotional stressors which activate the sympathetic nervous system fight or flight response is a threat to recovery. Once we enter our full fledged survival mode, there is little stopping us from engaging in harmful behaviors which can hurt our mind, body, and spirit. We have to keep it simple in order to keep our head above the ubiquitous water of living in trauma recovery.
Trauma is complex and affects us in complex ways. Part of the reason we experience adverse affects of trauma and develop PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, is due to how complex trauma is. Our brains and bodies simply are not capable of comprehending and coping with the extreme stress of trauma. Keeping it simple helps us stay in a grounded place to work through our trauma and our recovery in a sustainable way.
Learning to be is part of the process of trauma recovery. Stop the cycle of merry-go-round treatment and find the solution you’re looking for in trauma treatment. Through effective residential treatment, Khiron House helps you find the path you need toward health and wellness in recovery. For information, call us today. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours). USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).