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Five months to the day since Kim Kardashian-West was held up at gunpoint, gagged threatened and robbed of more than AUD$13 million worth of jewellery in a Parisian hotel, the reality star stepped back onto the red carpet for the first time at the 2017 Fashion Los Angeles Awards.
Sure, it was a steady, baby-steps approach to a return to a very public spotlight: there were six-filters-deep, ambiguous Instagram images posted, then came an explanation of her traumatic night which aired on Keeping Up With The Kardashians. It wasn’t how regular folk would return to their own social scenes but if we can take one thing away from Kardashian’s reaction to a random man bumping into her in the street on this same night, we see she too is the same as us; Frightened, hyper-aware, jumpy and emblematic of anybody who had gone through such a distressing time.
So how do you step back into your old social circles amid a divorce, an abusive relationship, a loss of a family member or friend, a mental health breakdown or a car accident? Here, psychologist Gemma Cribb (equilibriumpsychology.com.au) weighs in with a couple of top-line tips on how best to assimilate back into your community of family and friends after an upsetting and life-changing event.
1) Be authentic
“No one expects you to be perfect and to be unfazed,” explains Cribb. “Be real about how you feel and ask for what you need. If you need support and to tell your story, ask for it. If you need space and privacy, ask for that. If you want publicity or justice, that’s fine! Any response that occurs to you is warranted and probably exactly what you need so try not to be led by what others think you should do and listen instead to your own authentic needs.”
2) Get connected
“Choose the people you feel safe with to have around you and choose not to feel guilty about asking them anything!” she says. “By asking for their help you are making it easier for them to ask for yours when they are in need. Getting connected after a tragedy helps us feel safe and grounded again.”
3) Reflect on what’s important
“After a tragedy, people generally start to think about the things they might have otherwise taken for granted in their day-to-day lives,” she says. “Getting back to reality can be helped by reconnecting with your values and beginning again to prioritise value-driven activities in your life.”