Whether you’re in your twenties or whether you’re 95 years old (even though you probably aren’t reading this if you’re 95, because I highly doubt you know what a blog is… no offense), we’ve all experienced some form of trauma in our lives. Or, if you’re one of the lucky twenty-somethings who has had a perfectly easy life so far, we all will experience some form of trauma in our lives. In the medical world (I watch Grey’s Anatomy, okay?), there are five tags used in a triage situation. In our world, emotional triage can be just as important.
White tags are given to those who have minor injuries, the ones that don’t require medical care. You feel a little banged up. You got into a fight with your mom the last time she called or your best friend isn’t speaking to you right now. If you have a white tag, you’re going to be okay in a couple of days. You might be a little shaken up, but keep your chin up and remember that life will work out its own kinks as you go.
Green tags are for the “walking wounded.” You’ll need medical care at some point, but you’re still doing just fine. Your head is pulsing a little bit – you probably got a little too drunk last night and made some not-so-stellar decisions – but you can still think straight. And that’s the important thing.
Yellow tags mean that you need to be kept under observation. You’re stable right now, and you’re not going to die – but, eventually, you’ll need some medical care to fix you up. Your girlfriend cheated on you or your boyfriend broke up with you out of the blue. You can feel the pressure on your chest and you can’t decide if you’d rather stay in bed and cry all day or get so drunk you don’t remember his/her name. It sucks and it’s hard and you feel like shit. But you’re alive, and that means a lot.
Red tags are for those who need immediate medical attention. You’re in rough shape. You’re fighting for your life. Your fiancé left and now you’re all alone in a big, empty apartment. Your grandmother is in the hospital and you honestly don’t know if she’s going to make it this time. Don’t just sit on the edge of the world, waiting for someone to find you – you don’t have time for that. Reach out and grab the arm of someone in your support system. Lean on them and let somebody take care of you for once.
Simply put, black tags are for the deceased. The nice thing is, we aren’t actually part of the medical community (well, I’m not.. I guess I don’t know about you). You might feel like dying. You can’t think about whatever it is that put you here – loss of a loved one, rape, terrifying medical diagnosis – but, whatever it is, it doesn’t matter right now. What matters is that, somehow, you are still hanging on. You are stronger than you think, so tear up the black tag and put yourself back together.