26 May 2012

Sometimes Things Get Worse Before they Get Better

Have you ever noticed that?
How things usually get worse before they get better?
It should be oddly reassuring, but somehow when you're in the middle of some struggle or another, those words can sound like just one more cliche.

Sometimes when you uncover problems or issues that have been buried or ignored for years, it's like ripping off a bandage or a scabbed-over wound.
Youch! Ugh, look at all that stinky pus. What a mess. Oh that hurts. Am I dying? Is this curable? Give me some drugs... oh why did I have to go and rip this bandage off...? I just know there's gonna be a big ugly scar. Will I lose the leg?

The wound was always there festering away.
The buried issues. The hurts we've hidden deep inside. The disappointment we've been in denial about.
Facing these things hurts like hell.

That's what I mean by things get worse before they get better.
Denial is not a cure.
Numbness is not healing.

My counsellor told me this week that when I "find my voice" and are able to "be my true unique self" the Pendulum will stop swinging.
She talks about the "Defended Self". The Me that uses all these coping mechanisms to make myself feel better by serving/giving/helping... then I push too far and collapse in a heap and withdraw into escapism of some kind. Then guilt about that plunges me down into the hole of depression, where the black dog torments me until I can drag myself out of the pit determined to do better next time... The Pendulum.

It's good to know that one day it's possible that I can be free of this tyranny, even after so long.
It's also helpful to know that my lovely counsellor has walked this road before me. She's not a theorist, she's a living example of someone who has found freedom.
Gee, but it's a painful process.
Facing all this pain.
Lying awake at night, mind racing, stomach churning.

Makes me so thankful I'm not alone.
Amazing how when you reach out and open up you discover the gift of encouragement and strength from a community of others.
The women from my Parenting Class. The girls from my prayer group.
My amazing counsellor. Friends you can be completely honest with.

Last night I was feeling overwhelmed and in a world of emotional pain, after some of my "bandages" have been ripped off, and old wounds revealed.
This morning, after meeting with some mums to pray for our kids, I feel re-charged. Encouraged. Lifted up. Hopeful.

Problems, battles, struggles are the norm in life.
"What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger."

Here's some food for thought:


Don't you love that? It gives meaning and purpose to the struggle doesn't it?

In the end when I am completely myself, the struggling will have knocked off my sharp edges, my wrestling and crying will have forged compassion and empathy, perseverance through pain will have developed patience and tolerance for others... it will be a beautiful thing.
Makes working through the pain worthwhile.

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