The Only Way Out, Is Through

 

Everyone goes through struggles and difficult times. Most people are aware of people that care about them that are around to support them. When time goes on and you don’t feel better, it’s a good time to look at professional support.

Sometimes getting support and therapy feels like it’s not enough. The change isn’t happening fast enough. The emotional shift doesn’t feel profound enough. People can get frustrated when they seek support but don’t get results when and how they had hoped for. When external forces beyond your control throw your life upside down it can be the most challenging. The only way to get through those times is to push through. There’s no easy way around it.

People get frustrated at me sometimes. They want to hear me give them instant solutions, wave a magic wand. To tell them what to do to fix the situation. To fix themselves. Immediate solutions and results because they are so uncomfortable in how things are right now.

That’s not how this works. This a collaborative effort of both of us doing the work, but the onus is still on you to do the work. I can help and we can work once a week for 50 minutes in session, but you still have all those hours in the week on your own where you have to fight through it, do your homework, and make tough decisions about how you’re going to move forward or if you’re going to slip back into old patterns.

When we reach this place in therapy I often ask these questions…

  1. Are you expectations reason able for how you’re supposed to get through this? If you’re dealing with grief and loss – it’s going to take time. You’re an individual and it will take as much time as it’s going to take. You have to balance being realistic against indulgent wallowing. If you’re wallowing, let’s get you out of that pattern. Otherwise, prepare that most life struggles are a process of efforts that take time.
  2. A year from now how do you want to have made it through this? What do you want to take from this or learn from this? How can it make you better? How do you want to speak about how you got through this time and what you learned? If you can imagine how you want to reflect on this time you can start making decisions in this moment and taking action that will be congruent with that.
  3. Are you doing your homework? We do the work in sessions but I can’t do the work for you out of session. You have to do your homework. The suggestions I’ve given you.This includes taking your thoughts hostage. Not dwelling in the places of misery of things you can’t change. Consciously choosing to daydream in positive directions. This is a big one people slip into. They indulge in the drama, the heaviness, the most depressing parts of this time and they stay there. There isn’t an internal fight to change it or to change the process of it. It takes work. Discipline. Every day to work against the negative in your brain. You have to be committed to it.
  4. Are you taking care of yourself? Nutrition, exercise, sleep, the people you spend time with. Are you learning new things? Are you reading good, uplifting material? Are you finding things to laugh out loud at everyday? Are you spending time in nature or looking at beautiful things? Are you doing any of these things to support neurogenesis and the health and rewiring of your brain?

Are you relying on weekly therapy sessions to change your life? It’s not enough. If you aren’t addressing these 4 questions, it’s not enough. This is your life, you have to choose how to get through it. 

If you aren’t where you want to be and you are doing the work, you aren’t failing, you’re working through it. It’s not linear or time limited. Have some grace for yourself and continue to make positive decisions on how to navigate through this time.

Grab all the grit and willpower and strength you have left and you decide and be determined that you are going to push through this in a way that will make you proud of yourself at the end.

This is what it’s like to to fight for your life no matter what you’re going through. Are you really fighting for your life? With everything you’ve got? Good support and weekly counselling without your effort is not enough for the kind of transformation and relief that you want.

You get through this by digging in, working through, and clawing your way out to the end. 

It sucks, I’m so sorry that you’re struggling, I get it – but it’s up to you to find your strongest moment and make a decision that you’re going to fight your way through and you get to decide how you’re going to do that. Think about what that needs to look like for you to make it through and be proud and feel like a conquerer.

I’m here for you but can’t do it for you. You have to own your life not just in the victories but in the battles.

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