This is a continuation of my previous rant post. It is interesting to think about how people in the pinnacle of their moment, when the thing they’re been training for their whole lives, when they’ve perservered through it all to get to the top of their chosen path, that is the moment they choose to bow out. That is the moment they chose to talk about how hard they have it, how much they can or cannot handle, and then in the moment they’ve been training their whole lives for, they give up the chance.
I cannot help but to draw a small parallel to my life. Only that I’m not a specially trained athlete, I’m not ever going to reach the Olympics, or the US Open, or Wimbleton — But — What I’m wondering here is that how do you get through the mental toughness it takes to find your pathway into hundreds of hours of training, only to just step aside.
Some of that, I understand. I was married to a man that I loved very much (and I believed loved me very much,) I had a great job, I had all that it seemed anyone ever needed…. But then the spark was gone, then the darkness crept in. What grew from it was a path of self-sabotage, what grew from it was trying to make myself so much of a person no one wanted to be around, so that when he left me, I could feel good about the moment. Except it was me who had to take the reins. It was me who had to realize that I was unhappy.
What is most true, is that it took some great therapy to get me through that moment. That moment when I realized that I was the problem and the solution to my own unhappiness, even though the relationship contributed to it, the breakdown in communication, the challenges of life and businesses, relationship’s breakdown… It was I who was unhappy, It was I who was in control of choosing what the next step was. And while the end of our relationship, which once was loving and encouraging, became cold and distant. We only orbited each other like planets, we didn’t really connect.
And that’s ok. But it took therapy, and many hours of healing for me to stop crying over the relationship and figure out what was going to make me happy. I thought it was going to happen by moving away. And it turns out, by leaving the city I grew up in, I lost everything. (More to come about that as I tell you my story.) And by finding my home, I’m findling me.
So, the truth of everything is that we all have our challenges, Sports superstars, and mortal men alike. And it’s not just us who can power through everything. We all drive through our own fog, hoping to find our home, our love, our light, our life.
I feel like I’m finally home. Within me, I have found home. And it’s time I shared that home with others.
And I hope I can help you, too, with your struggles. We can get though this. May we all find happiness. I’m considering starting a podcast, taking some extra color for the words I type here and sharing how I’m doing and how I am getting through. And I would love it if some of you would share this journey with me, share your personal stories, and share how you’re getting through these days.
What I hope to gain from this is a perspective of how we all can get better, how can we all get through this, how can we be stronger individually and how can we be stronger as a community. I don’t want the mental health story to stop with the headlines — these conversations are too important not to have, not to continue to have.
This is not about the destination, it’s about the journey. I think the common misconcepton is that you can just “be fixed” with mental health, and it is just not true. It’s something you have to work on, prepare for, and ride the wave.
I hope by finding my courage, I can help you find yours. And since I’ve been on a West Wing kick lately — I thought I would share this parable:
“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.”
“A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.”
“Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on.“
“Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.'”
I don’t yet know the way out – but I’ve been here before,
I’ve been down in the hole…
I’ve got a flashlight. Let’s find the keys and we both can get out.