Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What's it take to stop pushing a boulder up a hill? (170.0)

Vickie wrote a powerful post which contains some links to other great posts.  Please read if you haven't yet.  Below is my comment to her, which is my post for today.

Vickie wrote: "At what point does barely treading water or barely keeping out of the sucking vortex become never ending struggle with no results/steps forward and one calls in reinforcements?"

I guess that point is different for everybody. Most of Us probably don't get there until we hit rock bottom--and "rock bottom" means something different for everyone. We ruminate, we try, we fall and pick ourselves up again and again, and we stay stuck in the same patterns, like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the mountain.

And when the boulder finally crushes us and we can't get back up, we admit to ourselves that we can't keep doing what we are doing, and then, hopefully, we get it, and can allow ourselves to ask for help.

I am a perfectionist. I have always "done" for myself. I have been my primary caregiver for (what feels like) my whole life. I have a hard time asking for help, with anything. I think I have all the answers. I am hard headed. **Even when what I'm doing is clearly not working, I tell myself, if I just try harder I can figure this out for myself.**

That, in my opinion, is a big reason I spent so many years being overweight. And now, after going through therapy myself, I believe that being overweight was a symptom, not the problem. The problems that therapy has uncovered are many, and they are very deep.

They don't go away just because I lose 50 pounds, and they don't go away because I push the boulder up the hill faster or harder. They really don't ever "go away." I guess that's the wrong word. They come to light, they heal--piece by piece, over time, with a lot of work and pain.

It's a long process, and it is not smooth, and it is different for everyone. But it is, in my opinion, the only thing that ends the cycle of pushing the boulder up a hill.

I agree, 100%, that it is not a process that can be done by oneself.

It was not easy to come to the realization that it was OK to get help, and that I HAD TO get help if I ever wanted to get healthy (physically and mentally).

I think for years it was a mixture of pride and fear that kept me from therapy. It took some pretty earthshaking stuff to get me past pride and fear. I hit rock bottom more than once. I was torn down to raw flesh by the time I walked through my therapist's door.

I feel like getting off the mountain and away from pushing the damn boulder up the hill is the first step. I have such a long way to go....and there is no end to the journey, like we've talked about many times. As long as we move over or around or through the boulders and aren't pushing them up the hill in futility, then we are moving in the right direction.


Vickie said...

I suspect there is very little difference between us all in when we NEED to call in reiforcements.

I suspect the difference is in how long we deny it.

Some of us are very lucky because someone came along as slapped us up along side the head.

That sucking vortex is a miserable way to live. Hard on us, hard on our families.

I remember Frances writing to me and saying no matter how hard I was trying, even though I was doing the best I could, it still could be a lot better for my kids. And I believed her.

Your comment was very good. I am glad you saved it.

Laura N said...

I knew her book made an impact on you, obviously, since were all met through her at Amazon. And I knew she had a tremendous personal impact on you, not just through the book. But I didn't realize Frances was THE person to get you to therapy.

It is a brave thing to be the one to smack another person upside the head. It is also a tremendous act of kindness.

Interesting thing--I listened to a sermon today online that talked about how Jesus looked at prostitutes and tax collectors and lepers and SAW beyond who they were on the outside. He could SEE their core and that they were His children, and that they could have a different future. And then he communicated that to them, sometimes through tough love (woman at the well comes to mind--"go and sin no more").

It is a gift, IMO, to "see" someone and know that they can handle the smack upside the head. To see beyond the present and know what they need to do for themselves to have a better future. Sometimes the smack doesn't take right away--it took you a full year (more?) of gently smacking me in the head to get me to realize what I needed to do. I'm thankful for all those smacks. :)