Here’s the most common feedback I’m getting DMs & calls on as this thing has progressed: “Eric, I’m losing it, bc I can’t SEE my next 2 days, wks, months, & how they’ll play out. It feels like there is a brick wall in front of me.”
When we don’t know what date our job, our kid’s school, our sports team, our revenue stream/salaries will come back, that “brick wall” is very common.
Here’s the fascinating thing: the wall is caused by something situationally going on right now, to all of us. But, for those who have felt the symptoms of major MH complications, that lack of “being able” to see the future is a very common feeling. One is happening bc of uncertainty in our daily lives…one happens bc of how our brain reacts to the build up of stress & trauma + our genetics & lifestyle, over time. Two different sources, same awful feeling.
I share this bc I was talking w one of our athlete alliance members who’s been very open abt their challenges. I asked how they were doing, & it’s amongst the healthiest ways I’ve heard them speak them since I’ve known them. I told them – this period doesn’t feel strange nor diff to me either, bc I’ve had to manage this type of scenario many times in my head in the past.
Before getting to the silver lining of this awful period, let’s talk abt the immediacy of how you can cope: when timeframe, schedules, “typical” routines are thrown out the window:
1) Know that this WIlLL come to an end, & tho none of us know when, identify the things that WILL be important to you when it does end.
2) Work on things that will put you in a better place for THOSE things you care about, NOW, so that when things return to normal, you are in a better place – AND so that you have a reason to stay motivated in the present.
3) Make a list of what those things are, & make that list your new routine. Eg., one community member told me her husband is in the military & she is scared bc she won’t get to talk to him as much now & doesn’t know when that will end. So, we talked abt it & now she’s gonna write him letters, that she will keep, to hand him as one big stack when this does end – so their relationship can be in even a stronger place, w even more signs of love shared, at that time.
Here’s the silver lining: this experience is helping more & more understand what MH is, how it impacts ppl symptomatically, & how to cope. It’s why I chose this pic – yes, these feelings suck right now, but once we realize how strong we are & we learn to manage & cross these shaky bridges, other challenges, by comparison, won’t seem insurmountable. If you’re around tonight, go to @kevinhinesstory on fbook – (see next page for more info), as I’ll be talking w my good buddy & advocate about these challenging times.