We hear abt being “on the sidelines” a lot…but go w me on this very diff type of analogy w this phrase. Hoping it resonates.
It’s been a tough MH run for me personally, the last month. No specific reasons (other than the factors going on in the world draining my tank). Apologies to anyone who may see it as being a downer. I write from my heart…it’s therapeutic for me, & my hope is it helps many of you not feel alone.
So the sideline analogy! Typically when we hear this phrase, we’re referring to not being able to play, for reasons such as physical injury or being taken out for making a bad play. And, when we typically are forced to watch from the sideline, we’re upset! We want to get back in the game! We miss the competition. We want to help our teammates. We see the time ticking down on the clock & feel like we’re missing our chance at all of the above. A lot of “wants,” but “can’t haves.”
Now, let’s take “watching from the sidelines” & use it w how it helps explain MH dips!
Similarly you’re watching others out there “playing”…but there’s a big diff when it’s MH-related. When your rewards center is stunted or numb, you still watch from the sidelines, BUT: 1) you’re not that into who’s winning, 2) you aren’t chomping at the bit to get back (you may want to stay on the sidelines), 3) time seems insignificant bc you have little care of the outcome of the game, so you aren’t “on edge” hoping your team pulls out a W, 4) you look at colors of the jerseys of the 2 teams & it’s as if you can’t even differentiate them. Sound familiar to anyone who’s gone thru a major dip?
We do things typically bc we chase the reward. That creates the want. When we can’t access our rewards center, the wants go away. We watch from the sidelines, but we’re in the cycle of not caring to get back. It sucks. Makes you question everything. But here’s my advice…here’s what I do: I “act as if.” Bc I’ve played “in this game” before, I know the outcomes I WOULD want. Emotionally I can’t FEEL it, but cognitively – I know what I’m missing, & I act “as if” till the natural urges come back. Any hacks you have? We’re all in this together.