We all know that life is filled with good and bad experiences. When we see the bad experiences coming, our first thought is to avoid them. If we are lucky, we have readied ourselves with resources to help us cope with them. Those of us, not so lucky, have to wade through them and hope we don’t drown from pain, sadness, anger, and fear. Most of us don’t like unpleasantness. Probably, a large majority of us don’t really enjoy pain or fear. Anger and sadness are more familiar to us and we feel better apt to cope with them for the most part. When many difficulties hit at once, most of us become rattled or undone. When our struggles are long-lasting with an element of uncertainty, we have a tendency to sink, get exhausted, and we want to give up. Even those of us who are fighters have trouble. By that time, it starts to feel personal and we end up lashing out at the very people who could help us. We often end up angry with God.
In the last few years, I have experienced some losses, a major health problem that requires ongoing treatment that triggers unresolved trauma from my past, and another bad experience that reawakened old childhood fears and insecurities. I always felt I could survive anything, that nothing could defeat me. I was proud of my coping skills and felt I had it all under control.
Boy, was I wrong. The wounds I experienced, ate at the very core of who I was as a person. They picked at my weaknesses and laid waste my strengths. I was filled with shock for a while and walked around in a daze for a long time. Then I had to cope with emotional pain as well as physical pain. I was not a good little fighter like I thought I was. Maybe being older and having less energy had a lot to do with my state of mind. I went into the deepest depression I ever had. It took me forever to crawl out, but I now know what deep depression feels like and how hard it is to crawl out of the darkness. Anger came as well as bitterness, and irritability. By that time, I knew I needed help. For many months, I gave a therapist a very difficult time. She hung in there and saw me through some frustrating and trying times.
Even the best of us fall at times. I have just begun the process of pulling myself back up from my fall. I am learning to have more patience and more understanding of other people’s differences. I am learning to cope with uncertainty, fear, sadness and pain in more effective ways. I don’t enjoy the bad experiences, but as a result of them, I am growing in my heart and soul. I am becoming better than I once was. I wish there was a better way to get growth.