It feels like we came into 2022 hoping to get back to normal. Really normal. After the last 2 years, we all needed normality. And yet, although maybe things have improved for many of us, at the same time, things still feel far from normal. Fondly remembering a time when Zoom was something a car did down a road, and isolation was something school kids did at lunchtime when they hadn’t completed their homework.
Things have been tough, to say the least. Although they are hopefully on the up, our lives have turned upside down…and then some. Reflecting on what it’s been like living through a pandemic, trying to carry on with juggling families, work, studying, financial impact, health – not one person has gone through this unscathed. And it catches up with us. We’ve all had different experiences but ultimately we’ve all gone through the same situation.
I did a talk this week for a charity about the importance of reaching out for support, and what I heard was that it’s almost harder right now because everyone is in it together. You might have considered talking to your manager, but they’re going through it too; you might have considered talking to your partner, but they’re stressed too; you might have talked to your friends, but they’re worse off than you – it’s almost like there’s this unspoken rule that we’ve all been in it and therefore we need to suffer in silence and accept it.
This got me thinking of Brené Brown’s work on vulnerability, shame, and connection. There seems to be a general idea around being vulnerable that means we are weak. In saying that we are struggling, suffering, hurting, need support, this means that we’re not how we ‘should’ be, what we’re expected to be, that we need to keep up this front of being fine and getting on with it. Where did that come from anyway? There’s sometimes shame in reaching out for help – no one would be embarrassed going to the doctor or the physio for a physical health condition, but when it’s related to our mental health, it seems to become a different story. I like to think that actually the biggest strength is in admitting that things aren’t good.
Ultimately, the most important thing we have in this life is each other. Human connection. Knowing that someone else hears us, cares for us, empathises with us, gets us. There is so much truth in ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ – it builds up and up inside us like a pressure cooker when we keep it to ourselves, going round our minds, ruminating, until it feels too much. But letting someone in, letting someone truly see us, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and trusting that someone has our back – that can make all the difference in the world. And yes, it’s scary. It’s uncomfortable, it’s often alien. But we were never meant to deal with everything alone.
Therapy can change lives – allowing someone in when you haven’t before, being able to offload with no judgement, and receiving lots of care, trust, and empathy. If you want more information on therapy then please get in touch with us HERE