After 7-8 weeks of sheltering in place with your beloved family members, my clients are showing me: shit starts to rise to the surface! You can’t run out the door in the morning, drive to the office, stay distracted all day with work, your colleagues, social media, online shopping or whatever else you usually do “at work.” By the time you commuted back home, you were always too tired to deal with your personal life.
In the beginning of the COVID 19 outbreak, it was all new, awkward, and you probably stayed busy trying to adjust to the “new normal.” (Oh, how I detest that saying!) Now that you’ve settled in, it’s become all too difficult to avoid facing what your life really looks like. The pink elephants are no doubt out roaming around in your living room, kitchen and bedrooms. They’re parading about, shouting things like:
“Your kids are out of control.”
“Your husband really is an alcoholic.”
“You truly are 30 pounds overweight.”
“You flat out don’t want to be married anymore.”
“You owe $16,000 in credit card debt.”
“Your mother really is dying.”
“Your wife is cheating on you, again.”
This may sound harsh, but you can’t deny what is. Awareness is the first step to creating change for yourself. Next you must come to believe that you’re worthy of a better life, that you deserve to be happy. This will naturally begin the change process, without you having to leave your situation or do anything else drastic. Be gentle and kind with yourself as you look around and notice what may be no longer acceptable to you. Know that with the right help, you can make meaningful changes in your life and release this excess stress and anxiety. Yes, you DO deserve it, and you don’t have to do it alone. I and many other licensed mental health counselors are here to help.