Have you felt sad, worried, or depressed?
Have you begun to wonder how you lost your way? Do you lack motivation and purpose, but feel overwhelmed with projects everyday? Is your work unsatisfying? Is your schedule hectic, leaving little time for yourself? If this sounds familiar, you are not alone and there is help and support.
Life’s demands out of hand?
Many of us find ourselves living busier lives without taking time to examine the meaning and purpose of our lives.We forget how to enjoy the relationships and homes we are working to build. We find more and more on our plate and don’t know how to say “enough”.
We take care of the needs of children, spouses, family members, bosses and coworkers, friends, and find ourself at the bottom of our list, if at all. It may feel as though our we try to set limits, yet receive little support in doing so. Sometimes, we feel guilty for trying. Does this sound familiar? You can learn to set better boundaries, learn how to handle those you love, and those who challenge you.
What doesn’t work (for long)
Sometimes we pull back, and avoid contact or reaching out for help. And we become more irritable or easily annoyed. Or we try to control everything in our environment and find ourselves tense and angry. We obsess about things. We get lost in ritualized behaviors and addictions for comfort, but that has it’s own problems. Alcohol, substances, food, shopping, video games or gambling to help us escape from pain only help us to feel more alone and ashamed. We need better ways to cope that help us feel better about ourselves.
When the pain is from long ago
Many people have experienced abuse, chaos, neglect, assault or violence at some point in their lives. The effect is emotionally wounding whether there is one experience or many, whether the experiences are emotional abuse or sexual abuse. These experiences may cause us to hurt ourselves or others, causing more pain. Many who have not discussed the pain from early abuse develop eating disorders, self mutilate to distract themselves, abuse substances, cut themselves off from their feelings and experience intimacy problems in relationships forming destructive sexual and emotional unions. Their pain is abruptly re-experienced in daytime images and nightmares.
Although feelings of shame may prevent you from wanting to talk about these painful areas of your life, it is difficult to heal the places others have broken in your spirit on your own. Therapeutic relationships are often necessary to help with what relationships did to cause harm.
How can therapy help?
Therapy is knowledge and tools and learning new patterns. But, above all else, therapy is a healing relationship that works in an environment of support, hope and safety. Without that relationship, all the knowledge and tools are not very helpful. That is why, for many people, although self-help books are useful, they are not very long lasting. It is in relationships we are most deeply hurt and also relationships that can offer us the most profound healing impact in our life.