ARE YOU STUCK ON THE UPSIDE OF THE SEE-SAW?
In the best of all worlds, we find, by design or happenstance, that person who fulfills our life and makes our hearts soar with happiness. Sometimes, it happens quickly and other unions come over time. However we get there, we go into the relationship with certain expectations of the future and how we want our lives to unfold.
Unfortunately, that is where the “rub” comes in. Life rarely goes along our well planned and not so well planned schedules. When the “honeymoon” phase ends and the realities of life begin to intrude on those long held dreams and desires brought to the relationship, we may begin to find ourselves feeling out of sorts and perhaps anxious or sad. Whether it is the demand of too much focus on work whether to get ahead or, more commonly these days, to keep our heads above water, we can begin to find stresses and irritants creeping into the relationships of what should be our most supportive partners.
Weeks go by, then months, then years and one day, we look around and say, “Hey, I really don’t like what has happened to my life!” For some couples, this comes as the final child begins to leave home and now those things that distracted us from the day-to-day irritants no longer hide quite so easily. For others, injury, illness, or disability becomes a game changer and the relationship changes from independent adults to care-givers.
For too many people, what was a weekend “stress reliever” of using alcohol or other drugs has, through the years, become abusive use of alcohol and other drugs. That first DWI was followed a couple of years later by a second DWI that becomes quite a bit harder to explain as “just a night out gone bad.” The financial costs of the DWI “hole” make already stressed out family finances significantly harder to overcome. For many other people, the years of “low grade” dissatisfaction with life has become a chronic pattern of depression and anxiety accompanied by marital conflicts. We take on a “just let me get through today” approach to life and end up missing the joys of living.
Folks finding themselves in these situations are essentially living out of balance. Through the years, the values and dreams that went into the relationship have changed but an adjustment in expectations and behaviors hasn’t occurred. Similar to a see-saw from our childhood, the weight of dissatisfaction keeps us up in the air, feet struggling to reach the earth so that we are once again grounded. Whether it is financial, spiritual, physical, or mental stresses, we desperately want to return to balance.
The good news is there is much help for folks who want to return to living a life in which their values and their daily realities are in balance. The see-saw can be level again! Life does not have to be a never ending series of steep climbs pushing the boulder up the hill only to find it rolling back again.
Seek outside consultation whether it is with a professional trained in behavioral health, the family physician, or one’s spiritual leader. Take the steps necessary to open a non-threatening dialog between you and your significant other to bring things back in balance.
Will it get fixed quickly? No, you didn’t get here overnight and you’re not going to get back in balance overnight. To believe that is to practice “magical thinking” and will only lead to more disappointment. However, taking small steps to make lasting change can and will lead individuals and families back into balance.
At Barrett & Yount, we offer professional, confidential services to assist individuals and families in resolving life’s inevitable challenges to living in balance. Give us a call at 828-454-5253, visit our website at http://www.assessmentsbyyount.org/, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.