A Strange Personal Story
At the risk of having you doubt my sanity, I am sharing a personal story.
The advice is good despite the weird source.
You have been warned.
The story begins
I was in a meeting with an occupational therapist. She was trying to get me to go back to work.
I had been away for about 10 months with depression. Starting back seemed like a massive hurdle. Scary. I didn't feel ready.
And there was something else.
I blamed the company for the state I was in. They had put me in a situation of continuous stress that had caused my illness. That was how I saw it anyway.
I won't go into the details. It's not important.
What is important is that was what I had been telling myself for all these months.
Now they were suggesting that I could try working part-time to ease myself back. I wasn't totally resistant to the idea but I was suspicious.
While I was off I was a problem they had to deal with. When I went back to work I would be forgotten.
I found myself telling her that if I did try it, it didn't mean that everything was OK because it wasn't.
But then I heard another voice.
It was all I could do not to laugh. At least on the outside.
I was certainly laughing on the inside and hoping it didn't show on my face.
The voice had come from a little man sitting on my shoulder.
When I say a little man, it was actually me. A mini me, sitting right there and talking into my left ear. I swear it seemed absolutely real.
And what he said made perfect sense.
"It's only not OK because you say it's not."
It was true! I had been hanging on to the idea that "they" had done this to me. And there was some truth in that.
But the right or wrong of it was irrelevant.
What mattered was that I had been handing over responsibility for my state to somebody else.
It was something that had happened to me. Something I had no control over and couldn't do anything about.
With hindsight, I could have made different choices and never been in that position.
But once in, I had to accept responsibility for it if I was to have any power to change it.
Mini me was absolutely right. I had been choosing for things to be not OK but it was MY choice.
I immediately started to feel better. Much better. Elated in fact.
I continued to fight the urge to laugh out loud as I negotiated the details of my return.
My first few weeks back at work I had a constant companion. Sitting on my shoulder ready to pull me up at the slightest hint of any negative emotion.
Note. Looking back, this in itself might have indicated that everything was not quite right yet. Let's overlook that for now.
Obviously I haven't told you the whole story. I value your time too much.
But I do believe that change can happen in an instant. The question is, how long does it take you to get to that instant.
I had put in a lot of work on myself and tried out a lot of tools and techniques before this and continued to afterwards.
I still do to this day.
That's why I choose now to think of the whole thing as a positive experience.
It put me onto a path of continuous self growth where I had only dabbled before.
I am much more resilient now and able to make better decisions when tough situation arise. And better able to bounce back from them.
And the moral is...
I know as well as anybody that it doesn't always seem like it but...
Your situation doesn't dictate how you feel unless you let it. You have the power to change how you feel despite the situation.
Before you can bounce back, you have to let go of whose fault it is.
Accept responsibility and take back the power.
Your comments are welcome below. Is there method in my madness?