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Mental Health

Everything Changes

I hate change, or at least I’m not very good at it.  I’ve never liked it and have always found it unsettling.  Whether it was starting at a new school, a new job, a new relationship there would be the anxiety, the tears and the sure and certain knowledge I’d fail. It would disorientate me and knock me off my feet leaving me swimming, unable to find the ground beneath me.  I would flounder and gasp and try to swim until I was able to grope and grapple my way back to the surface and clamber back to solid ground.

Those are the hard parts, the moments where the ground starts to shift and I have to try to rediscover my surroundings, keeping my head above water, trying not to let anyone down and never letting anyone see that I’m flailing.

I’m not sure if it’s genuinely change that scares me or the likelyhood of failing but either way, things do change and that’s life. Without change there’d be no progress and no growth. As scary as it is, we have to try and move with the current or we’ll drown fighting against it. The question is how?  How do we do the thing that scares us most?  

I’m coming to realise in the bits in between that the way to deal with it is simply to do what comes next.  Don’t worry about the distance left to travel, focus on the next step. Do what needs doing now, the rest will fall into place in time (and if it doesn’t you can deal with that when it comes along).  If you just keep doing what’s next, not looking forward beyond that, you’ll be amazed when you look back and see how far you’ve come.  I know, because I just looked back and realised that actually, despite a minor setback I’m doing okay.  My head is what it is and I may struggle in areas but in others I’m good at what I do. I just need to give myself the space to do it.

A caterpillar doesn’t sit and fret about how it’s going to transform into a butterfly. If it did it would drive itself mad with worry.  After all, how exactly does one grow wings and fly?  The caterpillar just caterpillars along doing whatever it is that a caterpillar does and it lets life takes care of the rest. 

Life can seem very overwhelming but I think that’s partly because we jump from here to there in our mind in one giant leap, not allowing ourself time to grow into the changes, expecting a caterpillar to fly.

Everything will be okay, it always is. We just need to worry less, swim with the current, fly when we’re ready, take the paths to unknown destinations one step at a time and trust that the details will work themselves out.

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