Sometimes in relationships we go through hard times. Perhaps you’re not feeling as connected as usual and finding your way back is proving more difficult than you hoped. Or maybe you find out your partner is having an affair and you aren’t sure
what your next move should be. Maybe it is something outside of your relationship, like the loss of a loved one
that is leaving you completely reeling in your own grief. Whatever it is, we all face things in our life that in the moment feel unmanageable, as though we are being swallowed whole. As a mental health professional I provide lots of different insight into how to deal with these issues and, ideally, provide hope that you really will survive and be okay.
As a human being I realize how these things can comfort us in the moment only to feel like they are gone as soon as we leave a therapists office or our best friends couch. One of the things I so commonly see in my office and, if I am being honest, can frequently struggle with myself is galloping. In our moments of despair, anger, grief, loneliness we can’t help but start thinking 17 steps ahead. Instead of being right where we are we start torturing ourselves with all the what-ifs of the future and, at times, all the has-beens of the past. Because our anxiety is so high in these moments, it is hard to stop the galloping and our raw longing for something we can control and yet it is all this ruminating that exasperates our pain and suffering.
So what is, at least in part, the solution? Staying present. Focusing only on the moment, or the hour or the day. Checking in with yourself and asking yourself exactly how you are doing in this moment. Not the moment that will arrive tomorrow, next week or next year, but rather right in this exact moment. I know as I sit here writing this there is a part of me that is saying “who are you kidding Kaela” but the truth is I believe it. Again, it isn’t a fix and it doesn’t make the hard times go away, but it does reconnect us with ourselves and it can ground us when it feels like our whole world is floating – or being yanked – away from us. So try it. Breathe. Ask yourself how you are doing or even what you are doing in this exact moment. My hope is that it will make things feel, even temporarily, that much more manageable.