I’m struggling with …. and I’m ashamed
When this post first came to me as an idea it was around being a new parent (well of course it was, and yes I sometimes struggle with it). But then I reflected that many of us, if not all of us are struggling with some aspect of our lives, from kids, to jobs or anything in between so I wanted to make this more inclusive.
So whether we struggle with being a new or not so new parent, our job, our relationship, our family, our past, all of the above or something different, I wonder how many of us can accept that struggle and be compassionate with ourselves, or how many of us feel shame about it and tell ourselves that we shouldn’t struggle?
We can often have so many ideas about how we ‘should’ be responding to the challenges in our lives:
'I should be so grateful for this tiny bundle'
'I should be able to keep up with all the work and pressure'
'I should feel completely in love all the time'
'I should be there to help whenever they need'
'I should be able to move on and forget about it'
Another variation of this is comparing ourselves to our perceptions of others:
'They are such naturals at parenting'
'They get it all done without breaking a sweat'
'They are so happy all the time'
'They are always there to help'
'They don’t let it affect them or hold them back'
However, you package this self-beating it can make us feel ashamed of how we are coping and responding to our struggles, which then makes it hard to admit and speak to others about.
As I talked about in my previous blog ‘What if the problem isn’t depression, but how we respond to it?’, connection to others is our safe place, the place where we can feel better, especially when we realise others are feeling similar with their own versions of these struggles.
So what if we could be a little gentler with our expectations of ourselves? Do we really expect to be grateful/keep up/happy all the time? Or would we expect that of others?
Do we really think others are living like this?
Trust me they are not!
Speaking to others can be key to realising that we are not strange or unable to cope, we are just human and part of that is having ups and downs. It is very normal to have moments of feeling like we are nailing it and moments of struggle. How we respond to these struggles often determines how long we stay in that feeling.
Of course, choose the right people to speak to, the ones who can also admit their challenges and be with you in yours.
So whatever it is you are struggling with, know that you are not alone and reach out, be that to family, friends or a professional. We all have ups and downs but when we are kind to ourselves in them they can be much more bearable and transient.
If you are feeling like you are struggling the majority of the time and talking to friends and family doesn't help or isn't an option, please reach out to a professional, either myself or anyone else.
As always I love to hear your thoughts on my musings either as a public comment or as a private message to me at email@example.com.
If you want to know more about me and what I do please feel free to explore my website and other blogs or get in touch, I offer a free 30 minute chat for anyone thinking of starting therapy to see if we feel like a good fit.