Getting Help: Sinking or Swimming
It's common for all of us to have the sneaking suspicion that something is wrong with us, really wrong. We don't want it to be true, but on the other hand, admitting it might actually help us explain some things. We're pulled in two directions that can feel like swimming on as best we can or sinking into admission of our brokenness.
Swimming on regardless has many attractions. It can seem like the easiest thing to do, and the best thing for those around us too. We keep the family running just like it is, we keep going to work and earning a wage and nothing changes; maybe we just have to work a bit harder to keep it all together and to manage those difficult thoughts that threaten to overwhelm us.
In contrast, ‘sinking' can seem like the end. If I admit I have a problem, people will look at me differently. What will my partner think? How will I tell my friends, family, kids and my boss? How will I be able to go on, especially if these thoughts start to rule me? Will I ever be ‘normal me' again?
For many people, getting help with a problem is more associated with sinking than swimming. Getting help can seem like it is associated with giving up on our responsibilities. I don't think this is true; I believe that getting help with your problems is more associated with swimming and it decreases the chances that we will sink. Using this analogy, therapy can help us become more skilled at swimming; stronger, with more endurance, more able to endure rougher seas and clearer about the direction we are swimming in.
– Tim Hill
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