When it comes to the well known saying: “Sink or Swim”, I have always considered myself a swim person.
Swim no matter what.
No matter the obstacles, no matter how deep, no matter how far or how tired you are. Never did it occur to me that there may come a day where I would not be able to swim no matter how much I wanted to or tried to swim. I was sinking, sinking deeper into my emotions. Overshadowed by overwhelming situations surrounding me, closing me in, dragging me down.
There were weights strapped to my ankles, a wild storm raging all around me and an expanse of ocean between me and solid ground.
It shocked me to come to realise that there was nothing I could do to prevent my drowning.
But that didn't stop me from trying.
I fought against drowning. I fought with all my might against my emotions of fear, anxiety, my inadequacy, uncertainty. And was battling to keep my emotions at bay. It took a great amount of effort, but I managed to bury my emotions just below the surface. Utterly exhausted, but satisfied that I had gained the upper hand on my emotions and had managed to get them under control. I turned my attention to wage war on the waves of overwhelming work and life situations threatening to drag me under.
My strength was fading.
External sources were getting the better of me and the stress fractures were starting to show. I was spending precious energy countering my inner turmoil of emotions, which made ever wave that hit feel bigger and more overwhelming than before.
Suddenly everyday life things became too much for me. I was gulping for air, grasping at anything that would prevent me from drowning. 24hour worship music, exercise to reduce stress, cutting out caffeine. Despite my efforts, everything started feeling like a chore and nothing was making a noticeable difference.
There was no finally tsunami-sized wave that dragged me under, instead, it was the relentlessness of the seemingly ‘little’ waves.
And I started to sink.
I could see the light dancing on the surface of the calm water, the storm had passed. I had failed, failed to swim, failed to overcome, fail to survive. The light on the surface beckoned me, but I had no strength left. I desired to be floating on the surface enjoying the sun on my face, but it was out of my reach. I had spent all my strength fighting the storm that I had none left to try to get myself out of this downward spiral.
Overwhelmed and overcome with fear and anxiety and with no solution, I felt myself sink even deeper...
I needed help.
But that would be worse than sinking, wouldn’t it? It would mean having to admit to the defeat. It would be a sign of weakness. But this time around I was in so deep over my head... I knew I needed some kind of flotation device. Realising that I couldn't fix this on my own, I dared to make a move.
I reached out...
And to my surprise, I found people ready to walk a journey with me. Ready to support and willing to help lift me up.
Have you reached the end of your rope? I want to encourage you today to take a step of courage open up to someone you trust and let them support and help you through this challenging time.
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