Sometimes… it just gets worse before it gets better.
How many times have you heard this when you’ve been on the struggle bus?
A year ago I wrote a post reflecting on “what I’ve learned” in recovery. And at that time I probably would have told you “it gets worse before it gets better.”
Now I’m not so sure…
What happens when things are hard for us (often times our ego) to face, misalign with our values and overall detract from our happiness? Those things that when we think about it…we feel icky. Uncomfortable.
A relationship with someone. With self. Finances. Addiction. Career woes.
We put them on the back burner. We avoid them. Because the thought of tackling the issue is paralyzing and painful. But in reality the sooner we face whatever we’re hiding from, the easier it is to heal & deal.
So OK we finally decide to take on the difficult thing.
And it initially gets worse? Wtf..
I took on recovery after numbing myself out with an eating disorder for years. I had this notion that things would get better immediately. Relief would come and I would be healed ASAP (I was super optimistic okay…glass half full kinda girl).
But what happened was a floodgate of emotions pouring out of me and some of the lowest lows I THOUGHT I had ever experienced in my life.
What is this crap. I know recovery is not sunshine and roses but something tells me it should feel a bit better than this. Things actually feel WORSE now in recovery than they felt while I was at my “sickest”.
These words from Marianne Williamson sum up this experience perfectly:
Before you were so anesthetized to your own experiences you didn’t even know how bad they were. Now you’re being forced to look at them and that can be painful
We see what we’ve been hiding from at the forefront, sometimes on a silver platter of regret, and all the pain that goes along with it.
That shit sucks. So obviously when we’re expecting all of our woes to go away and instead we face pain we think things are getting worse.
Hiding is also a coping mechanism. Hiding from the icky situations. That hurt our egos and our hearts. In hiding we don’t resolve any issues but I mean we also don’t have to face that pain right?
It took me looking back on my illness thinking that maybe it was my safe place to hide, falling back into that place many time (nope not safe) to realize that facing my issues, healing through the hurt and taking steps STILL everyday to get to where I need to be is exactly what I need to be doing.
Now two years later I’ve learned – Face it. Feel it. Heal (stumble) & grow through it.
So it doesn’t always get worse. It just may feel that way at first.