The other day I fell into a sinkhole. Again.
You know the kind of sinkhole I’m talking about - the metaphorical kind. The kind that opens up and drags you under, disrupting your life - usually without warning.
This same stupid sinkhole has plagued me for years now. Each time it gets patched up, the fix only lasts for a short while before it becomes dangerous again.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about the sinkhole.
I’ve learned what causes sinkholes and how you can try to decrease your chances of encountering them.
I’ve learned how to add supports and reinforcements to reduce the risk of falling into the sinkhole.
I’ve learned to make the sinkhole more stable so that I could more safely move near it.
I’ve learned how to calmly drag myself out of the sinkhole each time it swallows me whole.
I’ve learned to minimize the toll the sinkhole has on my life.
I’ve learned to normalize sinkholes - afterall, we all hit sinkholes sometimes.
But, the other day I fell in it again. My reinforcements hadn’t worked, minimizing it hadn’t worked, normalizing it hadn’t worked. Nothing had worked.
There I was again - inside the sinkhole. I was powerless and defeated - again.
When people tried to help me out of the sinkhole, I yelled at them to go away, or I ignored them, or I begged for them to tell me it was ok to be a mess because I was back in the effing sinkhole again.
And then my child fell in behind me.
Of course he did.
It was only a matter of time before this happened. Afterall, he’s watched me and this sinkhole for most of his life. If I couldn’t avoid it then how could I expect him to avoid it.
That’s when it hit me.
I needed to be done with this sinkhole.
Like, completely done.
I’ve tried everything to keep the sinkhole from being a looming force in my life. Everything except one thing. I have never decided to stop letting the sinkhole be in my life.
I COULD make the one choice I hadn’t yet given myself permission to make.
There are always other routes we can take to get where we need to go.
Maybe those routes will take us longer to get where we are going.
Maybe those routes won’t make sense to those people who have never fallen into the sinkhole or who can’t imagine that particular sinkhole being so bad.
Maybe we’ll be judged harshly and criticized for my decision to take a new route.
But, the truth in life is that there will always be criticism. There will always be people who don’t understand us. There will always be people who disagree with us.
There will always be sinkholes.
When the sinkholes become too big, too scary, and too damaging we CAN take away their power in our life.
We CAN stop allowing them to dictate how our journey goes.
We CAN stop allowing them to wreak havoc in our life.
It was time to do it.
So, together my child and I pulled ourselves out of the sinkhole and decided to drive away.
One last time.
We didn’t look back.
Now, more than ever, we all need a little support to help get us through the rough spots. With all the pressures of life, it can be a challenge to find time to not only take care of yourself but also to truly understand who you even are anymore.