I have heard people will decide to make changes when they are finally sick of being in pain. Long-term suffering can come in any form. Strife within a relationship, jobs, or health issues throughout time will cause a person to walk close to the edge without even knowing it. Throughout those days, I secretly promise myself that I will be happy, once again, when my problems go away.
There are also times of rejoicing, in the middle of suffering, through an ordeal, that creates a sort of denial that the problem ceases to exist. Alcohol can give you that for 4 or 5 hours. Sex: a good 25 minutes. Dating a man who doesn’t love you can be a great escape from the problems that lay low in your head for many years. But for me, just getting involved with someone else’s problems allows me to vicariously believe that I am solving my own.
No one would say I am a quitter either. I will do everything I can to not deal with a problem that is too painful to comprehend. The year of 2016 was a problem of money for me.
Due to being totally f*cked over by a private contract company working with the Department of Defense, my family and I went from having money to not having money in less than three months. We did have savings. We did have investments. We did have credit. We were not stupid or reckless or living outside of our means. We just got screwed on a job deal and no money was coming in to pay the bills.
Without a job, home, or stuff, we carried on. My familiarity with being broke played into a false sense of confidence that I would be really good at finding creative ways to stay afloat. But we were just not ready for what smacked us over the head: a symphony of baseball bats playing the most hardcore drums, pounding, slamming and drowning all other thoughts out of my head. We were in trouble.
I have many traits suited for survival but not enough traits to actually thrive. I am friendly, charismatic, intelligent and persuasive. I am well-liked among my peers and grocery clerks and doctor offices or anywhere I do business. But there is one trait within me that weighed so heavily into my life that it crept into all my relationships and lessened any chance of me being consistent. That flaw is called instability.
In general, people have a sixth sense about those of us who are not stable. It makes them uneasy. It creates a shadow of mistrust among the closest of allies. People want to give you the benefit of the doubt but an unstable person brings much more stress to a situation than not.
Plus, I never knew I was not stable because I never knew how to be stable. My solution was to freak out, stop eating altogether, give up daily bathing, call everyone in my support system and tell them everything that I feared pertaining to the crisis at hand. Eventually, I would muster some strength to eat again and slowly I resurrect back into an able-bodied person willing to look problems head-on.
Yet on that day in May, when I had a writing assignment due, my child became sick. I felt a great amount of pressure to do it all despite my frailty at that moment. My blood sugar was low and my blood pressure was high. And in the middle of Hobby Lobby, I began to have a panic attack.
First, my lawyer called to say that Mercedes Benz had backed out of the deal to get caught up in payments and wanted their money now. I was already in the hole several grand for the month and the month was nearing a close. I simply told him we would deal with it or we would give up the car.
I was beginning to become accustomed to giving back my stuff at that moment. Earlier that year, I pawned my beautiful chocolate and diamond wedding ring to pay the rent as well as my diamond earrings and a semi-chipped Fire Opal ring that I added in as token. If we were going to lose our cars than so be it.
Then the second call came in. It was my husband explaining we needed to buy a large purchase related to his business immediately or there would be trouble. My internal hole began to expand. And if I could have, I would have jumped in, let them cover me with dirt, and then all the hell would be over.
But my son was there, as was often the case, and he began his normal series of demands as we become closer to checkout. I told him no. He asked why. I said “because” and the conversation remained in this circular argument throughout check out.
Without being able to stop, I began to cry frantically in the car on the way home. I knew I was upsetting my son. I just could not stop. And in my mind, I thought “I cannot do this another day. Not one more single fucking day. This is too unstable for me. I can’t get my writing done. I can’t care for my son. I can’t even make myself food because I am such a wreck.”
So I explained to my son exactly what I did not want to tell him: the solution. We were going to have to leave our perfect little mountain retreat in Montana to seek new opportunities. And by doing so, pain would ensue.
Why would I avoid the solution? Because it required literally moving mountains. And I was…I was tired. But this would be the last day. I was tired of the instability more than I was tired of the pain.
The key to being stable is not anywhere near as hard as I thought it would be. It is simple. Be stable. Just do it. No matter what. No matter what stay stable. Life keeps going and so would I. I would fake it until I owned it. But I was going to be stable. Not for my son or my family, but because I needed to be stable to thrive.
Such clarity opened my eyes significantly to other areas of my life. I worried a lot. I looked too deep into every situation and found a reason to be afraid. I thought people did not like me or that my opinion meant very little. In actuality, people were always saying how much they liked me and asking me for advice in their own lives. The disconnect between my inside and my outside freed the hot mess inside of me for many years. But reconnecting would beckon me to strive to align with my highest self and empower me in ways I knew existed somewhere within myself.
The missing piece for my life was that I needed to be stable no matter what happened. I could not speak rudely to people just because I was in a panic. I could not justify erratic behavior because I was afraid any longer. I had to get it together.
Some of the simplest solutions for our lives’ biggest problems are not living in some divine matrix. The truth is the most profound answers can be found straight in front of our nose. It is up for us to open our eyes to see them.