Thriving, illusive as mist in the desert. I struggled with depression and physical health problems for as long as I can remember. It seems to be my challenge in life. When I started counseling, I was at rock bottom. I was out of options. I was miserable, terrified, and convinced I could not ‘fix’ what was wrong with me and my relationships. I started counseling as a last resort….I wasn’t thriving. Somewhere in the first 6 months my counselor was encouraging me in my quest to continue improving my life. He told me he didn’t want me to just survive, he wanted me to thrive. I was all for it. I left the session. I pondered his words. I came back the next week and asked, “What do you mean?” There is a time for many with PTSD that the word ‘thriving’ holds no meaning. I understand the deep pit of depression but the dizzying heights of thriving seem almost like the mirages of water in the desert. I could see the illusive goal with no idea how to get there.
I believed for a long time that I needed to heal completely before thriving would occur….much like a caterpillar enters a chrysalis then emerges as a butterfly. Forever changed. I am learning that people are not caterpillars. We are more like seeds of who we become. We get buried in crap. We seem to split and turn inside out. Apparently totally destroying ourselves to suddenly realize a seedling emerged from the most rocky ground. Try an experiment, take beans or seeds and soak them over night in water. Then place them in a clear zip-lock bag with a wet paper towel. Over a week or two you can watch the seed explode to allow the seedling and roots to venture out. http://mrbrownthumb.blogspot.com/2007/01/seed-starting-baggie-method.html
So why all the talk of butterflies and seedlings? I am trying to gain a concrete idea of an emotional concept. I am learning that I don’t have to wait for that far away mirage. Thriving is possible everyday. Maybe not the whole day but 5 minutes of connecting with another person. Finding a delightful gift of light from my sister. Listening to a favorite Christmas Carol. Forgetting for a moment that anything ever bad happen. Falling in love with a sunrise. I changed my expectations. I am still in counseling. I still struggle with depression. Thriving infuses my life with delight, sometimes where I least expect it.