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On bad getting worse: the descent to misery

Posted Feb 12 2010 9:37pm

All of us deal with pain. All of us deal with bad times. It is inevitable and as part of life as the good times. But we bounce back. The human animal is the strongest and most resilent one there is. And most of us can say with a suprising degree of intensity that many times the best times in our lives have come directly from the worse.

Sometimes we go deeper though. We descend to chronicunremitting misery. Life vacillates between uncontrollable pain and numbness. Still we can come back. But some people never do. There is more to death than dying and for some people misery is so much a part of who they arewhat they seeand what they do that their life stands testimony to this. What happens? What steps chart the descent to misery?

Often it begins with problems in relationships. Our connections dont connect. Life becomes about what we get from other people and we dont get as much as we want or as much as we think we deserve. People become a source of deprivation and disappointment. We experience more tension and conflict. We become more guarded. We become more susceptible to criticism. We distract ourselves by focusing more on tasksbut life seems emptier and emptier. Others accuse us of being insensitive. We find ourselves envying others for how easy life is for them and struggling more and more with resentment.

We find ourselves justifying our actions and motives. We vacillate between what is easy and what is right. We find ready excuses for our lapses. We let others down a lot. We find ourselves either avoiding others or making extreme demands on them. Control becomes a bigger and bigger thing and I feel more out of control. We have a chronic and seething discontent.

We are simply unable to keep up with life’s demands. We battle negative impulses more and more. More and more we bother myselves. Pain is extracting a large burden on our lives. We would rather indulge ourselves than anythingbut even feeling better doesnt make us feel better. We dont know what we really want any more. We are just barely holding it together.

Finally life falls into patterns we can no longer control Pain and fear drive me. And more than anything else life has gotten to the point where I obey the pain. And that is the last critical element. Our days are bound by the walls of a prison that seem our eternal sentence.

I dont know if this description works for you or not. I know one person it does work for– me. I have been there. But I have been blessed. Hard times may be real. Misery may be all too real. But dont buy the lie. It may seem foreverbut doesnt have to be. When in doubt choose health. When in doubt choose hope. When it doubt choose love. It works.

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