How we break when we try to fix

 

Recently I shared a story describing my dance with bouts of depression.

Talking about things like depression is not the most glamorous story. And, it’s highly misunderstood.

No one really wants to talk about the entire week they spent in bed because they had zero emotional or mental energy for much more.

Depression itself can mean different things to different people. It’s important to know the difference between feeling sad and clinical depression.

But, whether it’s a period of grief, intense sadness over a specific situation, or the full throes of clinical depression, all of it gets the cold shoulder from society.

Because, when it comes to deep, piercing, heavy feelings, it has been my observation that the norm is to villainize the feelings themselves and blame the person feeling them. Therefore, the solutions are often fixated on how quickly or swiftly we can make them go away.

And, if you can’t, the next solution is to try and not burden others with your big feelings.

Push through or push down. Fix it. Fix you. 

I have memories of melting down in my room when I was about 12 years old, crippled by the overwhelm of what to do with this unexplained feeling of despair. My mom shouted through the door in the crack “do we need to put you in counseling?”

I had already been referred to a school counselor by teachers and even anonymously on three separate occasions by that point. 

But, if you were to ask any of my childhood friends, they had no idea.

That was the point.

We desire to feel part of something, part of a tribe, part of our peers, accepted.

Dark feelings or sharing all you was unacceptable, embarrassing.

I cut slices in my skin quietly. I sat in my dad’s closet, staring at the gun he just bought. Just really shitty thoughts. . .

And in the days of social media, the urge to curate our stories and images is stronger than ever. We leave huge parts of ourselves behind in order to scrap together what will put us at less risk of rejection.

I set a big intention last year, a long term intention, to choose wholeness over broken and curated self-image.

So when it comes to the shittiness, I am doing my best not to chop it up and leave pieces out. 

Moments with darkness have been a giant lesson about where I am now and where I’m going.

And it has also better equipped me to walk with clients.

Whatever the case, however deep the darker times, feelings are going to be a huge part of your story.

Life asks us to feel things really big. Feelings, in my experience, are where our real truth lives.

Being disconnected from our feelings leads to the worse kind of fixing we have all fallen victim to.

When women believe they need to be fixed, they are the targets of the worse kind of quick fix schemes out there:

Take the world I work in and love: Wellness.

Wellness though has been butchered into Image.

How you look takes precedence over healthy.

If this weren’t true, then so many damaging, and scientifically unsound fitness/diet fixes out there would’ve been ripped from the market by now for the sole reason that they are completely ineffective for the longterm.

Worse, they are oftentimes harmful.

Here’s how the scheme usually plays out…
~Don’t feel great about your body?  You’re told this whatever product will melt off the pounds in no time with little effort.

~Feel unfit and unable to make time for exercise? You’re told there’s a quick fix solution for that too that requires little effort once again.

~Feel out of control with food and cravings? You’re told there’s a pill that will basically destroy your appetite, which you’re also told is the enemy.

*None of this true. The fixes aren’t true and the message that you need fixing are absolutely untrue.

The big lesson here?
The fixing actually creates more problems than it solves.  

A cycle continues into so many of our life areas: lifestyle, livelihood, self-worth, relationships, etc.

Life is about a whole lot of feelings.
We experience the world and feel a certain way in response. So, in the end, most of the habits we adopt are fueled by a desire to feel or stop feeling a certain way.

And those habits are not always the kind we want to keep. 
You might turn to a tub of ice cream for comfort. You find you binge on Netflix instead of diving into that project you’re dreaming up. You deliberately avoid mirrors or any outfits that expose parts of your body you’re not comfortable with. You pick a fight with your partner instead of talking about what’s really going on.

These are all habits in the same way eating healthy and exercise are habits.

If you have a mindset of FIXING, you will also be in the habit of fixing yourself instead of getting to know yourself and what’s really going on.

And when the fix doesn’t work, the diet doesn’t stick, the cravings don’t stay at bay, the things you set out to do fall apart as the darker mindsets creep in.

Darker mindsets such as …. “You’re not enough.” “You don’t deserve to do better than this.” “Who do you think you are?”

And for me, that’s where the depression starts to take hold and my legs feel weighed down by a ton of weights. Getting out of bed is an accomplishment in and of itself.

What do you do then?

In the Free Healthy Mind + Healthy Habits Challenge (an introduction to what we do in the Desire Mastermind), we lay it out this way…

Your mindsets are where your self-belief lives. There are the mindsets we are aware of, and the ones lying underneath the surface.

Those mindsets help form the habits that are in reaction to the way you want to feel.

Say, you want to feel “lighter.” I’ve met with many clients who share they just want to feel “lighter” in their bodies or to lighten the stress in their lives.

Many start with this negative belief: “I’m too heavy, I’m not worthy or deserving of love when I’m this heavy, I won’t be okay until I am lighter or shed some pounds.”

Understandably so, if this is a belief you carry around, you’re going to feel the pressure to find a solution…and fast. That’s why quick fixes are so damn sexy sounding. Fix me in just 21 days? Sign me up, right?

But, the fix doesn’t stick. And the thing with fixes is the creator of the fix will paint YOU as the problem. It didn’t work because you didn’t work it, or some bullshit along those lines.

Therefore, the uglier, deeper mindsets start bubbling up to the surface. They are the darker ones that make feeling the way you desire to feel seem so impossibly far away.

For me, the darkness starts to swallow me from the pit of the stomach up.

And that’s okay. Really.

The darkness reveals where there is work to be done. Where healing is ready to take place.

And, that my dear woman, is the beautiful part of this process that we dive into in the Desire Mastermind in wonderfully focused depths with oodles of support.

(While we are not open for enrollment yet, get on the waitlist soon so you qualify for early enrollment bonuses right out of the gate!

>>>Get on waitlist HERE.)

And, here’s a big ass mantra I love to grasp onto for times like these:

“I am deserving. I am always deserving. I have a purpose that’s bigger than any fix can offer. On this journey of ups and downs, no matter what, I love and accept myself.”

slcullington@gmail.com

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