And How You Too Can Use This Tool
This post is all about the best piece of advice on how to view the challenges of life (and survive personal crises) that I ever received from my psychologist.
See if you recognise the basics behind this scenario. And if you do, then pay heed to how it changes by the end.
This Too Will Pass
Expert tools for dealing with crises
It all started after I had climbed the mountain that was my physical recovery. My battered, burnt face and body had been patched up, healed, and administered to for over two years. I’d lost count of the many painful operations I’d had. And with each surgical intervention resulting in physical pain and wounds that took time to heal, my resolve to endure had been sorely tested.
And then, just as I could see an end to these, the next whammy hit me.
PTSD, depression and alcoholism
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), unbeknownst to me at the time, had played havoc with my mental abilities. I was unable to think straight and was plagued by nightmares each night. I had flashbacks of the train crash during my waking hours. And depression would, at times, stop me from functioning at all.
As I descended into alcoholism, I could see no way out. It seemed that there was no future for me. Or, if there was, it looked so bleak to me. One thought dominated my thinking, and it was, “what is the point of carrying on?”.
I had no energy, no hope, no expectation of anything better, and so, I gave up.
Enter the experts
After my suicide attempt, I was referred to the care of two people who would ultimately help me – a psychiatrist and a psychologist.
The psychiatrist prescribed tailored medication for my PTSD. As he said, “You wouldn’t expect a broken leg to heal without a cast. That’s what the medication is – a cast.”
The psychologist concentrated on helping me develop the best coping strategies for my condition, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) became my lifeline.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT revealed the thoughts that led to the emotions. Emotions that, when triggered, dictated my destructive behaviour. CBT showed up the stark deficiencies and disruption in my thought processes. And having them shown to me in this way helped me to alter them.
Words and phrases such as, “must,” “should,” “have to,” and “what if,” were banished. Unrealistic, unreasonable, assuming, and predicting traits were refashioned into reasonable, realistic, and fact-based ones.
And overarching it all was the mantra “This Too Will Pass.”
And the crisis did pass
Crises that hitherto had appeared unbearable then faded away like early morning mist. What emerged was the ability to see each as challenging and unpleasant, yes, but also impermanent.
And it is true. My nightmare existence that was before CBT did pass. Time didn’t heal it, and the memory of it remains. Crises still appear, but “This Too Will Pass” continues to be one of my powerful weapons against them.
Applying this powerful tool to your life
So, while the world is in a state of flux, and current difficulties get replaced by yet more challenges. And while worry and concern about the future increases, my advice is this:
Keep repeating to yourself (even if it is through gritted teeth), “This Too Will Pass.”
And it will, it always does.
As a leadership trainer and professional online speaker, I help individuals and businesses move forward and overcome challenges with confidence, strength, and compassion. To discover how I can assist you, check out my in-person and virtual services.
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