BY ROSIE WITTLEDER, GRACE ATTENDER
This is the third part of a series on what to do when we’re stuck in the weeds. In the first article, we unpacked what being in the weeds may look like, how we got there, and what we can do to simplify our lives and create more space. Then, we looked at how creating daily rhythms can help keep us grounded during hard times. If you missed the first two articles, you may find it helpful to read those before reading this one. (You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)
Reach Out for Help
Isolation is a killer. More people are isolated now than ever before, and the loneliness factor is a huge problem. When you’re sad, overwhelmed or anxious, your first inclination is to curl up in a ball and beg the world to leave you alone. But this is the last thing we need. No single factor will keep you struggling longer than being alone. It will only further our struggles.
It is impossible to move out of the weeds alone. We aren’t built for it. We are meant for connection, especially in times of distress. We desperately need the comfort that comes from safe and genuine connection with others. If you could have gotten yourself out of the weeds, you would have already done that. You just can’t do it by yourself. This takes some of us longer to accept than others.
My mentor, Joyce and I
I get it. Reaching out for help can be one of the scariest things we’ve ever done. It feels insanely vulnerable, especially if we have been given reasons not to trust people. “What will this person say? What if they judge me? What if they shame me? What if they say something that injures me even further? What if I’m too much for them to handle? What will they think of me after sharing? What if they reject me? Who will they tell? Can I trust this person to keep this confidential?”
But your wellness depends on this one step. People who have been hurt or who have gone through significant trauma, and bottle it up their whole lives? They never recover. They become bitter, backward, and no longer capable of adjusting to life. This is why you can find people who’ve had something painful happen to them and are never the same again. They don’t address their pain. They stay isolated and live a very shallow life that is void of freedom.
There are many avenues to reach out for help. Do what feels the most feasible to you. There is no “right way” to do this. If you feel more comfortable calling a friend you can trust, but maybe haven’t seen in a while, do it.
Maybe you’d rather ask someone who you see as a mentor to meet for coffee. If you feel most comfortable going to a pastor, do that. Or you could go see a therapist. I suggest going to a recommended therapist as opposed to randomly picking one off a list.
Or you could go to a support group. There are so many groups that help people with specific issues or seasons of life. Another option? Go to your doctor and tell him or her about your struggles. Sometimes we need medication, even if it’s short term, and there is absolutely no shame in that.
Our marriage mentors, the Byers
Some of us have a small group or maybe even a lot of friends, but we don’t really tell them our deepest concerns. Or if we do, they may not have the tools or experience to be able to help us. That’s okay. But that’s not the kind of reaching out I’m referring to. I mean, tell someone what’s really going on and ask them for help. Whatever avenue you choose, reach out to at least one person to get the ball rolling. This is vital.
Remember, no one is perfect. People will fail you. No one person can fix you. You might be tempted to throw in the towel when you reach out and things don’t go the way you wanted. We are all broken. Yet, developing heathy attachments to others can bring so much healing. So if one avenue doesn’t pan out, try again in a different way. You will find the support you need for this specific time.
Also, God isn’t going to shove himself on you. You have to show up and take that step out of your comfort zone. The domino effect that comes from this initial step is what changes lives. We see God open doors and bring us the rescue we need. So hang in there. You are not alone, and you are not the only one dealing with this kind of situation. There are many people out there who have been where you are, and who can offer hope and healing as you walk this path out of the weeds together.
If you’re worried you need too much help, don’t be. There is time. There are people. There is space for you. There is a God who wants to bring healing into your life, and he is not scared or intimidated of your degree of shambles. You’re not too much for him. If it makes you feel any better, I have reached out using all the examples listed above. Yep. I have exhausted all these options and more. And I don’t regret it for one second.
If I can get out of the weeds, you can too. There is hope. Take my word for it. I’ve been in all manner of weeds in the last ten years of my life. And I will continue to have time in the weeds because I’m still living.
We don’t need to try to avoid the weeds, we just need to work on what do when we’re in it. In this way, we can move on, be stronger, and live the lives we were meant to live. Often, our calling and destiny is directly related to the kinds of weeds we have endured. So let’s get on with that part of life.
See more from Rosie at sugarfreewritings.com/my-blog.