Why me? Why now?
by Joy Campbell
“Why has this come up now when life is going pretty well, the best it’s ever been? Shouldn’t I be happy and not here seeing you?” Does this sound familiar? It’s certainly become familiar to me as a counsellor. What is the connection between life going well and emerging emotional and psychological troubles?.
Of course, feeling bad when things are good is not the pattern for everyone nor is it the inevitable consequence of a time of happiness or contentment. Emotional, spiritual and thinking difficulties can happen around many types of life events. Sometime life is tough on every angle. There are also times when life is extremely difficult and yet we can still feel OK, trusting life, staying steady with our thoughts and emotions.
But, let’s talk about the surprising “Life is good, why am I not happier or more okay?” times. When life is difficult on all angles, counselling tends to be about skills for survival. It can feel like a verbal processing space/ like a pressure valve for all that is overwhelming. When life is good, what’s been put aside because survival is paramount re-emerges.
Perhaps it’s at the level of addressing the operating system developed for survival which no longer works for a good life. Or perhaps it’s time to make connections between early experiences which were too difficult to process at the time they occurred and how we interact at work, or in important relationships. Some of the experiences which may need revisiting as they affect the present are trauma, grief, being bullied, moving from one country to another or other big life events.
Although this often feels uncomfortable, overwhelming and surprising. It seems that this is how life works. When life becomes more stable- there’s an opportunity to grow, heal and find a new place of wellbeing, confidence or wholeness.
“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”