This last week my life unexpectedly took a turn and I felt like my life was out of my control. My daughter was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball that we may not have been counting on. Maybe there is a sudden shift in your job situation, you have a falling out with a friend who has been a great support for you, or maybe you get an unexpected phone call that catches you totally off guard.
In this instance, I had my 16 year old who could not communicate with me so that I could truly understand. I’ve had pneumonia so I know the pain, and I still had a hard time truly grasping the magnitude of the situation. This brings me to wonder how can a person really gain a sense of control when something unforeseen happens. Thankfully my daughter is now home and feeling so much better! So, when in a situation that feels unmanageable or you feel helpless, here are some ways I came up with to gain some control within myself.
How To Gain Control
First, I reminded myself that even though it seems I don’t have control, I did have full control of myself and how I handled the situation. To help me with this, I took a few good deep breaths (like I’m always telling my kids and clients to do), and I brought myself back to the present moment. I couldn’t predict the future, so it was no use ruminating over what was going to happen. In this moment I knew I could help my daughter express to the doctor what she was experiencing, and the medical treatment she received thus far, and be a calm presence and support for her.
Stick to the Facts
Secondly, by being able to stick to the facts, I could focus on the here and now. I was also able to provide the emotional support my daughter needed. When you can take the emotional piece out of the difficult situation and focus on what is actually happening, it helps to decrease your anxiety. Often times it is our emotions that overtake us and cause anxiety. So, if you could remember to stick to the facts, you’ll be in a better emotional space to provide the support to the person you are with.
Lastly, I was able to reach out for support. The important thing here is not to wait until you are in a crisis or emergency situation to make sure you have a good support network. Utilize your friends and family, and let them know they are part of your support network if you need to. It is often in times of crisis that we reach out to those we would like to get support from, but haven’t communicated this to that person or group of people. Sometimes people think “well I’m weak if I need support.” Quite the opposite! Having a good support network at all times helps provide you with a feeling of comfort, reassurance, and allows you to reciprocate and provide support to others as well.
If you are feeling that you are in need of support or are interested in seeking therapy, please feel free to contact me. I’d love to help you grow your support network and begin on your journey to live an authentic life!