There are no words to accurately depict how much of a mess 2020 has been. Covid and quarantines, social injustice after social injustice, natural disasters and personal ones too. It has all been so much to process and a lot of us are doing our best, but we're not really healing from all we have seen and felt. We are hiding and most of us don't know it. Now, I still don't have all all of the answers as to how we hide instead of healing, but what I've found is that: we try to be our own doctors, we use a metaphorical morphine, or we do absolutely nothing.
1. You try to be your own doctor, and things don't heal properly.
We like to think we know ourselves very well, and most of us do, but a lot of us ignore the inevitable fact that we don't know everything. So when we've been hurt, we do our best to put ourselves back together again in a Humpty Dumpty kind of way. It's like we try to be our own doctor.
If you're anything like me, when I get sick, I immediately either try to diagnose myself based off of experience or even worse, I Google it (which we all know will just result in you having cancer and dying in the next 5 business days). In some cases, I've been right before and it all worked out fine. But what happens when you misdiagnose yourself? It's hard to heal from something when you aren't certain what's hurting you.
I cannot stress this enough. Go to the doctor. If it's physical, go to a medical doctor. If it's mental/emotional, go see a therapist. If it's spiritual, go to the Master, God Himself and allow him to heal you. As a matter of fact, in all cases, go to God. Don't be a fool and ignore your mental, emotional and physical pain, but include God in all of your healing processes. After all, He made you, so He's the one who really knows what it is that you need.
2. You're using a metaphorical morphine.
In my freetime, I love to watch and rewatch Grey's Anatomy. So, that means I completed my internship and residency at Seattle Grace Hospital and now I'm continuing my fellowship at Grey Sloan Memorial. Short story shorter, I'm a medical doctor lol. Anywho, what I noticed on the show is that when a patient is in severe and I mean severe pain, the patient either asks or is given morphine to help with the pain. Help with the pain, not heal but to help. A doctor could pump you full of morphine to ease the pain, but once that morphine wears off, boom! Here comes the pain!
So in all transparency, I have/had anxiety (I didn't diagnose myself, I went to the doctor lol). In my anxious moments when I am having a panic attack, my confidants and friends would always recommend "just do something to keep yourself busy". While I knew they meant well, that's something that never really sat well with me. Sure, I can busy myself out and yes, it will help me not to think about it for the moment, but what happens when I'm not busy anymore? The pain sets back in and we're back to square one.
I said all of this to say that sometimes, the healing process is supposed to be painful and while morphine can ease the pain, at some point, you'll have to face that pain head on. Maybe keeping busy isn't your metaphorical morphine. Maybe it's alcohol, drugs or sex. It gives you a high for a moment, but once it's all over, the pain that you're hiding from sets right back in.
The worst part about using about using a metaphorical morphine is that, like with real morphine, you run the risk of becoming addicted if you use it too much. Now I know you're thinking, "Well if that helps with the pain, what's the problem with that??" The problem is, at some point, you'll heal from whatever it is you were hurting from, but you'll have become so accustomed to using morphine that you won't notice.
3. You do absolutely nothing.
When I'm in a funk or sick, I have this tendenacy to isolate and do absolutely nothing. I'm very black and white in that way. When I'm up, I am extremely busy and when I'm down, I do the polar opposite and do absolutely nothing. In most cases, I would do this until I get over whatever had me down and get right back to being busy.
In the moment, doing nothing feels okay. Not great, but okay. I always thought that this moment of doing nothing gave me an opportunity to reflect and pause, which is very true, but it did not heal me. I made no attempts to do anything actionable about the pain I was in. Like I'll have a migraine, sit in bed and won't take one of the 50 Goody powders in my First Aid kit. Crazy right?
Although it's crazy, a lot of us do this when it comes to our healing process. We just kind of go through the motions and hope whatever we feel will just pass. In some cases, this works but not in most, and here's why. If you've ever break a bone and not go to the doctor to have it placed in a sling or wrapped in a cast, what happens? The bone, slowly and painfully, eventually heals. Victory, right? No.
The problem with something healing improperly is that while the bone/injury/feeling has healed, it's now more fragile. It's more suceptible to being more easily fractured or broken again. I think a lot of us would really benefit from addressing the injury head on and taking the necesarry steps to heal, rather than doing anything at all.
It would be such a waste to not use this time we've been given to heal and stop hiding. I still don't fully understand the plan and all of what's happening in 2020 and honestly, I don't need to. Healing is not linear. It doesn't look the same for everyone. In all cases, pray. In more specific cases, you may need therapy or a medical doctor. Whatever the need may be, whatever it is, give yourself the opportunity to actually heal from that which has hurt you. No more hiding. Heal.