As a mental health professional with 40 years in the field, I have literally had tens of thousands of hours with individuals, families, and groups who have internal emotional pain. They are seeking for the roar of that pain be lessened, soothed and to experience healing. The journey often seems so long and for many it is.
While I work with men, couples and families, Busara is a therapeutic home focused on the healing of emotional pain of women. I identify with pain as you do, my kind-hearted reader. We all have our pain- it's inescapable.
How we deal with it- ever heard of drugs, alcohol, too much sugar, too much risk, partners that weren't good for us, cutting, burning, promises to change, too much work? Those are a start. Add in wrecked relationships of all kinds, job losses, never made it through school, etc. The list grows like fertilized bamboo.
The pain seeps out and begs to be soothed in some way. What we use depends on us and what we are hearing ourselves tell ourselves about what we deserve. Not much, that we deserve that is, or maybe we deserve more than we have the energy or belief for. It doesn't really seem to matter.
Then something changes We take a risk on ourselves. Go to treatment, counseling, meetings, sponsors. We start to believe we can. Make a change. Have a future. Live a life.
And it goes well until a trigger shows up or maybe 5, or maybe 10, and then we say “I'm done”. It's too hard. And it is hard. VERY hard. So we go back to what we know soothes us even if it hurts us. And it does.
But a decision comes. To try again. And again. And again. Many of the women that are residents at Busara have had 3-5 experiences with residential treatment. They are incredibly brave. They try every day, sometimes every hour. Sometimes, it's minute by minute.
That's what I admire about women with mental illness. They have the courage of a warrior or shall I say, warrior-ess. They assess the battlefield and remember what happened before. Take a deep breath and try AGAIN.
Their courage seems impossible. Who has that strength? Where does it come from? How is it possible? But somehow in spite of the reminder of failures (it's always plural), there is a determination to say to themselves, I will try, AGAIN. To create the life I would like to have. To be the person I think I can be.
By: Gail A. Chester
Psychologist, PhD, LPCS, LMFT., Author