There are lots of words in the English language that stand out, are more powerful than most, or strike a strong reaction inside of us. “Change”
is one of the biggest.If it weren’t for change you probably wouldn’t be reading this column because change, in this case a relationship breakup, pointed you in the direction of Rebuilding at Bethel.
I am sorry that you have to go through this but I am glad you decided to explore what our program is all about. Change is about many things in this case and here are
some things about change that you may find helpful.First of all change is a battle between what the intellectual
side of us tells us versus what the feeling
side, or our “gut” tells us. They are often at odds which causes discomfort, anger, depression, frustration, confusion, and a host of other feelings. A common example might be a breakup in which a partner has had an affair and you find out about it through a friend. In dealing with it you experience a lot of hurt and most likely angry feelings; often feelings of devastation and betrayal. Nevertheless your feelings tell you that despite this “I still love her/him.” Your intellectual side tells you this isn’t appropriate, “look at what this person did to me”, the act and lying about it are unacceptable.
In group, others may have experienced the same or similar experience and encourage you to move on after all “we did.” Often the victim may say “I want to,” or “I should, but I can’t.” What is happening here is that change is beginning to happen whether the individual is aware of it or not.
Change is a process. Whether it was chosen or it was thrust upon us it has brought within us another powerful word – pain. The next question may likely be “when will it go away?” Pain is similar to anger. We don’t like it, we don’t want it, but it tells us where we are and is an indicator of how far we have progressed in the process of “movin’ on.” Pain is inevitable in a breakup no matter who initiates it. Change occurs and pain diminishes when we learn to take charge of it. When the intellectual part of us takes charge and it becomes stronger, things begin to make sense, then the feelings which bring up the rear follow.
More often than not I can tell when a person is progressing by listening to them talk-often knowing they are changing before they do. Through the group process of Genesis, the educational process in the Rebuilding class, and the aftercare process found in Movin’ On or counseling, change can become exciting because it involves the most important, interesting, and fascinating person in your life –you! Working hard to climb the mountain becomes a reality. If your not there yet stick with it, it’s worth it. You are worth it.
Submitted by John Neupert
If you happened to see my November John’s Corner you know that if you’re a sports fan at all one of the ways to keep your mind off the pain of losing your relationship is to join the Badger/Packer Bandwagon as it looked like it was rolling along. Little did I know it would move up to warp speed with the Badger VB team and the BB team both ranked #2 in the nation,
the Women’s Hockey team # 3, and the Packers looking like a Super Bowl possibility. The Golden Year? Maybe!
Coming upon us is the Holidays; Xmas and New Year’s. These are usually the toughest. So many memories. What to do about presents, should I send a Xmas card to my ex-in-laws? What do I do with the free time I have off? I’m supposed to be happy on the Holidays but I’m not. I hate arguing about who will have the kids and what days. It can be a real tough time instead of a “Happy Holiday.”
There isn’t any single answer to this but you can fight back. The first thing is get out of bed! Staying in bed can lead to depression and a sense of “giving up.” After your up engage in some physical activity whether it be some basic exercises or yoga in the living room, a walk, or heading to the fitness center. Watch your alcohol intake. Alcohol is a depressant and it may raise your spirits for a while, then reverse itself when you wake up in the morning; you will pay for your abuse. One of the most important is to keep in touch. Call your friends. If you are in Genesis use the Contact List. Don’t be afraid to call someone and ask them to meet you for coffee or some event. And finally, plan ahead. Fill your day as much as possible with things to do. Avoid laying around the house or apartment feeling sorry for yourself. Use your imagination to its fullest. Don’t let the Holidays defeat you.
One more thing. On Tuesday December 23 and Tuesday December 30 the Genesis Support Group will be open to anyone who wants to come regardless of which of our groups you are currently attending. So hang your head high even if it doesn’t feel good up there. It will, give it time. An old AA saying comes to mind here, “fake it till you make it.”
by John Neupert, LCSW
Recently I had a very sad moment when I got in touch with a close friend who lives out of state. When I called I said to her, “considering what has been going on how are you doing?” I should have known better as she replied ‘‘I am not doing so well.” This opened the door to a very painful conversation. She was going through a painful divorce, which included an affair and loss of job among other things. She had kept some early childhood abuse and her troubled 25 year marriage to herself until it exploded.
I always feel bad when I lead the Genesis group and I see people in pain. It was even more so when I talked with my friend, but I am glad I did. Pain and break-ups go hand in hand; sometimes for a long time.
My favorite self help book of all time is M. Scott Peck’s book “The Road Less Traveled.” His first sentence in the book starts out, “Life is difficult.” This is a great truth; one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we know that life is difficult—once we truly understand and accept it—then life is no longer difficult.”
His first chapter is “Problems and Pain.” Those of you that have gone through Genesis have often heard me say that the pain we suffer from our loss begins to dissipate when
we take charge of it and say no mas. It begins to wane when we start to talk to it and recognize it can’t hurt us anymore if we don’t let it.
Relationship breakups bring out unfinished business in our lives. I can’t help but think of what might have happened had my friend told someone about her early life abuse or about the sad journey her marriage was taking and then had gotten some help. We have at our command a multitude of means to fight pain. Use them if pain is still hanging around.