At times, the word makes me cringe. My internal world is a ever shifting climate and terrain. It is almost as predictable as nearly every natural disaster. Usually, there is hardly enough time to batten down the hatches and latch on for dear life.
Naturally, I am drawn to stability found in my external world to ensure I have some sort of anchor. A family. A home to call my own. A moderately predictable schedule, and an income that provides enough to comfortably make ends meet. I would even like to have a stable job, when I find that I am capable of it.
Change naturally threatens those carefully calibrated dynamics. Often, in my person experience, change often adds additional problems that compounds onto existing problems. Simply viewed, change is bad.
But, why is change so bad? Is it just simply the fear of the unknown? Humans naturally fear situations that put them outside of their comfort zone. But, what if that familiarity isn’t exactly what we could consider as “comfortable”?
My mental health has brought many unique challenges to the inevitable processes of change that come with growth. In a manic, idealistic mindframe, I find that I am all about shaking things up. The risk of change is somehow nullified, and it becomes a great big adventure. In depression, change becomes threatening, as it breeds doubt that whips anxiety into a wild frenzy. And mixed, well, I find that I will try anything to rid myself of such distress, at any cost.
This is not to say my decisions are not calculated. Just, sometimes not accurately so. It becomes difficult to trust my judgement when I am painfully aware of my own skewed perceptions.
For me, my current transitons were elective, though I knew my risks. The prospect of being stuck up on a hill, surrounded by woods, in a town mostly foreign to me were pretty frightening. Once again, I’m residing on family property, and ran the huge risk of incurring debt with in-laws I’m largely unfamiliar with on a personal level. In my family, once you became indebted to another family member, that act of generosity will be held over your head for an eternity.
I worried endlessly about all of the semantics of it and how my family would adjust. I am notoriously a bad traveller. I am usually paranoid about sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings, which leads to vicious insomnia, and inevitably sparks a manic episode. My husband is much the same. And I am aware of the disaster that can accompany such a huge life change in the life of a child with special needs.
My son was thrilled. My husband relaxed. And it hardly took any time at all for this place to be my home. Much of that, I can really attribute to the enthusiasm of my inlaws, and the removal from a highly toxic environment.
So, I’ve learned a very valuable lesson. Change is a part of growth, as all creatures do throughout their entire lives. Sometimes, we experience growing pains, and other times, we reap the benefits from our brave steps forward. Change is just that, change. Not good, not bad. Different in many ways, for better and worse.
How do you handle change? Is change an adventure, as my bright eyed, positive son sees it? Is it threatening, as I have seen it? Or is it just an inevitable part of our lives?