The final scene of any Hollywood post-apocalyptic blockbuster sees a bleary-eyed “last few” emerging from the deep mountain cavern – wondering what awaits them. As I write, we too are emerging from our own respective caverns – wondering if we are through the worst of it, or whether this is just a temporary respite from lockdown and the pandemic. And rather like our on screen heroes and heroines: we too dare to make plans again, to re-build or reinstate what was lost and plan what is next – even if that is the re-booking of that holiday on the “green country” list!
A truism is that this has been a period of profound change – but what I’ve seen in my therapy work is: no two people have been affected in the same way. I’ve seen some of my teenage clients fare psychologically better than some senior executives I work with; you’d expect the former not to necessarily have had the life experience to “reason out” their situation – and yet some have. For others, more used to being the master of their destiny, not being in control or having change foisted upon them can be difficult to cope with; perhaps the different work pattern has lessened their presence at work – and struck at their very identity – their job title defining their very reason to be; in my experience this phenomenon is often more pronounced in the mid-career professional, but life-altering results can be achieved for those willing to “go there”; sometimes a different career beckons.
Change can be very scary especially when you don’t see it coming. Often, it is my job to “nudge” the client into seeing the situation from a different perspective: “road blocks” can then become alternative paths. It is human nature to occasionally want to plough through the obstacle and “conquer” – but sometimes it is simply not for the conquering, the bend or block in the road is there to force a re-think of the entire journey that can lead to a more meaningful life experience.
My big takeaway from this experience has been how fragile life is and how quickly things can change. Not being able to see and hug friends has been tough; we are social creatures and not being able to give and receive a hug has been especially challenging…thank goodness that the new government guidelines make this now possible. By the time you’ve read this I will have hugged at least 100 people! Seriously.
Jodechi Tiggs Morton, Psychotherapist and Cognitive Behavioural Coach