Long Walk Out – March 24, 2016
Sometimes, with the purest of hearts and the loftiest of intentions, we can do things that turn out to be the least helpful. It is not because we mean to make things more difficult for someone, in fact, the opposite is true, we mean to make things easier for them. The rub is that in some situations making things easier, takes away one of the main things that motivates them to do what they need to do. As humans, we don’t tend to make changes because we are comfortable, we tend to make changes because we are uncomfortable, and when someone makes us as comfortable as they can, they allow us to stay where we are.
I wrote Long Walk Out because of my experience, and the experience of others, who were suffering from various mental health issues. In my instance, Agoraphobia that once kept me completely housebound. At the time, I didn’t understand these issues, help was help. In later years, I realized that some help was much more helpful. I began to understand about co-dependence and all the dynamics of different relationships. I was also blessed to have the love of the best friend I could ever have, Lori, my wife. Lori, with no formal education on the subject, intuitively knew exactly the best approach for me. She found ways to push and motivate me but always leaving me an escape hatch. She allowed herself to be disappointed by broken plans but never took that disappointment out on me. It was a perfect balance of motivation and the absence of stress.
I certainly don’t have any formal training in counseling or Psychiatry but I know what worked for me. I hope through the simple illustration in this short story, others can understand some of the pitfalls of both giving and getting help from those we care about.