I have been feeling so much better lately. I think some of it has to do with having some nice weather around here for a change, but it is also a few other things. My son has passed his one year mark on his mission, so we now only have 11 months to go before he returns home and I find that very exciting! I have started a new business with my daughter that is very exciting (check out my website renaemcbarron.myitworks.com) and the products are helping me. I've signed up to go to convention for my Close to my Heart business with one of my downline which I am excited about doing. There just seems to be a lot of good going on.
I also feel a change in the air, like so much of the depression is gone and that I can start functioning like I used to, doing so much more every day than I have been able to for about the last four years and I find that very exciting. I do listen to what my body can handle and take recovery time as needed, but I am excited to do more with my life. One of the books that my therapist gave me to read was Transitions by William Bridges and some of the notes I took are seeming to really apply right now in my life. The author suggests that there are three stages when we are going through a transition, they are as follows:
Stage One - Endings, every transition begins with one . . . how we recognize endings is key to how we can being anew.
Stage Two - Neutral Zone. A seemingly unproductive time-out when we feel disconnected from people and things in the past and emotionally unconnected to the present. Yet the Neutral Zone is really a time of re-orientation.
Stage Three - New Beginning. We come to beginnings only at the end, when we launch new activities. To make a successful new beginning requires more than persevering. It requires an understanding of external signs that point the way to the future.
I really felt like my Stage One was when I first started therapy, it was the ending of living a co-dependent life. It was definitely one of the hardest things I have gone through, realizing the type of life I was living and seeing how disconnected I was with myself, but it had to be done in order for me to move forward. I have to say that I feel like I lived in Stage Two pretty much the last four plus years. So many times I felt like I couldn't move forward, that I was stuck. But now, I feel the new beginning of Stage Three, I can't really describe it, I just feel different. I feel like I can accomplish things I haven't been able to when I was in Stages One and Two. I feel able to help others where I wasn't hardly able to even help myself for awhile. It is very encouraging and exciting to feel myself moving forward again. Living in Stage Two was really hard for me, but the following suggestion from the book gave me some direction and also helped me to realize that it is okay to be "neutral" for awhile:
Practical suggestions to find meaning while in the Neutral Zone: accept your need for this time in the Neutral Zone, find a regular time and place to be alone, begin a log of Neutral Zone experiences, take this pause in the action of your life to write an autobiography, take this opportunity to discover what you really want, think of what would be unlived on your life if it ended today, take a few days to go on your own version of a passage journey.
For most of that Neutral Zone of Stage Two, I felt guilty that I wasn't doing very much at the time. I felt like I should be doing more, but I had to realize that I had done so much that I had completely emptied myself both physically and emotionally. I truly did not understand the importance of taking recovery time to heal physically and to heal mentally. I wonder now if I spent so many years in the Stage Two phase because I had spent many, many years without taking any recovery time at all. In Transitions the author had the following guidance to give:
Two questions you should always ask yourself when ever you are in transition:
1 - What is it time to let go of in my life:
2 - What is standing backstage, in the wings of my life, wait to make its entrance.
As I look back now, my answers would be that it was time to let go of co-dependency and what was waiting was a whole new life that I can live interdependently which is an much richer way to live. Transitions can be very difficult, but what is waiting on the other side, so worth it!