Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pressure Cookers, Roller Coasters, and Bathtubs (Part 1 of 4)

Bear with me here...

A pressure cooker is a really neat kitchen tool that I have never fully understood. All I really know about it is that it has this neat top that will allow pressure inside the pot to be released so the whole thing doesn't blow up. It's one of the many analogies I use when talking about mental, emotional, or physical health. People can find themselves "out of balance" at times. If this is an acute type thing, it doesn't (usually) take long to equalize out. But if it's due to some chronic type thing, even if we"vent a little", or do a little PT, and feel better, we haven't really solved the true issue. It's like letting a little steam off doesn't truly equalize the pressure, it just keeps the pot from exploding.

Another analogy I like to use when discussing chronic type issues is one of a really dirty bathtub. We bought a house one time that had a FILTHY bathtub. It was super old and very porous. (Read: the dirt was DEEP.) We couldn't afford to do anything except clean it so I bought all kinds of cleaners and brushes and set about scrubbing to get this thing white again. After HOURS working on this thing, feeling like my back was broken and my fingers were raw, it looked so much better. ...but it was NOT quite where I wanted it. But I was just done. I knew it was going to take consistent cleanings and serious work to get this thing white. I soaked it in bleach. I tried baking soda and vinegar. I'd like to say I found the magic cure, but I never did. I finally gave up and decided maybe it had never actually BEEN a white tub. I knew it was "clean enough" because I had practically sterilized the thing.

When dealing with a chronic issue, whether it's emotional/mental or physical, you have to be committed for the long haul. That condition didn't get there overnight; it's not going to be solved overnight either (and may not ever be truly "solved". Maybe you will decide "almost" is good enough, or maybe you will be working on this thing for a lifetime because you never reach the point of negative returns. You might not be in the "most productive" phase but even with diminishing returns, if there is some forward movement, it might be worth the work.

The analogy of a roller coaster is RICH. There are so many aspects that can be compared to "real life". The feelings that come with watching someone else experience a roller coaster, fear, anticipation, being in the line, strapping in, how you ride (hanging on for dear life or hands in the air), where you ride (front or back), the feeling of the clickty-clack, clickty-clack as you go up, the feeling of weightlessness as the cart goes down but your body keeps going up, being upside down, sudden directional changes, and coming to a full stop at the end. Oh the comparisons that can be made are ENDLESS I tell you!

I'm going somewhere with each of these. Keep coming back if you want to join me on this journey!

Are you in the front with your hands up and a smile on your face, or in the back waiting for the tail to whip??


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