I’ve been told I have it in spades, but when pressed I’ve been unable to explain how I continue to bounce back, time after time. Though I’ve lacked the words to express it, I’ve long known the only way I keep functioning is to deal with the shit.
I’ve heard the expression that if you stuff your feelings it will be like trying to hold a beach ball under water. It simply won’t work and the deeper down you push the more force builds up and the more explosive the emergence will be.
But what is the alternative?
For me it’s the deep dive.
I’m not sure I even realized it until a friend used the phrase. The aha moment was monumental, a single phrase to sum up my whole life’s coping mechanism.
Whenever anything happens, I do a deep dive, then swim to the surface. And it works, every time.
What is a deep dive? Well, it comes naturally to me. When life events transpire, I cocoon myself into my mind, and think and feel and analyze, intensely. It’s almost too much to bear, the pressure, the lack of oxygen, the complete immersion in the moment, but it doesn’t last. It can’t last, I wouldn’t survive for long under those conditions.
When I cannot bear it anymore I look up and swim to the surface.
Once to the surface I gasp for breath, orient myself to the surroundings, and pick up where I left off.
For me it works. Reliably.
If I try to skip the deep dive, I tread water until I’m depleted, going nowhere, the deep dive is the critical first step in coping with anything. Everything.
It works for me. It’s essential for me.