The Recovering Farmer

Friday, May 22, 2020

Hitting the Wall

Shortly after I wrote my thoughts on blame a few weeks ago, I read an article in the Winnipeg Free Press entitled Manitobans are hitting the pandemic 'wall' by Bob Cox.

In the article he compares our Covid 19 fight with running a marathon. In simple terms he refers to marathon runners “hitting a wall” at just over the half way point of the race. It is then that fatigue overtakes effort and negative thoughts begin. Simply continuing takes a monumental effort.

His thought, and I completely concur, is that most of us are feeling overwhelmed with our race against Covid and want to change the way we have been forced to live for the last 2 months. I see it in my grandkids, in my kids and definitely in myself. Lack of normalcy, very little socialization and being cooped up at home is taking its toll.

The writer then refers to research on the dilemma we find ourselves in. That research mentions two key elements for survival. Humour, which is always good even if it becomes morbid at times, and blaming. Apparently it is healthy if we find scapegoats and vent by blaming others for our predicament.

It is tough for me to agree with that in spite of it being “researched”. To blame means we think someone else is wrong and the only means to fix that wrong is up to the other person. With the situation we are in me thinks we may have to wait a long time for someone else to fix what is wrong so that we can be happier.

Often times I will click on an article just to read reader’s comments. With political articles the comments can be anywhere from vile to funny. With this particular article I found that most commenters disagreed with “blaming” being a healthy way to vent.

I get that we should be honest about our feelings and yes, there are times when that honesty made lead us to vent and blame others for our state of mind. But I feel there are better ways to deal proactively with negative thoughts and emotions.

In the last article I posted, I wrote that we need to connect with others but also connect with ourselves. Although the comment about connecting with ourselves gave me pause I did not expand on that. Then a reader responded by suggesting that self-connection is be an important tool. Here are her words; “I like what you said about connecting with yourself. Often we are "off" and don't know it or we make ourselves busy to distract from it”.

We never outgrow our need for real human connection. I think that has become crystal clear over the last few months as our connection with others has been limited. Being seen and heard particularly when we are in distress greatly reduces our anxieties. When others are aware of our feelings, are non-judgemental and want to help us, we feel better.

But just as important is connecting with ourselves just as we would connect with others who are struggling. We have a tendency to judge ourselves, wonder whether we are making right choices, and often blame ourselves when we feel down. By becoming more mindful, being self-aware and understanding we can develop a self-connection that will keep us from hitting the wall and finishing the race. Make it a good one.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

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