The boys were digging clams this weekend with John and his dad, we’d reached our limit and were plodding through wet sand on the way back to the car. John picked a route he’d hoped was less gluey and quicksand-y than the one we’d taken out to the bay, but I could hear him up ahead yelling “Aghh! It’s worse! It’s worse!” and then both my boots were suddenly frozen in place. I couldn’t go forwards, I couldn’t go backwards, I had to stand there pinwheeling my arms for balance until I finally reached down and yanked one leg up with a rude SLOOOOOORP! sound and that’s how I made my way back, via a slow nervous-giggling process of extracting one foot at a time from that fiercely sucking mud, while the kids, who were standing easily on the surface thanks to their lighter bodyweight, laughed themselves silly over the crippled adults.

It was funny, being mired like that. A shared experience: messy, temporary. Nothing at all like the feeling of being mentally stuck, which is tidy, boring, filled with stifling inertia and isolation. A dried-out rut instead of a bog.

Just reach down and pull yourself out, I think, but it just seems so hard. It’s so much easier to curl up, hide from the world, wait for things to change.


4 Responses to “Nothing changes if nothing changes”

  1. elizabeth_k on April 10th, 2017 11:05 am

    But this physical part is so REAL where the mental is so — inside your mind, and thus, to me, infinitely harder. But also very much worth doing. And, occasionally, with less being laughed at by lightweight kids …

  2. jj on April 11th, 2017 9:45 am

    Being mentally stuck is the toughest thing to work your way out of IMO – way harder than physical. I’m 11 days into my first shot at #whole30, and it’s doing WONDERS for my mental state. I’m hoping to reset my food & alcohol feelings with this program. So far so good…

  3. ML on April 11th, 2017 4:29 pm

    I so know this feeling you’re describing. It’s how I’ve felt for for almost 33 years. I’m in school full time and just watched a video this morning about what happens in our brain with addiction. I’ve heard the basic concepts a dozen times but something about this one made something new click for me. It made me think of your courage too. Hang in there.

  4. Donna Brubach on April 13th, 2017 9:05 pm

    You described it perfectly.

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