Life is always changing. Sometimes that can feel good and exciting and it can feel overwhelming. You may feel like life is moving too fast and you don't have enough time to get caught up. You may feel unsettled, uncertain, or stressed by things being different. Maybe you want all the change to stop - you liked the way things were and you're resistant to having to adapt to something new. Maybe you like the changes that are happening and are frustrated or confused that you're struggling with it. You feel like you should be happier and handle things better than you are.
Some of these life transitions include:
- Going to a new school or starting college: You are now in an unfamiliar environment, with new social dynamics and academic demands. How will you fit in? Will you succeed?
- Finding a new job or changing careers: What do you actually want to be when you grow up? Will you be good at it? Is it too late? It can be exhausting and discouraging
- Losing a loved one: There’s all the grief and now every day is different because you can’t do life together with them anymore. Maybe the loss is ambiguous and you’re unsure how to move on.
- Becoming a parent: How do you adjust to a new human having total dependence on you? How do you adjust to a new relationship with your partner or a changing relationship to your body?
- Experiencing a break up or divorce: Untangling two lives that had once been so merged together can leave you uncertain about who you are and who you can turn to. Your community may be changing and you may have to balance your feelings with the needs of your children or other loved ones.
- Integrating a new identity: Maybe you were just diagnosed with ADHD or autism as an adult; maybe you're exploring your gender or sexual identity; maybe you're exploring your spirituality or faith through a deconstruction and reconstruction process
- Moving to a new area: You’re so alone and so lost (literally and existentially). This transition brings increased financial burden, disruption of your every-day routines, and physical and emotional exhaustion
- New diagnosis or health issues: Your schedule is full with new appointments; Your head swimming with new words for procedures, treatment modalities, and medications; Your body experiencing new sensations and symptoms; Your mind filled with worry, grief, anger, or despair
- Retirement and Aging: Who are you without the career you’ve had for 40 years? How do you adjust to a body that doesn’t match how young you feel inside? Will you ever get used to the goodbyes?
This is only a sampling of the types of transitions you may be experiencing in your life. Change may be the only constant, but the toll of managing change can be reactivated anew each and every time.