You are not broken, you are in the process of a breakthrough.
“That’s it, I’m broken!” A former student said this to me last week.
This person has survived more adversity and pain than the average student. I had been clued in to some of the details throughout the last few months, and checked in as I hadn’t seen them in awhile.
Turns out, the struggle continued, but this student continued to do their work, handle their business, and always presented with poise. Incredibly professional, this student kept it together (listing off the million of tasks and responsibilities still left to be addressed) until their cell phone smashed on the ground.
This wasn’t the average screen crack. This was the “fade to black” kind of smashed.
That’s what it took for them to speak the words that they had been keeping inside “I’m broken!”
After a few minutes of de-escalating the phone crisis (with a gentle reminder that this is why phone insurance and back-ups exist) I prompted the student to tell me why they feel “they” are broken. After all, phones are replaceable.
The response brought tears to my eyes.
“The only memories I have are painful. My day to day is filled with dealing with someone else’s pain. I go to bed in pain and wake up fearing what will get worse tomorrow.”
This is the point where Counselor-Mallory starts to organize the strategies and feedback to offer when it would be appropriate.
But then they looked up at me and said “but I remember when you said that often when one is experiencing pain and breakdowns, they are nearing a breakthrough. So to keep going, I keep waiting for my breakthrough.”
I wasn’t sure what to say (yes, me.)
So I smiled, and said— “get the phone fixed, and prepare for your breakthrough. It is coming.”
So, friends, change often follows a period of chaos. Pain will happen, so will grief. Yet we get to feel the relief and the joy that accompanies moving through difficult times.
So I hope that you welcome in your next breakthrough. If you want some support bringing it to light, or even understanding what you want it to be—-reach out to me. I’d love to help.