Whack-a-Mole
man playing Whack-a-mole

Whack-a-Mole

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Sometimes you’re the mallet, sometimes you’re the mole.

Last week I was the mallet. I felt great. I was sleeping well. My depression wasn’t symptomatic. For the first time in almost a year I had absolutely no trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I was kicking butt and taking names. Especially in the areas of mental health and spiritual victories.

Last night I was definitely the mole. So many emotions got stirred and came to the surface. I spent a lot of time crying, then trying to sleep, then finally sleeping for a bit. Thank God for a sweet hubby that left the hotel at 6 am to find me Advil and a cold cucumber for my poor puffy eyes. I am still feeling a bit mole-y today but I’m working hard to take back the mallet.

Do you ever feel that way? Kind of like — I want to live in the moment but I don’t want to get whacked. But living in the moment means I’m not in control of my surroundings. Being in control leaves no room to experience what God has planned for me. But giving up control means I’m the mole and I’m probably going to get whacked. I wish there was something in between. I would be ok being the mole if I knew I wasn’t going to get whacked really hard. Or if I had a chance to peek out of my hole and look around before the mallet came down.

One of my favourite strategies is to just keep my head down.

You can’t get whacked if you don’t pop up, right? It’s not the worst strategy. There are times when we legitimately need to rest. After a major life event like a new baby or a job change or a move. After a busy period of life. After grief. After trauma. Recovering from health issues. Recovering from mental health issues. Rest is very important to regain health, strength, equilibrium.

Oh how tempting it is to stay there. Cozy and comfy with no real responsibilities to anyone or anything. It’s important to take the time you need. It’s equally important to know when to get back in the game.

Sometimes I need to give myself a couple mental health days to regain my equilibrium and I can reengage with life when it’s time to get busy again. Other times equilibrium is hard to achieve. I need a little longer to recover. It becomes difficult to find the motivation to reengage. It is so much easier to stay unplugged and just coast along until I feel ready. That’s when I can get into trouble. I might not feel ready for weeks. Or months. My depression symptoms take over and it’s really hard to find a reason to pop my head out of the hole.

For what it’s worth, here’s my strategy.

There are a lot of holes waiting for me to pop my head up. I give some thought to which one I try first. Do I have a work deadline to meet? I press pause on a few other things and get that project done first.

Now that I have popped up and avoided the mallet, I feel ready to try another hole. Maybe it’s popping up to connect with my family. Maybe it’s popping up to see my therapist. Maybe it’s popping up to talk to a good friend. Maybe it’s popping up to volunteer. I love volunteering. It feeds my heart. It helps me get outside my head long enough to identify someone else’s need and make an impact in my community. Before long I find the courage to grab the mallet and do some whacking of my own.

Are you the mole today? Rest up. You’ll be ok. Ready to pop up and need a friend to talk to? Here I am. Are you grabbing the mallet and feeling ready to go? Wahoo!! Get whacking baby!!

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