Pine Rest Blog

Upside Down and Inside Out


by Kristin Kuiper, LMSW, MSW

Have you ever experienced a problem that has you end up feeling trapped, like there is no way out? Do you end up stewing, thinking about, and focusing on this struggle from day to day, leaving you feeling even more discouraged? Maybe you feel trapped in your job, experience frustration and misunderstanding in a relationship, or are upset at yourself for gaining some pounds over the past couple of years. Perhaps it’s just that the summer and change in routine has you spinning. Do you feel disorganized, depressed, overwhelmed?


I know how easy it is to focus on these concerns, to experience thoughts and feelings that consistently come back to the struggle you are experiencing. The focus is on the problem…day after day…this in itself can be overwhelming and discouraging.


It can be difficult to experience joy in the midst of these struggles. It can be really tough to know how to begin the process of change…


One place to begin is by turning some of your challenges upside down. What this means is that when you are focusing on your struggle, truly thinking about it and feeling it, turn some of your challenges into questions. For example—if you are feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself “What would it look like for me to not feel overwhelmed? What would be the first thing that would be different if I weren’t feeling overwhelmed? How can I make this happen?”


If you are feeling out of control of your summer with your children at home, ask yourself “What would it look like for me to feel in control? What would be different? How would I know that this change is happening?”


Turning our struggles upside down like this can get us on the road toward solutions—solutions that help us grow through our challenges, even in the midst of them.


Posted by at 1:26 PM


I feel completely overwhelmed with trying to manage rebuilding my marriage after years of my own drug abuse and hiding my sins due to a fear of being found out for who I really was. I am a father of five children under 10 and I have only seen my 6month old son. I am recently graduated from a drug rehabilitation center and came home to rebuild my marriage and have since abused drugs once again since my return. I feel that my marriage has no hope. I hope anyone reading can understand the gravity of that statement. Hope is an awful thing to lose. It has driven me at times to the brink of insanity/anxiety attacks/rage/pain and anguish, fear, resentment, bitterness, loneliness and grief. I have since said hateful things, sinned repeatedly, made my wife fear me, made my children unreachable and my immediate family concerned for my well being. I hope Pine Rest would have a program that suits my need. I know one thing. I can't get better without my wife present with me every step of the way. If she weren't there, I wouldn't be able to even concentrate on the treatment being delivered that could be entirely effective and efficient. I am so scared. I am beside myself with fear, unrest and anger.
Posted by EJ McCormick at 1:00 PM on 8/10/2010
Your struggles sound difficult and intense.It seems like you have taken several positive steps forward in your desire to get well. I encourage you to call Pine Rest's Contact Center (800-678-5500). You'll be able to speak with a clinician who will listen to you and connect you to services that will most helpful for your situation. Take care, Kristin
Posted by Kristin Kuiper LMSW at 4:00 PM on 8/10/2010

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