How many of you have seen the movie “Get out?” If you saw the movie then you should be familiar with the term “the sunken place.” What does the word sunken mean? It can mean having sunk or been submerged in water. It can also mean at a lower level than the surrounding area. So why am I writing about the “sunken place?” Well, I thought it was important that I be transparent with you. Remember, I told you that if I don’t have some real content to write about, I’m not going to write it. So here it goes.
About a month ago I found myself being in the sunken place. And what I mean by that is I was drowning. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was overwhelmed with things happening in my personal and professional life, and on top of that I was approaching my 40 something birthday. Normally, I don’t trip on my birthday but this time it was different. Honestly, I hadn’t had one of these mental breaks in a VERY LONG time so I guess it was overdue. I found myself in a position that I didn’t know how to navigate through on my own. Additionally, my faith was wavering and I was at a crossroads. I realized I was moving so fast, traveling, spending time with family and friends, working out, work etc… that I really didn’t have time to stop and just breathe. And then it happened. One day a small event that I was a part of triggered what was going on inside of me. I found myself having a hard time breathing and all I could do was cry. And I just couldn’t stop. Once I pulled myself together, I realized that I needed help. I immediately called my mother and I said, “Mom, I’m about to lose it!” And she said, “What’s going on Kim?” and then I went into detail on how I was feeling about getting older, my job, my faith, my personal relationships and where I was in life compared to where I wanted to be. I am so grateful that I had the strength to pick up the phone and call my mom and talk to her candidly about how I was feeling. You may think what’s so hard about picking up the phone to call your mother, your BF, your father, a sibling, your significant other etc.? Well, there are a lot of people who have found themselves in the sunken place and are afraid to pick up the phone to talk because it will make them vulnerable.
As women, we don’t want to admit when we are afraid, overwhelmed, angry, hurt, lonely or insecure. We handle pressure by going into “survival mode”, we tell ourselves and others we are okay or fine when we just simply aren’t. This means we have to do a better job about being honest with ourselves and honest with our loved ones when they ask, “How are you doing?” Now, while being in the sunken place or pressure can feel like a bad thing, at times it’s what we need to give us a bit of a refresh, a re-boot a cleansing per se.
Pressure is not always a bad thing. In fact, it can be looked at as a gift, kind of like feedback. You know what they say, “feedback is a gift.” Pressure can help us grow into the kind of people we are meant to be. Pressure can make us stronger, more mature and give us the jolt that we need to ultimately reach our goals.
I found that not only talking to my mom was very helpful, I also used this time to talk to God. I used this moment in time to lean on him for support, comfort and understanding. I mean I felt like I was emotionally cracking up for a minute there. So, I took the time to go into my prayer closet to have a one-on-one conversation with God. I was able to be open and candid with him about my truth and how I felt. Once I did that, I felt the pressure lifted off of my spirit. The circumstances didn’t necessarily change in that instant, but the pressure was lifted and I felt better equipped to navigate through my issues.
Often times, when we feel like we are in the sunken place, we forget to stop and pray or even read scriptures in the Bible. We forget about God. We forget that God is consistent. He is a friend who can help and give us the power to handle the stress in our lives and give us that inner peace.
During my time in my sunken place, I decided to just disconnect for 72 hours. And the only people I spoke to was my mom and God. I was SILENT. I just focused on myself. By taking a step back to just focus back on myself and disconnecting was very therapeutic for me. By the time Monday came around, I felt renewed and in a very different head space.
When you find yourself in the sunken place, you have to consider having leisure time. Leisure time needs to be considered as a necessity, not just a reward for doing more. Personal time for rejuvenation is key to navigating out of the sunken place. Yes, I know you have a lot going on, but you have to plan leisure time for YOU! It is critical for peace of mind. Also, you can’t be all things to all people all the time. Don’t be reluctant to ask for help. Delegate if necessary. And of course learn to say no!