What To Do When You've Been Shot in the Gut?

I went to a therapist when things were really bad.

I can’t function, I told her.

I can’t read, or write, or phone people. I can’t fake being human anymore.

She said, ok. Ok, You are saying a lot here.

She said, Ok. I understand. But you have to listen to me.

She said, Your brain is trying to tell you that you need to shut down to handle the grief and the anger and the pain.

She said, But if you power through and do the things you need to do: family, kids, writing, work, speaking, whatever you need to do, then you will TEACH your brain that you can’t be outwitted.

Your brain will actually become stronger if you power through.

I said, But what if I’m not at 100% functional. What if I’m only 50%. What if I let people down?

She said, I see many professional athletes.

She said, When an athlete injures his knee, and then recovers and is able to play again, do you think he is at 100%? Do you think he can beat everyone he was able to beat?

She said, No. Of course he isn’t. But he has to go out on the field. He has to play at 50% again so he can get to 70% so he can get to 100% so he can get to 150%.

That’s how professional athletes deal with pain and stress to their system. That separates the players who fail from the players who become the best in the world.

I don’t want to fake it, I said.

Trust me, you aren’t faking it. This is how you make it.

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