“We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. Oh no! We’ve got to go through it!” – Michael Rosen, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt.
Do you remember the children’s book called Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen? It shares the journey of siblings going through the wilderness to hunt a bear. They come across obstacles such as high grass, mud, water, and a cave. Each time they are faced with these obstacles they say the famous quote written above. I won’t spoil the ending for those of you who haven’t read it 😉
These siblings realize on their journey that often the only choice is to face what is in front of you, head first. However, the book doesn’t mention the biting bugs in the grass, how difficult it is to walk in the sticky mud, the uncomfortable feeling of wet shoes in the water, or the bats that flew overhead in the cave. Having to “go through it” is not easy. In fact, often it is downright awful.
For those of us with mental health issues, this quote is one of the only ways to reprogram our abnormal brains. We have to force ourselves into habits and routines that feel unnatural to us. Most days we dread the process of having to “go through it.” The sinking feeling of anxiety, the feeling of lead in our shoes weighing us down. Our lungs not expanding enough to get a proper breath of fresh air. It is torturous. I do not know what I would do if I were told I had to fight like that again. It breaks my heart that there is no magic pill; no easy way around this hurdle of mental illness. Knowing there are 1000s of people right this second walking through the long wavy grass, wading through a deep cold river, the thick oozy mud, and sneaking through a narrow, gloomy cave to face the bear at the end.
At least if we’re going on a bear hunt, we are going on one together. We’ll huff and we’ll puff and we’ll…..oh, wait…I’m mixing up my stories now!
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