One thing to look at when thinking about unremitting problems is what is the secondary gain from staying stuck? Just as an alcoholic who gets sober suddenly finds themselves with a whole lot of time on their hands, so do others who make significant changes in their life. What would you be doing if you didn’t have your situation? Do you know?
Looking at this a little more concretely, we can look at alcoholism. With the elimination of alcoholic drinking, an individual will then have a whole lot of time, and probably extra money, on their hands. There is no more time spent hungover, recovering from the night before; and no more time spent ruminating about the all too vague semi- recollections of what was done while drinking; no more time spent regretting or in remorse, apologizing, for something done while ‘tight’. An important part of the recovery process is finding healthy ways to fill that void, otherwise, there is a greater risk of relapse.
When other types of changes are made, the same thing happens : you are left with a whole lot of time that you don’t know what to do with. There are life-cycle changes that are (more or less) out of your direct control, such as all the children growing up and leaving the house; or the death of someone you have been caregiving for years. You are then suddenly faced with what are you now going to do with yourself.
There are some problems, though, that are more under our direct control – possibly more than we see right now. Sometimes, on some semi-conscious or unconscious level, we keep our problem in play. We become an actor in the play of our life, new people come into the picture, but they are all signing up for a repeat performance of our same script; we think we are starting new relationships, but we quickly find ourselves repeating the same old tired lines. Always getting into the same type of relationship; the sense of feeling betrayed or hurt in the same manner, by different people. It’s not so much that we find exactly the same type of person, but that we have the same types of reactions/fears/expectations. What is the secondary gain in repeating this same type of scenario? What are you missing, or avoiding, by not changing or moving on?