Despite the fact that I have never displayed a natural athletic ability - despite the fact that after running for 30 seconds I’m ready to stop - despite these things, I played soccer from when I was in kindergarten until I went into my freshman year of high school. My freshman year of high school my mom forced me to go to soccer tryouts so I begrudgingly cleated up to attend the pre-tryout conditioning. To mine, and maybe everyone’s surprise, I made the team - likely because if you endured two weeks of pre-tryout conditioning, you really did deserve to at least warm the bench for the season.
Which is exactly what I did - warm the bench, that is. I appeared quite satisfied to gab with my teammates during games and find every excuse I could to not run our mile warmup at practice. I’m totally fine sitting on the bench, I told friends and family. I have more fun when there’s no pressure anyways. But truth be told, I felt sidelined. I felt as if I was on the outskirts of what was really going on - the girls hugging after a good play, congratulating each other on a good game. I felt ignored as I sat game after game on the bench. Ignored by my coach and by my team members. Not good enough.
So even though I probably could have contributed to the team and was actually a decent defender, I eventually self-selected out. If I wasn’t going to get play time then I wasn’t willing to put in the work to be better. I was willing to watch my teammates win - or lose - and feel detached from the consequences.
What have you self-selected out of? Are you lonely, waiting for others to reach out, angry that no one notices your pain? Are you frustrated with a friend and irritated that they haven’t approached you about it? Is your mental health a mess and you’re waiting for someone to tell you that you need to take some steps to do something about it? Are you drowning in debt but not willing to make the hard choices it would take to reduce your debt?
We oftentimes find ourselves waiting on the sidelines of life, sitting on the bench and angry at the world. Why hasn’t anyone reached out to help us? Why haven’t things been easier? Feeling that if no one is going to help us, then we are just going to give up. No one cares anyways.
What is it that you need to hear today? What is it that you need to do? How can you find ways to seek what you need instead of waiting for those things to come to you? How can you stop yourself from giving up because someone’s actions made you ignored or unimportant?
Sometimes we need to put ourselves out there and seek what it is that we need. If you find yourself needing company and are waiting for someone to realize that and reach out you will likely find yourself disappointed. Don’t sideline yourself and wait for someone else to solve your problems for you. Even a therapist can only do so much and know so much. Help out your friends and family by asking for what you need. Help yourself by seeking out what it is that you need. Don't sit yourself on the sidelines. Seek what it is that you need to do or change in order to get in the game.
Easier said than done, right? If you find yourself feeling sidelined and needing help knowing what to do next, call Bethel Haven at (706) 310-9046 to schedule an appointment with a trained counselor.
Written by our counselors to help promote your help, hope, healing