Elephant In The Room:
~ An English-language metaphorical idiom for an obvious problem. difficult situation/decision, or risk no one wants to discuss, or a condition no one wants to challenge. An unpleasant experience. question, problem, solution, or controversial issue which is obvious to everyone who knows about the issue, but which is deliberately ignored because to do otherwise would cause great embarrassment, sadness, arguments, or is simply taboo. ~
What is YOUR “elephant in the room”?
Is it an invisible injury or illness? Have you been diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Is it a Polytrauma you are recovering from?
Is it chronic pain?
Is it Survivor guilt?
Is it lack of sexual libido or change in your sexuality since your injury/illness?
Is it your inability to describe to others what you are going through or have gone through?
Is it the coping skills that you must use and choose to tell noone about?
Is it your bravery, your sheepishness, your courage, your fears?
Is it pride in how much you have acccomplished? How far you have come?
Is it depression, anxiety, or disappointment in your lack of progress?
Is it lack of confidence? Is it overthinking and overconfidence?
Is it your inability to return to the same type of work you used to do?
Is it your desire to return to work, yet unsure of what that picture looks like for you?
Is it caregiver burnout?
Is it provider fatigue?
Is it a source of deep grief, sense of loss, or mourning?
Is it something that you have put in your past and no longer wish to speak about?
Is it something you want to speak about, yet others are ready to move on and not speak about it?
Talking about the things that are bothering you can help clarify them and put them in perspective. In never addressing the “elephant in the room” a general uneasiness, sense of frustration, stagnation, loneliness, and untrustworthy environment can breed a life of havoc and confusion. Break your silence and be blunt in a productive manner. Perhaps even seeking out a therapist to assist you with working through some of the adjustments would be advantageous for you.
Avoiding an issue causes more harm than good….always. When discussing an issue, it is imperative to remain as calm as possible. Using anger or yelling to communicate can absolutely make things less constructive – especially if you are having trouble finding the words to say and the best way to deliver them. Being objective can be super tough. However, it can be helpful if you make a list of facts. Now, when I say facts. I am not speaking about how you feel, how you think, or what your assumptions are. I am talking about facts that you can prove with empirical evidence, historical evidence, and a paper trail.
Keep in mind when talking about that “elephant in the room” that sometimes the very people who need to hear the topic being talked about are the least receptive to hearing it. That often means that person might even be you. Being receptive to talk is important. It is equally as important to actively listen. Support from others that share the same or differing opinions about the issues you wish to speak about will make it not about you, but about the issue and how much it impacts others who have gone through the same thing, or are currently experiencing the same challenges. Support groups (even if they are online) can be an amazing source of support, ideas, and encouragement.
A resolution or plan is something that is accomplished over time. Open communication without apathy, fear, or hopelessness is an integral part of finding what works best for you. Keep an open mind and be willing to have multiple conversations about that “elephant in the room”.
Taking that challenge which is deliberately ignored and opening up a dialogue about it, changing whatever it is that is holding you back from being your best self. This is how to make progress, step outside your comfort zones, and switch an unspoken taboo topic into a healing process.