The Fast Forward Button

//The Fast Forward Button

The Fast Forward Button

There’s no fast forward button. Although I would like to skip the times in my life when I feel down or depressed

I can’t.

What if there was a fast forward button? How would that impact our growth? I think that we wouldn’t change much if the button existed. Why? Because pain exists for two reasons: it’s a signal that something in your life needs to change and it’s there to teach you things about yourself that you didn’t know. I’ve learned a variety of life lessons from painful moments in my life.

I have decided that maybe experiencing these painful moments isn’t such a bad thing after all. It can be frustrating, it can hurt
and fucking suck sometimes but I observe that in the times of distress I grow more than I imagined I ever could.

Have you found that? I’m sure I’m not alone. I have wished for that fast forward button so many times. I’ve wanted a magical wand to make things easier, but as far as I know one isn’t out there.

The more I can accept what is happening in this moment the more potential for inner peace I can feel. Despite the turmoil there is a sort of comfort in discomfort. It’s familiar and I know it will pass from past experiences. It can feel like this in romantic partnerships as well. Like you’ve come to an impasse with your partner; sometimes people need the help of a couples therapist to process that stagnation and move forward. And after you two have worked on the relationship either you go your separate ways or stay together. Either way you’re going to grow as people during the therapeutic process.

Pain isn’t fun and that’s why some of us dream of that fast forward button. It’s an escape hatch in the midst of an emotionally charged thunderstorm. It’s the emergency exit button on the subway that you’re not supposed to push unless some serious shit is going down. Actually that’s probably not a good analogy because that’s a button that can actually be pushed for a legitimate reason.

It’s okay to be frustrated and even angry at the pain you’re in. But what if we had compassion for ourselves during painful times instead of wishing for a way out of being angry? You could say to say to yourself   “hey, what you’re going through is rough. You’re strong.” I know that isn’t easy when you’re bombarded with negative intrusive thoughts. I have those every day at this point in my life. But I am learning that I can observe them and then let the words be that make up the thoughts float down an imaginary river. Without judgement, without shame I can let those thought coexist with me.

The fast forward button is a fantasy and we’ll likely never see it. And honestly, I don’t know that I would want to. As painful as it is to work through my issues I am aware that I’m growing as a person because of the effort I put in to myself.


By | 2017-09-29T21:11:37+00:00 September 29th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Fast Forward Button

About the Author:

Sarah Fader is the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Quartz, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, HuffPost Live, and Good Day New York.