Written By WENDY KELLER
…even if it hurts
It’s astonishing how many people right this minute are trying to cope with the fact that their heart is broken, they are deeply sad or depressed, or are managing traumatic things happening in their lives – yet they still need to function in their daily lives.
Maybe you’re one of them?
If so, this post is for you.
When I discovered that my only still-living child had decided to use drugs to try to cope with her pain after our house burned down, her dog died in the blaze, and her father got his second divorce, I felt like I’d been hit by a semi-truck and dragged for several miles. I’d wake up too early, staring at the ceiling, tears gushing. I felt I was unable to get out of bed. Can you relate?
And yet, there were things I had to do. Responsibilities I had on my shoulders. Heavy expenses incurred from the treatment center I had sent her to against her will. It seemed impossible to function in that thick, overwhelming emotional fog, but yet, it wasn’t an option. I had to get it together.
Here are some things I’ve learned along the way that might help you function if you’re in that space right now:
1] Accept that life has cycles of joy and pain.
The Chinese book of wisdom, the “I-Ching”, points out that there are seasons in our lives just like in nature.
It’s really awful when you’re in a dark place, but recognize that this too shall pass. Like Solomon wrote, “To everything there is a season…” Take comfort in the fact that while you’re still breathing, things are changing.
2] Scrounge around for healthy comforts.
You know yourself best. What makes you feel a little bit better? Give it to yourself.
I’m not talking about drugs, alcohol, over-eating or over-sleeping or anything like that. Those are temporary fixes that come with more problems than solutions. But call a friend who makes you laugh. If nature restores your broken spirit, take that hike. If playing fetch with your dog makes you smile, take time to throw the ball or the stick. Now is when you have to pull out your own personal “feel good” strategies and give yourself permission (and time!) to apply as many as you can to your daily life.
3] Stop yelling at yourself.
Just take a deep breath and tell that mean bully inside your head to leave you alone.
Yeah, maybe this situation IS wholly or partly your fault. Poor you. Tough luck. The question isn’t who is to blame (which solves nothing) but “What can I do now?” When you honestly ask that question instead of burn up your energy beating yourself up, you find things that cause you to get into action. Action has a tendency to pull you out of the doldrums and into a better place. List proactive solutions…and start applying them.
There’s no magic wand that will suddenly make everything all better forever and ever. Nobody really has that kind of life, no matter what you think from the outside. We all just get different problems of different sizes and shapes throughout the course of our lifetime. Don’t let this one you’re facing now hold you underwater any longer!
Please try the steps above and comment on this blog – What worked for you? What did you do? How are you feeling now?
About The Author:
Wendy Keller writes about healing, inner strength and surviving. To read more of her wonderful essays on life, subscribe to her blog.