What I've Learned About Getting Through Tough Times
Some of the sweetest, most precious and happiest times of my life have passed me by. I really miss them.
Some of the darkest, most miserable and frightening times of my life have passed me by. I don’t miss them at all.
Everything in Life Is Transitory
I’m having a bit of a sad and sorry for myself kind of day. We all have them, right? Historically, I had a comprehensive array of methods for numbing emotions away. They proved unfruitful in the long run. These days I just practice feeling miserable and waiting for myself to cheer up. It isn’t much fun, but it’s a whole lot healthier.
I’ve been so blessed to have so many good things happen to me, things I will remember forever.
- Holding my newborn babies in my arms
- Performing on stage
- Climbing mountains
- Sailing in Cinque Terre
- Loving and being loved by beautiful, beautiful people
It is so important during joyous times to cherish the moment – it’s not going to last and we have to appreciate things while we have them. Because one day they’ll be gone. This is where mindfulness is a most excellent tool – staying present to the present moment. It’s a wonderful skill to develop.
Like all of you, I’ve also had some very dark moments.
- Losing precious people in my life
- Self-harming, overeating and purging
- Enduring migraines
- Experiencing major depression and anxiety
- Attempting suicide
They Were Pretty Shit Days If I’m Being Brutally Honest
But all those really shitty things also came to an end. All those tears being shed and the overwhelming feeling that emotional pain can’t be borne has all been and gone.
Living in the moment when everything is shiny and rosy is easy. It’s a blessing. Soaking up the sunrise, being mesmerized by beautiful music, holding the hand of someone you love dearly.
Living in the moment when everything is dark and tumultuous is awful. It’s really awful. Whatever the reason, however valid or invalid you consider your feelings to be, it still sucks. But as was once wisely stated,
“If you are going through hell, keep going.”
– Winston Churchill
How true. Let the tears flow, let the pain wash over you. Feel it. Breathe it out. Accept it. Then watch it fade. Until next time. And having survived it once, you learn that you can survive it again.
Emotional turmoil that once seemed like it would last forever, that morphs into intense physical pain, passes. And we move through it to greener pastures.
Psychologists tell us this stuff all the time. It turns out they know what they’re talking about. I guess all that university study pays off when you pay attention.
I Have Self-Soothing Techniques That Help
Things I was taught in therapies but things I’ve always known. They seem too easy to be true and it has taken me a long time to embrace the obvious.
- Cups of tea
- Floods of tears
- Cuddling my cat
- And my old favorite, writing
Not exactly magical or miraculous but they’re classic and they help. Really truly. It’s called self-care and the alternatives aren’t worth considering anymore. I’ve moved on.
So here I am sulking my way through a poor-me day. Writing and focusing on the feelings I’m feeling, knowing that a few hours or a few days from now I’ll be feeling much better. This too shall pass.
Getty image by EttaDallas