At some point in your life, you started to take things to heart. You might not remember the exact moment, but you did not bounce back as quickly from things. It could have been something that happened with your health (I understand), or perhaps just life’s stressful moments. You no longer are able to maintain the buoyancy you once had in life. In fact, there are times you feel yourself needing a life jacket and the water is only up to your knees.
What do I do next?
How do you handle these times? One thing that actually helps me is to offer advice to others. It helps me to remember that I can make a difference in someone’s life and that they do count on me to bring them up. It might work slowly at first, like putting swimmies on in a rip current, but it’s a start. Help your friend see ways they can deal with this crisis and perhaps relate it to something you have been through yourself.
Sometimes, people have unrealistic expectations of how things were “supposed” to turn out. Drop those expectations. Set realistic goals that you can accomplish. For example, if it stresses you out to think about how a job performance review turned out, take the parts that you don’t like, and work on making those better for the next go around. It wasn’t “supposed” to turn out in any way except the way that happened. I know that’s hard to believe, but there is truth in that. If it was “supposed” to be different, quote honestly, it would have been.
If the situation feels like it is out of your control at any time, seek help. Whether that means reaching out to resources, friends, or a counselor, you have every right to do so. There is no shame in needing help. Repeat that. There is no shame in needing help. We all make mistakes, do stupid things, or fall into old patterns that are not healthy. Learn to recognize the signs that you are in over your head.
Stop hanging on to the past. When you find yourself re-playing whatever happened in your mind, push the stop button. Don’t rewind, don’t fast-forward, simply stop. You don’t have to let that one experience own you. It does not need a permanent address in your head. It needs to go.
Get back up.
It’s now time to get up again. Move on from this experience. Think about what it taught you, but realize enough is enough. You are in control. No one else. Not your family, not your friends, not even your boss. You are in control over how you act, react, and what you chose to learn from the experience. If it’s an extremely bad lesson, chalk it up to just that. A mistake. Something that was meant to move you forward to bigger and better things. You can do it.
“Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.” ~Muhammad Ali