You should, by now, know that I’m not a very ‘hippy’ personal development writer. I don’t believe that you’re more special if you’re a vegetarian or vegan and I swear; a lot. This site has, and will always be, a site written by real people for real people and life can’t get anymore real than when it all goes wrong so I’m here to say something some people may find shocking:
Sometimes life really is totally, absolutely, disgustingly shit and there isn’t much you can do about it but ride the wave in the hopes that you have the strength and determination required to get yourself back to safety and a sunrise.
Sure, you can think positive and tell yourself that the shit times will pass (because, honestly, regardless of how long it takes, they do pass) but in that moment life feels like shit (even if you have positive things happening) and it’s OKAY. It’s okay to sit down, have a good cry and think your problems are the worst in the world because I’m sure, at the time you’re going through your situation, it really does feel like the worst thing that could happen and you have no idea what to do about it. It’s OKAY. It doesn’t mean you’re selfish, have no life perspective or can’t empathise with others; it simply means that you’re human.
So you studied really hard for months and really thought you were going to get a good grade in your college exams or University dissertation but you only ended up scraping through? Or you and your partner missed out on your dream home? Allow yourself to feel all the negative emotions attached with that; disappointment, self-pity, anger and don’t beat yourself over it. Then, when the initial flush of emotions have passed, see if there is something you can do about it. Can you take your exams again? Find out the reasons WHY you didn’t get your dream home? Knowing ‘why’ something is happening often makes it far easier to accept and move on from. However, in the meantime, it’s okay to feel like the world is against you. It isn’t, of course, and many others are going through similar situations feeling equally alone in their agony but stay quiet because they feel guilty since ‘other people are far worse off’ which only helps to perpetuate the lie that we are all ‘fine’ but that’s another post for another day!
Stop comparing yourself
I am one of the worst offenders of this so I get that it’s extremely hard! So your friend just put up a selfie on Facebook where they look amazing before a night out? How do you know that they don’t feel like the ugliest person inside (despite it not being true) and the smile you see on their face is for Facebook only? Or you hear that someone got a promotion at work and a big pay increase when in reality it now means they’ll have to spend more time travelling and less time with their family at home and they’re desperately unhappy with that thought? The problem we have in comparison is that it robs us of the truth. We all keep certain things to ourselves and unfortunately, the by-product of that is that when things go wrong, we really do feel like the only ones going through it.
Be honest with yourself
I’ve said it before about not beating yourself up over your feelings; just stop it. Stop feeling guilty because you’ve just watched an African malaria documentary about dying children and you’re upset because your girlfriend just unexpectedly dumped you for no apparent reason; it’s all about perspective. Yes, problems in Africa are huge and they are horrible but you being dumped is happening right now. Even other family and friends problems go out the window when something negative happens so please don’t feel guilty because whether people confess it or not, we all get selfish when we’re upset. You can do something for Africa when you feel a little stronger.
Don’t ignore your feelings
In the same vein of ‘stop beating yourself up’, stop telling yourself that you can’t feel a certain way or another. If you need to feel sad or angry about a situation, feel it! Negative emotions are like a common cold; the more you try and ignore it and try and keep going with life, the longer it goes on for. If you’d just succumbed to the cold and slept it off, you’d be over it within days.
That’s not to say that you’ll be over your negative emotions within days but you get my point. The longer you try and ignore what you’re feeling, the longer you will experience it. I was suppressing anger about a situation for months until something happened and it all came pouring out. Instead of dealing with that anger when it came up each time, I then had to deal with a flood of it instead which hurt immensely.
Don’t be pressured
You won’t feel like shit forever but take as long as you need. Try and do something every day that puts a smile on your face, or at the very least makes you feel a little more human again. Don’t feel pressured to ‘get over’ your situations whatever friends and family say; this is your life and you need to feel both the good and bad. If you don’t want to go on a huge drunk night out with your friends then don’t. Go for a couple of hours, try and enjoy yourself then go home and have a few quiet drinks to yourself whilst you watch a movie or catch up with friends on Facebook.
I’m not saying that you should stay sad forever and you need to try and surround yourself with good people in your life who will be there for you but sometimes, for reasons that could be entirely out of our control, life is shit and we feel shit because of it. But like all emotions (both good and bad), it will pass. You will eventually learn to accept your situation, or change it or move on completely but initially it all feels like crap and that’s perfectly okay. We all go through it (despite what people say/don’t say) – you’re not alone and somewhere in the world right now, someone is thinking the exact same thing as you.
Life is shit but the good thing with shit is that it can always be cleaned up (or at the very least shoved under the rug until you’re ready to deal with it!)…