When The Going Gets Tough
Today I honestly can't think of anything worse than having to sit down and write a motivational post. If you want the truth, today I feel like crawling into the foetal position and crying until my throat bleeds. But, I still sit here and write and you know why? Because the truth is, we all feel like this sometimes. Regardless of our backgrounds, regardless of our history, our pain thresholds, what life throws at us, how easy or how hard we've got it - life sometimes throws us curve balls. Sometimes they hit us right where it hurts, and it hurts. No matter how well you are, or how well you think you've got it together, sometimes things just suck and the human response is to hurt.
Today that's me. I'm not going to go into the why's and the details and the whole entire story because I'm not even in the space where I want to talk about this stuff to my closest friends and family. I don't want to say the words out loud and really, the more I think about it the harder it gets so it kind of feels like there is no point hashing it out. I know cognitively that there's no definitive answer to this one - I'm just going to have to ride it out. But the pain is there, and I think the pain is worth acknowledging, if only to let you all know that hey, pain and heartache, it's part of the deal and no matter how hard it hurts, no matter how much you just want to give up, whatever this pain is, wherever it's come from and whatever its for, it's NOT GOING TO LAST. It's going to get better and you're going to smile again. You might even find reasons to laugh today - little glimpses of light in amongst the darkness that threatens to consume you. Don't let it consume you but don't ignore it and try and pretend it isn't there either. Sometimes, just the gentle acknowledgement that right now, this is how you feel and sometime soon you're going to feel completely different is enough to just allow yourself the room and space to feel. Depending how exactly how much pain there is will determine how much time you allow yourself there. You don't want to let it drown you but you don't want to pretend it isn't there or when that tide turns it will come crashing down like a tidal wave where you feel like you have no control at all. So if you can, allow just enough time to acknowledge the pain, to work through a little of it, and maybe even rest for a bit too. Cry and sleep if you're safe enough to do that. Then some pleasant distraction is in order so maybe once you have pulled it together call a friend you can just hang out with. Go for a walk. Watch a movie that has a happy ending. Cuddle your dog. Run yourself a hot bath with some Epsom salts. Anything that says to yourself "I love and care about you, and it's going to be ok". Sometimes I wish I lived closer to my family because if I did today would be the day I went to my aunties house and lied on her bed and didn't say anything at all.
If you have someone who can do that for you, someone who can just be there who can understand that you don't want to talk, but that they're there if you do - go and lie on their lounge and watch terrible daytime television. If you have to work, then again, it will depend on how bad you're feeling and how many sick days you have. Sometimes you need to say "I have to look after myself today", just so you can show up functional tomorrow. Other times you need to say "Ok, I'm ok to push through this, but tonight, I'm going to take some time for myself" and actually do that. For me, I think I'm going to take some time to journal some of these thoughts out. Get them onto the paper. Write a song. Let it hurt. Let it go. Make sure that splinter isn't still deep in my flesh, festering. I can't just bandaid my stuff because I know it just gets worse if I try and cover it up and completely ignore it so instead I'll let all the gunk out and get in there with some disinfectant. I will write down the things that make me happy. The things I'm grateful for. There are heaps of those things and when you get down they get so hard to see. It's like sitting at the bottom of a well, and all the good things are out there, on the other side of the wall, in the bright sunny light that you can see at the top that feels a million miles away, but if you sit down and write them out, it pulls down some of the rocks in the well and the light gets closer and you can use the rocks then to help you climb out. I have a list of 'go to' things that I use when I feel like giving up. The first thing I do is remind myself how many times I've felt like this and which response works the best. I've found that doing a little bit towards getting better, combined with a little bit of rest and self-care is the best combination. So I might run a bath and soak in it and go to sleep for a few hours but then later force myself out of the house and into the sunshine to get some exercise and get some endorphins running through my system. You can find a some of the things that I do HERE. One of the the other things that I do is I play a playlist that I keep on my phone. It's the playlist I call 'Life-changers', songs that kind of acknowledge that where I am right now is a bit sucks, but that I don't have to stay there, and I can get through it and come out on top. I have that list HERE too. So feel free to go on a song-downloading rampage and get your own playlist up and running. I find music one of the quickest ways to turn it around. One of the silver linings of getting down so low so many times in my life, is that I'm super-keenly-aware that this doesn't last. I know because I've been here so many times. I have the first hand knowledge that when life seems to kick the living crap out of you and leave you there in the dirt, you can always get back up again. I think the best part of that is that I can tell you about it. I can tell you that right now, no matter how you're feeling, if you're feeling fantastic - hang onto it! Make the most out of it! Because we don't feel fantastic forever so run with that, kick some goals, spread the love, enjoy your friends and family. But, if you're feeling low, if you're feeling like it's never going to get better, remember it will. It will get better, and especially if you take some time to show yourself some kindness and love today, tomorrow will be a better day. In the next few weeks, I am interviewing a few amazingly inspiring human beings. Last week I interviewed Jan Milne, a white ribbon ambassador with an amazing story. Domestic violence is a huge issue and the interview was both heart wrenching and inspiring and will hopefully be incredibly helpful to anyone out there who is dealing with issues surrounding domestic violence, whether its you personally or a friend or family member. Jans interview will be aired on the 24th of November, on the Transformational Personal Growth Podcast the day before white ribbon day and we will be reminding you well before then. I truly hope that today you are well. That today you are feeling great and you're ready to do some amazing things with the one life you've been given. But if you're not, I hope that this week's podcast has helped you to give yourself permission to just look after yourself today and I hope it's given you a little bit of encouragement to persevere, and the knowledge that you're not alone in this. We all have bad days. Here's to a better day tomorrow! I hope you have a great week in spite of any challenges you face, and I will see you next week! Michelle