To Those Who Are Having a Tough Time

To Those Who Are Having a Tough Time

Having a tough time? Me too. But I’ve been moping a lot lately so my new tactic to get out of this rut is going to be to try and make you feel better.

I’ve decided to start with the worst picture of me in existence, and put it as the icon for this post. Look at that mug; doesn’t it already make you feel better?

Disclaimer: if you’re not having a tough time, this post might not make you feel so good. You should probably just click out now. Don’t worry, the page impression has already been recorded in my counter and I will have no way of knowing that you didn’t stay for the whole thing.

Ok, down to business.

This is just a blink in time. Just a fraction of your existence. Recently dumped? Recently lost your job? Recently lost a friend or family member? Think of where you’ll be forty years from now. This moment in time is just a flash in the pan. It will hurt for a while and it will seem like the pain is never going to go away, but it does. When you were 7 and got grounded and your parent took away your favorite toy or sent you to your room, your world fell apart then, too. And then it got better. You world revolved around that toy. And why shouldn’t it have? You were 7. And now you’re a bit older and whatever is important to you has changed in a way you didn’t want it to. Kick, scream, and tell your parents you’re running away forever. When you get to the end of the cul-de-sac you’ll turn around and come back and take a nap and after a little bit of time you’ll figure out how to deal with it. Time really does heal all wounds.

I’ve read that it takes a year to start to get over the loss of a loved one. I’m approaching the one year anniversary of my dog’s death, and I still can’t talk about it without a tear coming to my eye (for the record, the tissues are close to me as I type this). Life won’t ever be the same without my sweet little girl, and that is simply how existence goes. Everything dies. I now have a new puppy, who is my sidekick for all things evil. He sent me a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day (he lives in Los Angeles, I live in Montgomery). Rossi has not replaced Addy. But he is a good reminder of why life is precious. Don’t expect to replace the one you loved. If you’re like me, it’ll take longer than a year for the world to start brightening up. We don’t ever cover up pain, we make room for it.

I’ve also heard that we never love the same way twice, and I couldn’t agree more. I don’t love my brothers the same, I don’t love Rossi like I loved Addy, and I don’t love Zach like the way I loved anyone before him. Each of my romances has been entirely different; they are hardly even comparable to each other. I won’t ever have another Zach, but I will likely have another partner. Falling apart from a loved one is just one of those things that only time will heal. Give yourself time. Do the things you love. Don’t expect it to all to work out right away.

When finances get tough, it is all too easy to get tunnel vision and hate the rest of the world. Force yourself to think about other things. I usually pout and cry for about an hour after a financial blow (how bad is it that I have so many emotional breakdowns that I know how long they’ll last according to the source of the breakdown?), and then I have no choice but to go on with life. Ask for help, if you need to. And if you figure out a way to get the money you need, let me know so I can pay off my $1,100 speeding ticket. And if nothing helps to take your mind off it, call me up and I’ll tell you how I got that ticket.

Perhaps the greatest thing that helps is to be a decent human, even through your pain. One simply cannot use their negative emotional state as an excuse to treat another person poorly. Revenge doesn’t solve anything, though I assume it probably provides some people with instant gratification that covers up a problem but doesn’t resolve it. The Dalai Lama said “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” And my Grandpa Bear said “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

If someone has been a butthead to you, you don’t need to go out of your way to be a butthead to them. If punching them in the gut feels like the only option…well, I’ve never had an overwhelming desire to cause physical harm to someone before, so I’m not sure I can offer any advice here. The best I can say is once you calm down and have a rationally-thinking brain, think about whether or not they still deserve a Chuck Norris-style smack down and take it from there.

If all else fails, look at a picture of a dinosaur doing a human thing.

I hope some of this helped at least a little bit. I’m not an expert in getting people out of ruts, but I certainly have enough hard times that seem like they’ll last forever. I also have my good days, too. Ya gotta remember those good days.

You also need to listen to Frank Sinatra singing “That’s Life.” It’s my I-can-get-through-anything song. I hope it makes you feel better.

-Liz

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