How to Lose Your Mind in 10 Days…and How to win it back
In the past 10 days I have been hit where it truly hurts…my pockets and my family. This one-two combo punch not only knocked me out in the first round but it sent me crying to every one who would listen. As a millennial there are few things worse than thinking you’ve outgrown your naive, ill-informed mistakes of yesteryear only to have it sneak punch you in the teeth when you’re smiling.
I was completely out of my element and subsequently completely out of character. This wasn’t just another millennial mistake. And this didn’t just feel like a set back but like life was telling me to GET BACK in my place because who did I think I was trying to be successful with good credit and goals.
I was so emotionally and mentally drained to the point where writing felt like a chore as I wondered, how the hell can I ever write on the level of some of the more popular blogs when my life is a hot ass mess. I lost my mind by attempting to take on this mountain of hot ass mess on my own, while bottling up my emotions with no release or contact with the outside world.
My mind was reeling from the blow that life perfected just for that moment. The world lost all the magical luster that it had just a week before and sounds were nothing but dull annoyances. It took me a week and some change to begin feeling like myself again. But Alas! Here are some tried and true ways that I have found works for when the “It’ll all work outs” and “Just pray about its” offer little to no comfort.
When we get hit with an unexpected blow to our ego, pockets, family or whatever it is we hold dear, the first thing we want to do is run for cover under the covers (literally). I don’t know about you but I want to shut myself in a room with blackout curtains, slip on my gray sweatpants and not shower for a week because what’s the point, right? WRONG.
…while it’s easy to shut ourselves off from the world after getting bitch slapped by life, it’s counterproductive to all the progress you’ve made when you attempt to bury your sorrows under the covers.
I was put in a situation where I was forced to be outside and interacting with others. At first the butterflies I felt in my stomach and chest were persistent but the more I faked laughed with my friends the more I realized that I wasn’t faking after a while and that, hey!… maybe life hadn’t ended on Thursday despite my incident.
Fresh air seemed to clear all the debris from my imploded mind and after a few days I was able to see myself out of a situation I had been sure was the nail in the coffin of my hopes and dreams. Point blank, take a walk, grab onto some sunshine, go to your favorite coffee shop. Go to places that remind you that life is still moving forward despite your setback.
Cry Yourself a River
I prided myself on only crying at sappy movies, during that time of the month or when something died and especially never in front of any man. But boy did I throw that notion into the wind when shit hit the fan. I cried on Thursday, twice on Friday, and late Saturday night into early Sunday.
We tell ourselves (or listen to other people tell us) that being upset and expressing those feelings is childish, ungrateful and annoying.
Yet, having a good ole cry session, I’m talking about the one with snot dripping down your face and you huffing so hard that you don’t even give a damn, yea that kind of cry, is needed. Say it with me, Cathartic. Crying releases a lot of the pint up pressure that you feel from your stressful situation and is honestly a healthy first step in you processing how to recover from your incident. So I cry…You cry…and WE cry Together.
Sweat it out, punch it out, drive it out, find something to take out your frustrations on (just not a loved one). During my 10 days of hell I was able to drive huge, diesel up-armored military vehicles on the highway and on winding paths in the back woods for miles. Commanding something so powerful allowed me to feel powerful and capable of dealing with the difficult things going on in my life. It did this without me actually having to think about the situation as the monotony of driving soothed my mind; while successfully distracting me. So find a boxing gym, go for a run, break some dishes…do something to express your anger and frustration in a way that won’t further harm you or anyone else.
I bottle stuff up better than the coca-cola bottling company and I eventually explode like I was shakened up just before being opened at the wrong moment.
It’s taken a lot from me to talk about any issues I have because I don’t trust people to actively listen and care. It is, however, worth while to discuss your difficult issues with at least one person you trust; no matter how many times it takes. I cried and talked through my problem with someone I trusted every time I was hit with another blow from the Muhammad Ali sized issue.
My poor, sweet boyfriend only heard “Sniff, Cry, Cry IDON’TKNOWHOWIWILLEVERBOUNCEBACKFROMTHIS…Sniff, Cry, cry…HOWCOULDIBESOSTUPID…OMGMYLIFEISOVER...the drama was on level 10,000 and he handled it all like a champ. Sometimes all we need to do is give people the opportunity to be there for us in order to curve the feeling of having the weight of the world squarely, solely on our shoulders.
Functional yet Certifiably Insane
Congratulations! After you,
-Get out of your head and into the world
-Have a good cry
-Find an aggressive activity
-Talk it out
You won’t find yourself cured and your situation disappeared but you will feel better. Life can be overwhelming with its twists, turns, dips and sometimes, like a roller-coaster, you have your steepest fall just after your highest peak. So grab your tissues and head out to the park with a friend. Afterwards you won’t hear “Awww, it’ll all work out.” and try to convince yourself it’s true. At the end of doing these things you’ll KNOW.
What are some ways you cope with difficulties? Comment below and Let’s Talk!
You always have such catchy titles. I saw this post popped up in my reader earlier and I couldn’t wait for lunchtime to give it a read.
When unpleasant things happen, I do a lot of the things you mentioned. I typically want to close myself off from people. I usually hold things like a Coke bottle (good analogy btw). I hate crying in front of others. I just hate appearing vulnerable in front of others so my first instinct is to stay to myself. I’m an extrovert but during hard times, I become an introvert. I just want to be left alone.
In the times when I do have to be around people, I will put on a happy face and act like everything is fine. Apparently I’m really good at this. Even my closest friends won’t know that something is bothering me.
Other coping strategies include: writing, kickboxing (works wonders!), dancing, traveling (or simply getting away from the stressor) or immersing myself in a new project, which could be anything from event planning, scrapbooking, and other arts and crafty things.
LOL I swear titles pop into my head faster than the actual post material. Thanks for all the compliments. I’m a lot like you, obviously, my first instinct is to try and rush the issue head on like a martyr but after years of doing this I’ve found myself overly exhausted with a headache (ha)…even with the small problems. I’m just getting to a point where I retreat to the places where I find the most comfort…nature, my significant other, and friends. I think I also need some of those kickboxing lessons for the really difficult situations. Surprisingly though, my creative juices have flowed continuously throughout the entire ordeal; funny how arts and crafts can make a world of difference in your mood. Thanks for sharing your coping strategies!