About three months ago now you could say I hit the lowest low point of my life. For someone who’s literally had to take a life break because of a nervous breakdown, I don’t throw descriptions like that around lightly. My car got repossessed. I had been applying for jobs for months with absolutely no success. My closest friend and I had officially called it quits. None of my clothes fit and I just REALLY couldn’t figure out any good reason for getting out of bed every day.
But I think in a way I am grateful that things fell so spectacularly apart. They had been just okay enough for a few years that I decided I could make all the misery work. I wasn’t happy, sure. But I was there. I was doing the bare minimum qualifications for existence.
When things broke so hard, I had fortunately already decided that I wasn’t ever going to take the quick ticket out. I’d been in therapy long enough to decide I never wanted to put somebody in as much pain as I had been in for years by taking my own life. I had experienced enough heartbreak to never want to inflict it on anyone else. So, I had a look at my shattered life and decided that if I was going to make myself stick around that I COULD NOT, WOULD NOT stay stuck in the world I’d fallen into.
For a month, it kind of felt like I had woken up from a long sleep in a world that wasn’t my own. I was angry and grieving and feeling for the first time in a really long time. This big dam I had built up around my heart to keep all the emotions out and stay as comfortably numb as possible had cracked along with everything else, and I was flooded by hurt. But one day in that tide of emotions I felt something I had legitimately forgotten was possible: joy. Pure, unadulterated joy born of something as simple as my husband making a stupid dad joke that was totally not funny at all. That whole classic scene where the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes makes so much sense to me now that I feel my heart swelling a little larger every day.
So here’s the kicker. Ya, things are dope and getting doper in my little, changed life. But none of it, not one second of it has been easy. I was in therapy for two years. I had to quit working for two years. I lost all of my close friends. Waking up from a coma of hurt means retraining yourself how to get out of bed at a decent hour. It means learning how to cook for yourself again. It means learning how to let yourself want things and not fall apart from disappointment when they don’t work out. It means retraining your brain to accept happiness and yourself. It means puking in front of a bunch of strangers at a Camp Gladiator workout before the sun is fully risen (they graciously ignored me).
But if there is anything I believe in now, it’s the power of momentum. Victories beget victories. Hope begets hope. Energy begets energy. So I set myself up for little wins as I got my sea legs back under me. My first challenge was this: If something takes me less than 30 seconds to do, I’d just do it right then. You’d be amazed how many little productive things we do in just 30 seconds at a time. My super accomodating husband had been taking care of so many little things for me for so long, I found myself exhausted by the end of the day from 30 second spurts of energy.
Here are some suggestions for little wins for you:
- Cook for yourself whenever you can.
- Pick ONE thing you’ve been putting off until it was “the right time” and do it right now.
- Call an old friend and reconnect.
- Start walking around as often as you can.
- Make yourself get out of the house a few times a week.
If you pick up any of those things or try something else, CELEBRATE like crazy when you get that win under your belt. Sure, we all want to be marathon runners and superstars, but we are champions any time we push ourselves to do someting that’s really hard for us. Let me know how I can help.