Have you ever felt like all the content and information about “coping with” things just sounds depressing? That it just sounds like resigning yourself to nothing ever changing, that something will always be wrong, broken, hurting, etc? It’s like two inches from giving up.
I don’t mean disrespect to those who have to deal with long term physical issues and such, but I would prefer a different word. Something like, “Kicking (insert challenge here) butt”. I’m not referring to grandiose denial and overly hyped up loss of common sense either!
A better word
I just wanted to see or hear — as much as anyone else — that there is more to a challenge (whatever it is) than just coping. I want to thrive, whether I get my solutions / answers / healing / relief / breakthrough now or later. I want to know that while fluctuating emotions are valid and normal depending on the circumstance, they do not determine the outcome, the truth or the possibilities. Thank GOD!
So I decided I to write what I would’ve liked to read. If I were still in serious trouble, this is what I would have liked to read somewhere from someone (do tell me if you agree or disagree and add your two cents?):
Here’s the non-soppy pep talk
Your pain is real, you are not crazy, and it’s okay to be frustrated, hurt, tearful, tired and just a bit lost right now. Give yourself a little grace, take a break and let out the stress.
When you’ve been honest enough to let yourself actually cry and stop playing tough, admitted that you’re struggling, you will be able to get perspective and think about some options. It’s okay to be real. There is no such thing as 100% perfect control for your entire life. You are not alone.
Whatever it is you’re dealing with, you don’t just have to take whatever advice and/or treatment and/or diagnosis is handed to you as the all-powerful word over your life. It’s your body. You have the right and responsibility to ask questions, get a second opinion, do your research on alternative ways to heal, to thrive and to enable yourself to function. You have the right to choose your direction and if you don’t, that’s also a choice (but not a good one). You have the right to decide how you are going to tackle the challenge, what boundaries you will set and how you will address every area of your life that requires change.
You can and should ask for help. This is one of those times in your life where you get to receive help like a kid again, if you can just take the courage to let yourself. Ask for and receive the help and support you want and need. There’s nothing wrong with that. We all go through seasons of giving and receiving in different ways, to and from different people at different times.
There are days where you have pain that hurts like *&%^. There are days where you wake up and would rather not be awake, or face the world at all. There are days where every moment can be full of excruciating frustration and fatigue that robs you of your mind. There are days where simply having to make a sandwich can be a huge effort and the last thing you want to do is talk about it all. BUT, for every one of those days where you choose to carry on, to find the humour in it (even if it’s dark humour), to hope, to learn, to try — you have won and overcome something that many people never get to experience. You have won perseverance. Determination. Courage — the kind that sits in your gut and doesn’t take no for an answer. You have won the ability to laugh and cry in a way that acknowledges that you are vulnerable and human but also powerful. You have won a new definition for yourself of what is possible.
You make a difference even when you think you’re a useless burden
When you carry on, you make an impact. You will never know the full extent, but for the sacredness of life’s sake, don’t underestimate it. There are other people who also go through intense, heart-breaking and completely unfathomable pain in various forms. While you cannot necessary fix it all for them, your sincerity can very well give someone their next breath to carry on.
Value the experience and make the most of learning from it. Learn about the things that matter. Learn about yourself and others. Learn to communicate. Learn to live, whatever your life looks like, however little or much you have, however ill or well you are.
It’s worth it.
Want proof? Check out Katherine and Jay Wolf’s incredible testimony!