Falling down is a part of life I know all too well. At times I feel like I may never get back up. When I’m down I take comfort in vices that numb my senses and stunt my ability to make progress. It makes no difference if it’s drugs, money, sex or violence; they are all the same type of distraction. They temporarily fill the void I feel and keep me stuck.
When I’m struggling it can I feel like I will never make it past whatever I’m feeling. I once heard someone make the analogy of hard times in our lives being like the seasons. He likened depressions and funks to a brutal, cold winter. The fact of the matter is it will take time, but eventually the seasons will change. Winter will turn into spring. The snow will melt, the flowers will bloom and you will feel the warmth of the sun again. The same thing can be true for difficult times in our lives.
People become accustomed to living at a level much less than what they are capable of. I know I certainly have lived this way. It’s not that I didn’t care, it was more so I was unsure of how to change and what my first step should be. What people don’t often recognize is it doesn’t matter so much what your first step is; what matters is that you make an effort and take action towards lifting yourself up.
There are few circumstances too difficult that the resilient human mind can’t endure. There are stories of those abused and forced to live in the worst conditions imaginable who have created amazing lives for themselves through hard work and dedication. Take for instance the story of Viktor Frankl. He was a holocaust survivor, the horrors he endured most of us couldn’t fathom. He used his experiences in the concentration camps as the basis for writing books and making strides in the fields of therapy and psychology. The basis for one of his most famous books, Man’s Search for Meaning, was how he discovered the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence and a reason to continue living; even when faced with the cruel reality of life in a concentration camp.
There are instances where people fall down and stay there forever. They don’t think it could ever happen to them. But time passes by and they wonder what happened. When they reflect on the years wasted living life in hell, many believe it’s too late to make a change. They may fear the enormous effort it would take to rise. While others fear what life would look like if they climbed out of their hole.
And what if they failed to make it? It would reinforce their thoughts of being failures. That they never should have tried in the first place. This type of thinking is incredibly toxic and kills dreams.
The truth is you are going to fail and be disappointed so frequently in life. It’s part of living. If you aren’t failing and aren’t disappointed by how things work out at times you are living such a cautious life that one could make a case you aren’t truly alive, you’re simply existing.
There will be times when a perfect storm of shit will hit you all at once. It’s going to be unimaginably painful. You may give up for awhile and throw in the towel. That’s OK, you shouldn’t shame yourself for it. When you’re ready, pick yourself up and move on.
The harsh reality is life moves on with or without you. People may be upset or sad about what has happened to you, but the earth will keep spinning and people will go about living their live’s regardless. Remember we all have a finite amount of time here. Spending life down and depressed is a choice. To simplify this, in the words of Dorothy Parker, “You might as well live.”