Take all the time you need to heal emotionally.
Moving on doesn't take a day. It takes a lot of little steps to be able to break free of your broken self.
It's Okay not to Be Okay! This is such a vital lesson on the route to healing, and yet, I feel as if it is often overlooked or not addressed deeply enough.
It's easy to feel discouraged when you experience the downward spiral. It's easy to forget about all the progress you've made when you are trapped in one of those circles of melancholy. It's natural. The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up about not being okay--which is something we all too often do.
The mentality comes from this: you've made all this progress, have had days that feel good, have been working on yourself tirelessly, trying really hard, feeling like you're getting better, and putting in all this effort. But then… it all spirals due to one event or just a bad reoccurring cycle. Because all of a sudden we feel badly, we feel as if something is wrong, that we're not doing it right, that we shouldn't feel this way because, well, look at all the hard work you've been doing! It doesn't seem fair. It doesn't seem right. You feel hopelessly at a loss and as if the world is against you. And you feel as if all that progress, all that hope, was all imaginary and that you are a lost cause and that you'll be this way forever…
Chances are that it does. But, fret not! You are not alone! Not only are you not alone, but you are also still within the great reaches of love and help and happiness. Happiness IS still attainable. This too shall pass.
I address this issue because I feel as if it is one of the often missed, but greatly deeply important, topics that are not spoken of enough. And I am guilty of this here at ReLove Plan.et: always focussing on the positive, smiling, telling you all to be happy.
It gets really annoying when you're having a rough patch and everyone around you just keeps telling you to smile and "just be happy." As if it's that easy. As if there is something even more wrong with you if you cannot "just be happy." As if you can plaster a smile on your face and everything will be okay again.
Sometimes this does work. Sometimes, it really doesn't. But when it doesn't: it's okay not to be okay.
Some days are not that easy. Some periods of our lives are just not that easy. And that's okay! It's OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY!
I really want this to settle into your deepest darkest thoughts, because it is comforting to know that this is okay; that you don't have to be smiling all the time, that you shouldn't feel good all the time. Life is about ups and downs. We all fall down, but it's whether or not we climb back up; or whether we allow ourselves to get so discouraged that we give up on climbing back up. I don't want you to give up, because you really have made so much progress, despite what the negative voices in your head may tell you. Every step is vital and important and has a deep impact upon your mind and well-being; even if those steps may feel insignificant at the time. Never forget the importance of every little step. Truly truly.
I want you to know that there is Nothing Wrong with You!
I want to share a little story of what brought me to this topic today, because I think it will inspire you--or at least that's my hope; to make you realize that you are not at all alone.
I was in the middle of one of my own downward spirals (I'm human, you know), and it was getting to the point where I was feeling really terribly frustrated. I was at the point of beating myself up over not being able to get out of this spiral, of dwelling in the negative emotions of helplessness and feeling as if I was simply a lost cause. I still tried; I continued to surround myself with as much positivity and inspiration as possible, but it just wasn't helping.
Now, I know why: because I was still beating myself up so badly over not feeling okay that it simply wasn't plausible for me to climb back up at that time. The thought of negativity towards myself, of feeling like I was unfixable, and that my entire life was going to contain these awful spirals of depression, was just too much for my happy mind to pull me out of. Even while I was trying; because negativity was still winning the day and I wasn't resolving or addressing that problem.
I remember along this spiral, my marriage was struggling: because I felt like I was always the problem. I was the one screwing up; I was the one always struggling; I was the one who was always moody and stressed and depressed. And, somehow, my husband was just okay and fine, and just plain peachy through it all. I felt like a burden. And it bothered me that he seemed so okay. Why was I the one that was so messed up? It's terrible, but it really really bothered me how happy he seemed to be. Funny how that works?
Two things later came into play here.
One: my husband was still human, and despite seeming outwardly okay, he was still struggling with this own demons as every person does. So my jealousy and envy were misplaced from the start, all because I was so wrapped up in my own depressive state that I was magnifying this illusion that everyone else was okay, and I was the only one who was a problem. Classic "poor me" syndrome that makes climbing back to happiness all the more difficult.
Two: I had the realization that the way I was viewing my husband was the way that my readers might view me. And I didn't want that. The irony was that I always do my best to show everyone my smiling self, my positive self, so that no one would even guess that I still struggled beneath the surface. I felt as if I could Only show the happy me, because to show any other side might discourage you into thinking you might not be happy. But I have come to realize the importance and value of the ups and downs in our lives and that everyone should know that everyone is human and that we all experience such highs and lows. And that's okay!
To be clear: the happy smiling me isn't fake. But, was I always okay? No. I focussed on the positive and smile as often as I can, and writing all the content of my blog makes me genuinely happy. When I write on the blog, it IS the happy, positive self that I love. It's not fake. But! That's not me all the time. And I think that it's equally important for people to know that, because, well: It's Okay Not to Be Okay! When I realized what I might be doing to the people I want to help by always showing the happy me, I realized that, perhaps, that illusion would become frustrating and garner the same feelings of being "unfixable." I don't want that for you. At all! I want to continue to give you help, advice, and lessons that will help your journey; and this is one of those important lessons. That it's okay and normal to be Human, and you can still move forward and be happy when the spiral ends.
Life is still rainbows and sunshine, and I am still smiling and happy most of the time. But storms still blow in. Such is life. And sometimes I get stuck in those storms, sailing in circles, until I can find my way again. And sometimes the ship falls apart altogether and I'm left to pick up the pieces, build a stronger boat, and sail back out into the sunshine where I will be better prepared, and sturdier, for the next storm. That is life! The downward slopes are there to teach us, they truly really truly are! We do have a choice what we do with our melancholy, and, so, no matter how Not Okay you may feel, you Can feel Okay again! Just keep up the good fight and know that you are not alone.
These are the things to remember:
You are Human! And it is Normal to feel angry, sad, happy, and all the ups and downs in between. No one should ever make you feel badly for being human. Ever! That is not the sort of support you need or deserve. You are Human! It is okay to feel fan-freakin-tastic! And it's okay to not feel okay too!
Drop the Guilt! The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up about not being okay.
This Too Shall Pass. When things are bad, no matter how bad, remember that it Will Pass. Find comfort in that. But, just as importantly, when things are great, remember that it too shall pass; so take the time to appreciate and be grateful when things are great.
My big problem was that I was so attached to how amazing my life was one summer, when it felt like I was walking on clouds, that I became jaded by it. It was such a state of bliss that when I lost it, I struggled rather badly to get happy again because I was so attached to that state of bliss that nothing else satisfied me. This is why it's equally important to let go of the good as much as the bad. Let life flow and then you will allow the richness to enter your life!
Look at all the progress you've made! No matter how rough things are, no matter how helpless and unfixable you feel, just stop and look back at where you were however long ago when you started this journey.
For example; even when I feel down and depressed again, I can stop and look back to where I started: I used to cut myself and I used to have suicidal thoughts daily. I don't have those anymore. So, no matter how down you may feel, even it's small progress, look back and smile and be fuckin proud of where you are now and that you are trying at all!
Healing takes time, so be patient with yourself. Especially when we have been depressed for years, our serotonin, endorphins, and all the stuff that makes our brains pump out happy thoughts are depleted. It takes time to build that back up again. It takes time to effortlessly feel happy. We are rewiring our brains, re-training it to be happy and to feel good on its own. So…
Work on Yourself! Take the time to work on yourself. It may seem tedious sometimes. Some days you may just not really "feel like" putting forth the effort to smile and be happy. So have a day to be down. But, don't get trapped in the negative mindset, because it's easy to just give up and not try. Do try. I promise you, every book or article you read, every inspirational movie you watch, every lover letter you write yourself, every entry into your Happy Diary, every practice of gratitude, is absolutely 100% worth your time and effort. Because you Will feel good! And every day will get easier, even when the chart of your life may go up and down, it is still heading in an upward slope.
Just do your Best! Take it one Step at a time and never get discouraged! When you're experiencing one of those spirals, just remember to start with one small positive thought in the morning. Just start there; it can set the tone for your entire day. Even if that is the only positive part of your day, you placed yourself into a position of control over your mood and happiness. And every step counts towards the bigger picture, remember? So, Just do your Best!
Remember how far you've come, no matter how far the road ahead may feel. Every step counts. Every smile counts. Every moment that you feel Good counts. All these little steps are deeply meaningful, so keep these with you, no matter how dark life can feel, and no matter how many downs you experience along your bumpy road. Remember that it's always worth it, and that every struggle is bringing you closer towards effortless happiness. It's always worth it.
You are human, and you are so amazingly wonderful! Hold onto that! It gets better! I promise that it does!
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