Tuesday 23 October 2012

"Adversity in the Face of Adversity"

"It's alright to cry. Crying gets the sad out of you."
From "Free to Be, You and Me" by Marlo Thomas and Friends

Sometimes life sucks. It just does.

I recently received some difficult news about someone very dear to me. And it left me reeling. I felt sad and more than a little helpless. How do I help? What do I do? Sad and helpless. As someone for whom the devil of depression is never far away, bad news can also be scary. Will this pull me back into the darkness?

One thing that I have learned is to be vigilant about my health and well-being. How can I be strong enough to support loved ones through difficult times if I am falling apart?

So how have I handled this, how have I processed my feelings? Well, first of all, I let myself cry. A couple of times. Good and hard. There may be more tears and that is OK. Crying can be healthy and good for you - it releases chemicals that can make you feel better.

Step two is that I am following healthy habits: long walks, deep breathing, burning essential oils, healthy food, lots of rest, and omega three capsules. It's kind of like putting your oxygen mask on first in an emergency on a plane. You have no chance of helping others if you aren't breathing.

The final step is talking. Part of my way of coping with difficult times is by talking about them. If this is not something that you normally feel comfortable doing, I am going to challenge you to step out of your comfot zone a bit. Find a friend or family member whom you can confide in. Better yet, when it comes to the really tough stuff, try and find a counsellor or psychologist - a completely neutral third party can be an amazing help when you just need to talk it out. Bottling things up never helps.

Sometimes it feels like we just can't handle more bad news or adversity. You think, wasn't I just getting over that last crappy thing that happened?! Well, here's something that I know for sure after facing a lot of adversity in the last decade - I am not "special". Everyone goes through hard times. It doesn't mean that the world is an awful place, although at moments it can sure feel that way.

Adversity and difficult times are opportunities for personal growth and building resiliency. And chances to show empathy, compassion, and love.

The next time that life throws you a curveball, and I promise that it will, how will you handle it? Will you step up to the plate? Remember, you are stronger than you know. I bet you can hit it out of the park.

KB xo

P.S. This post is dedicated to Tanya, Sarah, Debbie, Sandi, Santu - thanks for supporting me without having to know why.


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