There’s no denying that we all face hardships in our lives once in a while. That’s just the circle of life, and we can’t really avoid the various seasons of change and growth. I have been experiencing one of these difficult seasons myself lately, and I thought that perhaps putting my thoughts on the blog would help me sort out my feelings, as well as encourage those of you who are experiencing a season of hardship as well.
Unfortunately, life isn’t always sunshine, rainbows and butterflies. Life is a beautiful mess of happy moments mixed with discouraging rough patches that challenge us, tear us apart, and ultimately, shape and change us. Sometimes it is comforting knowing that every person in the world struggles from time to time. I think that we can use this knowledge to build one another up during these difficult times.
Ugh, I’ve had this post in my drafts for a lonnng time. Lately, I’ve been yearning to keep my life more private than public, even though I’m a blogger. I used to have no problem sharing my life happenings and my vulnerabilities with you all, but I just haven’t felt like doing so in the past few months. I do feel like part of me is changing, and although I still love blogging, I don’t always feel like baring my heart and soul. So excuse me if today’s post seems scattered. I’m trying to hold it all together. But oh crap, the tears are already flowing as I type! Ughhhh I’m just a hot mess today, guys.
When you just can’t catch a break //
I’ve never been one to handle my stress and anxiety well. Maybe on the outside it seems that I have it all together, but it’s a constant battle on the inside to work through my thoughts. I’ve shared these struggles from time to time previously on my blog and Instagram, but especially in the past six months, I just can’t seem to get ahold of my stress, or my life. And today, I’m giving myself permission to share these struggles with you, so you can take something from my thoughts. Why did I write this post? I realized last week that I hit my rock bottom. I won’t get into everything that happened, but I pretty much realized that I needed to change some things, so I thought writing this would help.
Most of you know that I started my counseling career in August, and although I truly love my job and am very thankful for the opportunity, I am still working through the kinks of learning the position, handling the high-demand stress of the job, and feeling confident in my abilities. For the past few months I was balancing the new job, grad school, and wedding planning, and it was very overwhelming. When I graduated in December, we left for our honeymoon shortly after, and I was SO looking forward to relaxing and celebrating the fact that I survived the most busy season of my life.
……and then, that’s when I broke my ankle….on the first night of our honeymoon. When we got back to the States, my surgeon told me it was a clean break to my fibula and that post surgery, it would heal quickly. He told me I could potentially be walking within a few days. Unfortunately, upon opening up the wound, he found that my ligaments in the ankle were all torn as well, resulting in a sprain, thus a longer recovery time. I haven’t been able to walk or drive (of course, it’s my right foot) for the past four weeks, and I’m not even half way through the recovery time. My entire right leg is like a dead beat. I lost all my muscle and the scar is about 6 inches long. I guess that right there freaked me out, because I’ve always been a very healthy person. It’s likely going to take a few more weeks until I can walk again with a crutch, and even longer for me to get back into being physically active. Most of you know that I’m a very active person who is fueled by productivity, so it’s been extremely frustrating just laying around for the past few weeks, not being able to do anything. I’ve been feeling like such a deadbeat, and it’s been putting strain on our marriage as well, with my husband having to drive me to work and do most of the things I’m not able to do. It’s been exhausting for the both of us.
It’s not even so much about the injury, though. Even before breaking my ankle, I found myself still feeling stuck in a rut, not feeling like myself. It’s like I had lost all energy to do the things I loved, and I just didn’t really care about anything. I knew it was the stress of everything weighing on me that was causing me to feel this way. I’ve never had that happen before….I WANTED to care….but I just didn’t.
So, that’s where this blog post is coming from today. Hopefully you can use my advice to apply to your own rough season. Are things perhaps not going the way you had envisioned? Are you struggling with the current season of your life? Next, I’m going to share some tips on how to stay positive while riding the course, even through the bumps.
Know It’s Just a Season
There is a simple quote I love: “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Robert H. Schuller. And this is so true. Know that you’re likely through the worst of your situation, and that it can only get better from here. No matter what’s happening in your life- maybe you are a new mom who is struggling with a baby who never sleeps; maybe you just lost your job; maybe your dad just passed away; maybe you are going through a messy divorce. Heck, maybe your life is great on the outside, but you struggle with anxiety on the inside. Keep holding on. It really can only get better from here. You are strong enough to handle anything life throws at you. And you are here, surviving. So you are defying the odds already.
Positive Thoughts = Positive Life
I wrote about this on my Instagram the other night (I’d love if you would follow along, by the way). It sounds so cliche, but it difficult times, you NEED to do everything you can to stay positive. I promise that if you think dark, negative thoughts, you are going to feel so much worse. No matter how bad things suck, try your best not to complain out loud. I find that if I physically hear myself say negative thoughts out loud, they become my reality. So keep your thoughts healthy.
Reach Out for Help
It’s much harder to struggle when you are doing it alone. Confide in a trusted loved one and let them know that you need support. It makes all of the difference.
Write about It
Okay, I’m not going to lie. Writing this blog post right now feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. Whether you write in a journal, or a blog, I would encourage you to put your thoughts to paper. It helps you sort out the clutter in your mind.
Take Care of Yourself- Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually
This is the one I’ve been struggling with. Self-care, friends. Make sure you care and love yourself through the process. Put healthy foods in your body and exercise. I would do ANYTHING to get some of those endorphins right now on the treadmill. Make sure you aren’t investing all of your time and energy in other people, or in your work. Make sure you do things for yourself, each and every day. Make sure you surround yourself around positive people.
Learn from the Season
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Breaking my ankle at the worst time possible in the thick of my career has taught me the importance of slowing down and shifting my focus on what the most important things in life are – my family, my health, and my emotional wellbeing. All of the other fluff can wait. Whatever challenge you are facing, learn something from it. Create meaning from your experience to carry with you.
Slowly but surely, I know that things will get better, and I’m taking baby steps to change my perspective. Yesterday I chopped my hair off (I’m excited for you to see it, whenever I’m able to shoot for the blog), and it felt good to get out of the house and do something for myself. I also had my sister over and we were able to hang out, binge eat, shamelessly watch KUWTK, and do all things that sisters do. I needed that.
I hope this post helps those of you who could use a little encouragement. Just remember that you are strong enough to survive any season of your life, no matter how challenging it is. I believe in you, and you should believe in yourself too. Thank you for letting me vent and be vulnerable with you today! As always, I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the space below.