Living with chronic pain is tough. But you already knew that. Everything requires spoons. And, I do mean everything. If you don’t know what I’m talking about by spoons, please click here to read the Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino.
Everything from washing my hair, to feeding my son, to getting dressed in the morning requires me to use just a bit more of my energy reserves for the day. That’s tough stuff to live with. But goddamn it, I get up everyday, and I do it. Then I go to bed, wake up, and do it all over again. But what happens when something happens – something that throws you off, like an emotional blow? Especially when you're living with a mental illness?
Even the littlest things can throw us off our game. We get into a routine, and the minute that routine gets messed up – bam, we’re knocked off the horse. I’ve been dealing personally with some heavy stuff at home, from my stepdad passing a year ago, Syrus being constantly sick, me getting sick, it's been insane, and it hasn’t been easy at home. At times, I can feel the depression creeping its way in, trying to chase what light I have left inside of me out. It’s left me in a bit of a funk. I don’t want to do anything except sleep, I feel as if there is no point to anything.
But there is a small part of me that knows this isn’t the way. I have to get up and keep going. I have to. It’s all about the regroup after being dealt a shitty hand of cards. We’ve got to move forward, no matter what. I just have to believe that.
1. TAKE A STEP BACK
Evaluate your situation. Take a deep breath and take a good hard look at what is going on around you. When you have some extra time, evaluate how you’re feeling, go over what is going on in your life. Mentally tally what is going on, but don’t let yourself get caught up in it, don’t upset yourself.
2. SET GOALS
Goal setting is an imperative step in getting back on the horse again. Set small goals for yourself, like getting dressed or cooking breakfast. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Even the littlest things can boost our self-esteem and help us to feel a bit better.
3. STICK TO A SCHEDULE
This certainly doesn’t sound like the most fun thing to do. I know I am personally an anti-schedule kind of person. I’m more of an organized chaos kind of girl. But when I am trying to bounce back from something, schedules help to get everything back into place. I eventually go back to that organized chaos, but not until I have settled back into a daily routine.
4. TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
This is so, so important. The first person that you need to take care of is yourself. Even and especially if you have children. What good will I be to my child if I am an emotional wreck? If you need help, ask for it. Never be ashamed to ask for help. Even if you only take five minutes to sit quietly and just breathe, do it. Be kind to yourself!
5. GET DISTRACTED
Distractions are an incredibly important part of re-grouping. Stress will just keep compounding on top of stress, and distracting yourself with something to do, like reading a good book or watching your favorite television show, or even coloring will serve to take your mind off the stress in your life, if even only for a little while.