I would have to say the past decade for me has been pretty rough.
I was made to leave a career that I enjoyed. My marriage failed. I’ve had several other relationships fail. I’ve been estranged from my children due to distance and not knowing how to communicate. I’ve dealt with sometimes crippling depression and anxiety. I lost my dad. I don’t talk to anyone in my family anymore. I’m in debt up to my eyeballs with little hope of escaping it.
(EDIT: Oh yeah, my face almost got eaten by a dog, too. You know. Small stuff.)
So, yeah, it’s been a helluva decade to say the least.
A lot of good stuff happened in there, too, but I think we can all agree that’s a pretty heavy caseload to deal with. I think we can all also agree that you’ve sometimes felt like you were in that same sinking ship.
You ask yourself, “How do I make it out of this place? How do I take back my life?”
I’m not here trying to tell you how to succeed. I’m here to tell you how to survive.
There are a lot of people out there that will shovel loads of false hope to you. They tell you how to just “let go” or how to shove a crystal where the sun don’t shine to realign your chakra.
It’s all bullshit. You know it. I know it. They know it.
They also know you’re searching for a life raft in any direction. They know they can monetize you. I guess I’m trying to monetize you too, but I’m not gonna blow smoke.
There are no easy ways to make your life acceptable when it gets like this. There isn’t an easy win button or an app. Therapy will only help insomuch as you allow it.
The bottom line, no spin truth is: change is hard and nothing worth doing is ever easy.
Anyway, here’s my advice on surviving until you thrive when your world goes to hell:
Get rid of toxic relationships.
I don’t care who it is. I don’t care how much you love them. I don’t care if you think you couldn’t possibly live without them.
If you’re in a toxic relationship, you’ll know it. You’ll dread being in their vicinity. You’ll be anxious. You disagree with the things they say, but you won’t speak up because they may get angry. You may even love them and hate them at the same time.
Trust me when I say you don’t need this stress in your life. I don’t care if the person is a parent, a sibling, a partner — get rid of them. They are killing you slowly.
If a person can’t be there for you in the way you need and vice versa, it’s not a relationship based on mutual respect. It’s a relationship based on one-sided dominance.
Simplify your life.
There is so much stuff going on in the world today. It’s fed to us now in overwhelming chunks via social media (where it’s also twisted and corrupted.)
Add in all the political dysfunction, wars, social justice messaging, and rampant racism/bigotry, and it can be too much.
On top of all this, we’re still treated like a commodity by money and power hungry billionaires and their pet corporations. We’re inundated with consumer messaging telling us that if we’re going to live in the modern world, we need their “stuff.”
Just, I don’t know, that seems so hollow, doesn’t it? It’s all some charade meant to keep you unfocused on what’s best for you. Screw ‘em.
Do what YOU want.
Have you ever wanted to go to a strip club? Do it. Have you ever wanted to drop acid? Do it. Have you ever wanted to have sex with an anime character? If you say yes, I suggest aforementioned therapy. It actually may help.
Seriously, kink shaming aside, nothing should be taboo. I mean, use good sense, of course. Just don’t let things be off limits if you’re curious.
One caveat: always remember to read or listen to the instructions.
Know your worth.
Okay, everyone, I need you to say it with me.
If you’re not happy, the situation is bad. Something has to change and you’re the only one who’s gonna look out for you.
Stop helping everyone else when no one helps you. Pick worthy causes instead. Homeless people gotta eat and old people would like a hand to hold when they’re alone.
Don’t let the vampires of the world drain you. They know who they are and so do you. Be smart. You’re more valuable than you believe yourself to be.
As always, your mileage may vary.
Remember, kids, take advice you get with a grain of salt. Use what works and fork the rest. ’Til next time.