I’ve been working on an article called “HAVING YOUR LIFE TOGETHER” for a little bit, but I had no idea where I was actually going with it and after some stuff happened this weekend I decided to drop it and start a new one, so here I am.
The article about having your life together was about how we’ve all had this moment where we’ve looked at our lives and thought “man, I really need to get my shit together.” We’ve all made bad decisions, we’ve all made choices we regret, and we’ve all felt like we had no idea what we were actually doing. The point of the article was really just to say that it is normal and it is okay, but there is one important thing that I did not cover in that article; sometimes it is not completely okay. Don’t get me wrong a little bit of it can be healthy, we are all humans after all, but if you do it for too long it will become a vicious self destructive cycle and it is really important to get out of that.
Here’s a bit of personal background information on why I decided to write this article: after a break-up that happened in December I kind of went off the rails; I did a lot of things that were ‘out of character’ just to feel alive again, just to feel like I belonged to myself again. It worked for a bit, but just like anything used to numb the pain after a while I just realised that it really wasn’t working at all. So one day I looked at what I was doing and thought “all right, this is enough. Now that all of that is out of the way I can finally learn to be on my own again.” So I promised myself I was going to change my life around; stop drinking so much, put more effort into uni work and be healthier (typical New Years resolutions but one month too late). When I decided this is when I started writing the article on “having your life together”. I had realised what I was doing wrong but I had also realised how much I had needed to do these things wrong in order to move on and find myself again.
I was good for a couple of weeks; I was eating well, I was exercising, and I wasn’t drinking too much. Until a few days ago when I found myself drinking way way too much and messing everything up. I won’t go into too much details, but let me tell you that it was pretty bad. So here I am, trying to tell you how to get out of this vicious cycle. Partly because some people might be in the same position as me right now and not know what to do, and partly because I’m trying to reassure myself that I can get out of this as well.
So here are some tips on how to get back on track/feel okay/move on:
- take a break: go to the gym, go to the pool, go to the movies. Do something (healthy) to distract yourself of the guilt/sadness/stress/fear/or anything else that’s bothering you, and to concentrate on yourself. If I had the money I’d buy a spa day, but for now I’ll just stick to the gym and homemade facial masks. Do this only for a little bit though, because life moves on and avoiding the problem is not the answer. But it feels good, doesn’t it? To just not think about it for a while, see it as a way to gather up your strength to face it.
- regain control/take responsibility: The scary thing about messing up is the loss of control. So it’s important to get that back. Start with the little things: apologise to anyone you may have hurt, get back into a routine, control what you eat, clean your room, make plans with friends,…
- Talk about it: First of all talk about it to a friend. If that doesn’t help then don’t be scared to ask for professional help. I know therapy is a terrifying thing but sometimes it is needed. Most schools have a guidance counsellor or a mental health adviser, don’t be scared to go to them.
- Understand what went wrong: This is a tough one but extremely important. What happened to get you where you are now? What’s the real problem causing all of this? Try to see it, phrase it, and accept it in order to deal with it.
- Get a new hobby: this will help you get your mind of things and discover something new. It will keep you busy and broaden your horizons in a way. I just bought a membership to a pool and gym where I’m currently spending most of my time, and I also bought a ukulele because I had missed music so much. This is not only fun but will also make you happy because you might discover something you really like (I apparently really really love swimming).
- get some perspective: take a step back. You may be a bit lost, but you’ll be all right. Nothing is permanent.
- Stay healthy: healthy body, healthy mind. You are what you eat so make sure to eat well! Stay hydrated, stay active, and eat your vegetables.
- Most importantly; forgive yourself. Yes, you might have messed up, but you’re okay. You’re alive.
So I’m not really sure if this will help anyone, but personally it’s helping me so there you go!