Please note the real title of the piece should be:
“How to Stand Up :: A 3 Step Guide to Putting the Pieces Back Together after Getting Your Ass Handed to You for a Month (And Realizing Oh and By the Way, You Totally Did This to Yourself)”
Remember that Rachel Platten song “Fight Song” that came out a couple years ago? Yeah ya do… and if you’re like me you’re totally humming it to yourself right now. It’s awesome.
It came to my attention only a few days after it hit the airwaves when a former client of mine sent me an email (recreated here b/c I don’t have access to that email addy anymore):
Wow. Can you see why I love my job? It was the highest of compliments.
And some days I question if I’m worthy of such high praise. Conveniently, it seems like when I’m talking to folks, they’re constantly seeing me on my upswing. Some have even accused me of not HAVING downswings. Which is totally untrue.
I have down swings.
I have a day of “Fxck-Its”.
Sometimes, I don’t have a DAY of “Fxck-Its” — sometimes I have DAYS (note that ‘S’- that S is important) of “Fxck-Its”.
And sometimes, just for cosmic shits and giggles, I have days where I’m totally in the battle and just keep getting my ass kicked. And January was like a big old month of just that.
So I figured I’d pull back the curtain and tell you about getting my ass ritualistically handed to me and how I ended up dealing (or not dealing) with it.
So what happens when you add 8 major life stressors, some major grief/loss and two 10-hour road trips into the span of 30 days?
- Holiday Season
- Death of a Family Member
- Husband leaves for extended training
- Unanticipated changes at work
- Family visiting
- New puppy
- New website
- New online groups (2)
Well I don’t know about you, but for me, I felt like I was on the verge of losing my fxcking mind for 30 days straight.
I wasn’t “at my edges”.
I was OVER my edges. Hanging by fingernails sporting the sad remains of a manicure I got right after Christmas.
Garbage. It lasted as long as… Squirrel!
Craptastic. Two hours or 12 hours. Felt exactly the same.
All over the place. I got my Shakeology in daily, but that didn’t exactly negate the tacos… the wine… the cookies… the chocolate… the BREAD… you get the idea.
Let’s just say I forgot more things than I’m willing to admit on a public forum.
And somewhere in the fog of my survival mode, I came to the horrifying realization that I — me, myself and thou — was 100% responsible for bringing in the level of stress that I was experiencing.
- I launched the website.
- I invited the guests.
- I accepted the job.
- I chose to travel.
- I created the groups.
- I got the puppy.
There is a special sense of betrayal reserved for getting stabbed seemingly “out of nowhere” only to realize that YOU are the only person holding a knife.
I did this.
Worse, I did it to myself… again.
I swear it’s like I’ve grown comfortable with the idea of struggling. Like my sickened happy place is that tiny space where I teeter on the verge of chaos. What the hell?!
Have you ever felt this way? I have a feeling I’m not alone.
What do you do when you find yourself completely overtaxed?
I can only speak for myself… so here’s what I did:
- Once I realized I had completely and yet again “shot myself in the foot” so to speak… I took an inventory and decided what I could and couldn’t do about the mess I had created.
- I couldn’t quit my job.
- I wasn’t getting rid of the puppy. For some people this would be an option but for me it’s not. I mean, look at him?
- Family was about to leave.
- I looked at what I could control:
- I knew I felt better when I worked out and let’s face it, MOST days, I was in control of whether I got my butt off the couch.
- I absolutely could control what I put in my mouth. No one is there force feeding me girl scout cookies (as if they’d have to).
- I could adjust the frequency with which I posted on my website.
- I could choose to continue or discontinue to my groups.
- I made a conscious decision to let go of any self-judgements about my success or perceived failings and take things 1 day at a time.
(Which, by the way is a lot harder than it looks considering I was supposed to post this blog 2 weeks ago but I cringed every time I thought about it).
Does it sting to write this post knowing that I’m airing something less than the pinnacle of success?
Yeah, it does. It stings.
AND it’s still infinitely less painful than the perpetual falling or drowning feeling I had been wrestling with.
When you commit to make a lifestyle change that is grounded in REAL life, you have to realize that there are going to be days, weeks and maybe even a month or two that kick your butt from one end to the other.
Hope for the best. Plan for reality.
And realize that as long as you’re still breathing, you have options available to you to help correct a course of action when life goes completely astray.
I hope this little “reveal” has helped you realize there isn’t any magic formula to being “me” or a “professional”.
You can do this.