It’s funny how sometimes life gets to you isn’t it? One minute you’re so busy being invincible! Single handed, you beat the monsters, the obstacles, the difficulties in your life away. You flex your muscles and stand proud! No one can get to you. You can do anything. You are absolutely amazing! The most awesome individual ever.
And then something happens. You were so busy smacking away the problems that could see…then something comes from leftfield, it raises it’s ugly, menacing head, it smiles a gruesome, lecherous smile, and bang! You black out. What the hell just happened? You didn’t see that coming.
So you try to stagger to your feet, you know who you are, you’re a bloody warrior, you try to get up. But your legs feel like lead, your head still smarts and aches from what just happened. Bruised, bleary eyed, head aching, you try to get up – and smash! There you again. And again, and again. The original anonymous, unknown assailant has long gone – but you remain vulnerable. A shell of what you used to be. You keep trying to stand. You keep trying. Until you no longer can anymore. Or you’ve lost the will to try…
If you’ve never experienced this – then I don’t know what to say. Either you’re lying to yourself. Or in denial? It’s hard to say. Until you’ve hit rock bottom, how do you know what you’re made of? How do you know who you really are? Or perhaps you are lucky? Because to take that battering. To feel that despair. To experience that feeling of impotence – there’s no horror quite like it.
I write this because so many of us have felt this way at some point in our lives. Thankfully, it’s socially acceptable to have conversations about this topic. The taboo and stigma has been removed. It’s hard to imagine that a bunch of chemicals inside your body can make you feel incredible, or as if the world is about to end. But you have to ‘Keep calm and carry on!’ The mantra that is splashed over every mug, tea towel, apron, notebook and any other thing that a human could possibly use. I’m an advocate of ‘keep calm and carry on!’, don’t get me wrong, but occasionally you should ‘Lose your shit and do something about it!’. Not very catchy though. Can’t see that slogan sitting on the mugs in M&S. But I do believe it’s true.
The way I see it, is that we are hunter/gatherers. We may be dressed in fashionable clothes, make-up and expensive perfumes. But we are essentially hunter/gatherers with a well honed fight or flight mechanism in our brains. We have primitive instincts – gut feelings that alert us to danger – that’s how we’ve survived and evolved over the past 10,000 years. However much we’re primped and preened, however much we’re suited and booted, regardless of the amount of luxury that we live in – we are still deep down, those cave dwellers from years ago. So when things get hard for us – yes it’s the chemicals in our bodies making life a challenge, but we also have to think to ourselves – what are we going to change?
If I go back to my original analogy about being beaten by that unknown assailant – do we give in, close our eyes and quietly accept our fate? Or do we rage? Do we fight? Do we refuse to give up and give in?
Here’s what I think- if you were an awesome individual once – why can’t you be that person again? That person hasn’t gone. It wasn’t someone else. That was you! That still is you! You’ve taken a battering – but you’re still you. You’re still there. You have to believe. You have to keep faith. These tough times are only temporary. The battering is only temporary. You will rise again. Wiser. Stronger. Tougher.
So, to the people who feel broken, or wounded or betrayed. To the people who have lost their confidence, their pride, their faith….you won’t always feel this way. Hang in, hang on and fight. Keep fighting. Keep fighting. Keep fighting. When this all passes, and you’ve learnt the lessons that you needed to learn – you’ll look back and feel so glad that you did.