“I am almost 25 but I feel like a scared little kid. In the mornings I have trouble getting out of bed, sometimes I don’t get up until 2pm. I clutch my blanket or a pillow and these thoughts come into my head that if I stay in bed I will be safe.”
And so began a heart-wrenching email I received today from a woman who’d read an article I’d written on a web resource site. Receiving such emails is not at all uncommon, and I can tell you I never become immune to their emotional impact. I’ve begun an email helping relationship with this woman; however, I have some thoughts I’d like to share with all of you.
How ’bout I paint this picture…
Your life is in shambles. I mean, the list goes on and on – relentless anxiety, mood lower than a rattlesnake’s belly, very scary thoughts zooming in and out of your head, weird physical phenomena, hair-trigger nerves, and intense fear.
And to make matters worse, you’re in financial turmoil and you have no idea how you’re going to keep your job, feeling as you do. And if you don’t have one, you’re not at all motivated or inspired to look. In fact, you find your motivation to do most anything has taken the last train for the coast.
Actually, at this point you wonder if it would be better to just curl-up into a ball and roll away. It’s so tempting, isn’t it?
So what now?
Well, I can tell you I’ve been smack-dab in the middle of it; and it’s about as hopeless, helpless, cold, and lonely a feeling as one could ever conjure up.
To me, this isn’t the time for “what to do,” it’s the time for “what not to do.” That said, here’s looking at you kid.
The chipur “I’m in the midst of hell on earth” NOT To Do List…
- Do not expect to feel hopeful – and trash that “everything’s okay” look and attitude. Everything isn’t okay and every component of your mind and body are telling you so. How else do you think you’d feel?
- Do not attempt to solve all 9,000,000 issues just now. Not only will you fail, you’ll implode.
- Do not in any way assign your immediate circumstances to who you really are as a person (mom, dad, spouse, etc.). Never forget how powerful our inboard “butt-kicking” mechanisms are.
- Do not prognosticate on how you’ll feel in, say, two weeks based upon how you feel now. I mean, that’s like trying to imagine one day feeling well as you’re doing all you can to survive a gastrointestinal flu bug.
- Do not go to folks for insight and counsel in whom you have questionable trust.
- Do not hesitate to talk with someone, even if it’s on a crisis-line, should you feel in any way unsafe.
- Do not turn to substances for relief. I know it sounds awfully good, but every time you dodge a growth episode (and that’s what this is), major opportunities for positive change are missed. And besides, you don’t need anything messin’ with your judgment just now.
- Do not do the “24-hour stay indoors” thing. Get out-and-about even if you have no reason to. And if you’re not up to driving, find someone who is or take a walk. I assure you, you’ll more than survive the outing.
- Do not believe this is the end of the line for you. Believe me, others have endured the same and made it out. What makes them more deserving of good things than you?
- Do not push away those you love, and who love you. As much as you may want to isolate, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
Bottom-line is this – I don’t care how cooked you may think your goose is, it ain’t over ’til you say it’s over! And managing the immediate caving-in of the walls is a lot less complicated than you might think.
So there you have it, chipur readers – the latest in Top 10 lists. It’d be great if you’d come up with #’s 11-100 in a comment (or two).