A shovel in dirt
Coping Skills

Pushing Forward

Sometimes there’s nothing to be done about a situation. Sometimes you can’t directly affect what’s going on in any way. So what can you do? Everything!

As always, I speak from experience, and right now I’ve got a private situation that I can do nothing about but is very frightening to me. I have no control but I might wind up badly hurt after it’s all over. In reality, I’m unlikely to come out harmed, but the possibility is there and that possibility seems to hang over my head. But I’ve found a working solution for it for now.

Because I cannot control what will happen to me, I just push myself in other ways. Fear can be crippling, as can depression. Fear often leads to depression so you might get hit on both fronts. Sometimes I just push myself in whatever way I can. I’ve been lucky enough to have some decent sunshine even here in Michigan and that’s helped. I usually spend a lot of time on my computer but I’ve gone outside and done yard work. Yard work is productive and feeds my sense of accomplishment. This mitigates my fear simply because it’s a positive feeling. I beat bad by throwing good at it.

The fear might lead to less productivity so I push even harder. I don’t want to write a blog post but here I am, writing a blog post. I want to share how I cope, and I see my situation as a wonderful opportunity to bless others. It’s my job, after all.

The temptation

Nagging at me is a temptation to run and hide. I could simply play my computer games all day every day, or do other things to hide. I could sleep in and stay in bed, and sometimes I want to do that. Fear leads to the “fight or flight” reaction in animals, and flight sometimes feels like a good option. But my threat right now isn’t a tiger. It’s a situation with human problems and human actions. I’m not worried about something running after me and clawing me and eating me.

I might also want to fight. I was at work yesterday and I argued with my boss about politics. I then complained about another situation at work. Apparently, fighting was on my mind as much as fleeing was, but I got control of myself. My boss is awesome and patient and I said I’d return when I’m more well. He was able to wait for me. I thanked him for his patience and he was gracious and kind about my struggle.

How to Fight

So I come full circle to how I fight. I keep pushing the productivity. I write this blog post. I played racquetball with a friend today. I shared my recovery story with a class of people studying mental illness on Monday. I am reading books on a technology called “Docker”, which I intend to use for more productivity and learning computers better for my web development business. I’ve paid bills. I’ve talked with my tenants and shared happy stories with them. I push in absolutely every way.

The result

I’m not exactly feeling fine right now, but I’m not in despair. I’m OK. I also take time to rest. I played an extremely laid back game with a friend recently. Also, the friend I played with is someone who has overcome a lot of anxiety. Just playing a game with her meant that I was with someone who understands. She’s my peer. I’m also really excited for her. She has grown tremendously recently and I find her to be an inspiration in my own life. I want to be like her. Maybe I am. I also played another game with some new friends and one of them is religious in a similar way to me. I talked with him about our shared religion and how it’s helped us through. So I push, and I empathize. I’m going to be alright, and if any of you Gentle Readers are going through a hard time, you’re going to be alright, too. Thanks for joining me in being students.

Image by TanteTati from Pixabay

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