How Do You Handle Life When Everything Goes Wrong?
Sometimes I wonder if it’s even worth getting out of bed.
Two flat tires.
That’s how my day started. I was driving to work on these fantastic Louisiana roads, and the best I can tell, I went in a pothole.
I’m not sure why it took out two of my tires on the sidewalls, but there were a couple of huge holes looking back at me. This is certainly not how I meant for my morning to go. I had higher hopes than that when I crawled out of bed.
It seems like bad luck comes in waves.
First, I caught the hubs cheating. Okay, that’s awful — maybe not even comparable to a flat tire or two. In the end, that one will cost me a whole lot more.
This tire thing was just like icing on the cake.
For a few minutes, I thought about hurling myself into traffic and taking my chances with one of the eighteen wheelers barreling down the road. Luckily, I gathered my wits together and called a tire store instead. $421 dollars later, I was fixed up. They even gave me a ride to the office while they worked on my vehicle!
So, what DO you do when life gets crazy and overwhelming?
One answer (and not a very good one) is to isolate.
Isolating means to withdraw from other people and try to get through everything on your own.
It can also mean to withdraw from other people and AVOID dealing with anything.
Often when we isolate, we use distractions or substances to keep us from acknowledging our mountains and doing the work it takes to overcome. This causes more problems to pile up until our lives become completely unmanageable. That’s 12-step talk, for anyone who hasn’t been through it. Recovery is an amazing thing.
Isolation is NOT the preferred solution but it’s something I’ve tried and made bigger messes with before.
Another choice that you could make (and I’m guilty of this one as well) is VENT.
Everyone knows what venting is, but here’s an explanation anyway.
Venting is when you seek validation, approval, or sympathy by telling your side of a story (often with dramatic emphasis) on social media or to another person or group of people. This is my own definition, just like the definition for isolating, but it’s basically what venting boils down to.
Here are some ways that venting can be damaging:
1. Feelings often change, but once the spoken or written word is out there, it’s out there. You can apologize, but you can’t unsay it. Someone can forgive you, but they’re unlikely to forget.
2. You can hurt someone’s feelings. Maybe you mean to rage about someone and at the time, it doesn’t make you feel bad (even though it should). Collateral damage happens. That person may have children, parents, grandkids, or other individuals in their life that you just victimized unintentionally with your words. It hurts to hear bad things about people you love, whether it’s true or not.
It isn’t fair to throw shade on everyone even if a certain person is shady and you want it known. Please think twice before venting!
3. Venting often damages the “venter” more than the “ventee”. I don’t think that’s proper terminology, but you get my meaning. It makes you look bad. JUST DON’T DO IT.
It’s okay to cry.
It may be hard to go through a bad time without crying. So, don’t. There’s a lot to be said for the cleansing and healing effects of a good, blubbering, crying session!
Get it out of your system.
Just don’t make it a long-term event. Cry, then stand up, wash your face, and move on with life!
I find it useful to plug into a community of like-minded people when going through the rough times of life. Ideally, you already have a group like that. If you don’t, seek one out. Look for people that you know or know about who believe like you do, worship like you do, and who will hold you accountable for getting your life back on track.
The truth is it’s YOUR LIFE!
How you live and whether you end well is ultimately up to you. You can hang your head in defeat and quit trying, or you can shake it off and get back behind the wheel.
For me, the most important thing I can do is lean on God.
He’s my constant whether things are going good or not so great. He’s my shelter in a storm and the rock I’m standing on. No wind will blow me away, and no waters will drown my soul if I cling tightly to His hand.
My faith isn’t what gets me through; it’s the One I’m faithful to.
This is why two flat tires and an impending divorce didn’t defeat me today.
There will always be potholes. And there will always be God.
also published here