A Letter to Someone Feeling Stuck In Life
A few weeks ago I was hopeless, depressed and frustrated. I felt my life wasn’t moving in the direction I wanted it to. I had a lot of issues to deal with all at once. It seemed as if all opportunities were passing me by. Oh, and did I mention I was broke? Anyway, let me state this disclaimer before we proceed, this is not a pity party.
Outside, I was still my bubbly little self but inside I was hurting and confused. At every point, I was either depressed or talking myself out of depression. Fortunately, I got better. I am much better! That is why I strongly believe you can get well too.
To begin with, I had to own up to my condition. I had to accept how I felt and find the desire to do something about it. So do you. I know things are pretty tough now but you have the power to change your narrative. Accept what you feel, stop lying to yourself and seek help.
Speak to a trusted person. Visit a shrink if you can afford to. Being vulnerable is easier when trust is present. You will get to rant for hours in a more organized way. You will talk about each piece of the problem one after the other. This will help you see the problem in new perspective. Luckily for me, the person I spoke to could resonate with me. This session helped me a great deal.
Then, I made a gratitude list and tuned my mind into a state of constant gratitude. This exercise brought to my notice how much I had magnified the problems, forgetting about all the good things happening to me and around me. Suddenly, I felt lucky to be alive and realised how fortunate I was. You may not be where you want to be but you have come far ( I know this sound cliche but I mean it). Decide to be grateful for the pleasures of life like the good music you enjoy. Curating a gratitude list will make you take a closer look at yourself, remember your achievements and appreciate the person you have become.
I spent time thinking about solutions. This is a tricky one. When you are depressed, the line between thinking and worrying becomes blurry. Be careful not to switch between the two. Think about new ways to solve the problem. You will come up with fresh ideas. Make it a point to think till you either find answers to the problem or begin to see the problem in a new light.
Find what empowers you and spend more time doing it. Personally, spending more time with God makes me feel empowered. I did more of that. I got a renewed energy and a fresh zeal. What is yours? Find it and spend more time with it.
Finally, look closely at your life. Even when all is lost, there is usually one thing that seems to be working. Channel your energy into that until your hope is revived.
I learnt feeling stuck and hopeless is normal to people trying to make things work. Maybe not necessarily. Regardless, giving up on yourself is not the solution. Getting out of this state of feeling stuck takes time. Be patient with yourself as you heal.
Originally published at Dzifa Mensah.