When Things Fall Apart
When Things Fall Apart
“What you have to realize is that life goes in cycles, you have ebbs and flows.” – Chazz Ellis
I heard this awesome quote from a coach that I discovered recently that I turned to as part of this whole thing that I’ve been going through lately. I’m not going to just pour my heart out on you guys, this isn’t the place for it. But I’ll at the very least admit that things have been tough for me lately, to the point where I’ve been filling my life with craziness and pulling away from my friends for the sheer point of not thinking about it. When I’m busy, it feels like I’m happy and that I was okay sometimes. But whenever I wasn’t moving, I would dwell on all of it, and I’d freak out. I wasn’t dealing with it, facing it head on and learning to be okay, I was pushing it away.
I was just doing as much as possible and just burning myself out and then collapsing and mopping under the weight of the issues I was facing, but wasn’t doing anything to fix them. In the words of Chazz Ellis my life is ebbing, I’m not on top of the world at the moment, and I haven’t been taking the proper time to do anything that I love to do. It feels like everything is a chore. After several weeks of spinning my brain in circles, wondering what to do, my friends started approaching me and helping me work out the issues going on inside my brain.
Everybody experiences those times when everything falls apart. Where they hit the valleys in their life and just don’t know how to handle it. They may completely ignore the feeling until it comes crashing down on their shoulders, as I did, or they may simply wallow in it, unable to get their lives on track. But no matter how people deal with, I’ve found that 70% of people take the wrong avenue. What do you do when things fall apart?
You Need to Take a Step Back
You CANNOT keep running forward when everything in front of you is collapsing! In these instances, you may find it a natural progression to just keep running ahead as the world behind you feels like it’s getting taken down by an earthquake, but you have to keep yourself from doing so. You need to look at everything that has happened to you and then take the time necessary to step back. You what’s going to happen if you just keep running forward? Eventually you’re going to run out of steam.
The proper things to do in this situation is to settle on the brakes. You need to let the dust settle on your life so you can look at it from a healthy place instead of just blocking it out. Sure, being sad that things didn’t work out and that the suck is a terrible feeling to have, but believe me when I say that it’s not going to go away by shirking the feelings. Take a step back, and look at everything happened, that buildup, the collapse, and every feeling and action in between. Taking a step back allows you the chance to reevaluate things, focus your attention where it matters most, and most importantly it allows you a chance to look on the things that happened and become comfortable with the fact that it happened!
Stop Ignoring Your Feelings
If you just tune out your feeling you want to know what’s going to happen? To start, nothing good. Imagine yourself in possession of a vault, in this vault, you stuff all the frustrations of everything’s that is happening to you at the moment. Imagine stuffing all those feeling into the vault and then just trying to forget about it…But they keep popping up. those feeling just refuse to go away, so you continue the process of stuffing more and more of those feelings into the vault.
Those pesky feelings just keep coming, but that safe isn’t growing any bigger. Eventually that safe is going to stretch, and then collapse! When you get blown with that much frustration all at once it kind of feels like a grenade goes off in your heart. Believe me that you don’t want to have a full on breakdown in that situation, it’s literally terrible. It makes things that much more difficult to deal with, the sooner you acknowledge everything that’s really going on in your life, the sooner you can begin the process of working through everything that’s plaguing you!
Every expert on the planet has agreed that bottling up your feelings is absolutely terrible for you. Tami Gustafson, as outlined in the article, actually suggests that bottling up your emotions will in fact eventually kill you! Just soaking in your own emotional waste is fine in theory. After all, no negative emotions, no negativity right? Unfortunately those highs lead to some very negative lows in my experiences. I’d rather deal with it as soon as possible, and thus need to face my emotions head on at times.
After all, negative emotions are a part of life, remember the quote above? Life is fluid, you’ve always got to take the good with the bad. As frustrating as dealing with negative emotions can be, it’s far worse to deal with the breakdown of not dealing with them at all! It starts to bubble up, so you try to busy yourself even more. Every time you aren’t busy but you’re trying to not think about it, you swing into a mood and snap at those around you. Instead of pulling a massive emotional freak-out and EXPLODING with emotions, try just dealing with them as they come.
Voice Your Issues Out Loud
This was a lesson that I’d learned forever ago, except hadn’t applied too incredibly often. I have my best friend Alexander for getting me to say it aloud. He’s fought through so much in his life it’s incredible. Voice your issues aloud, it keeps problems from solely being caught up in your head. When you say it, it becomes a thing in the world, an actual thought with attachments to your environment. I’ve found that this helps MASSIVELY. Many people (it seems to be a little more common in guys then it is for girls in my experience) are just content sitting there in silence. As if they think that nobody will notice how much you’re suffering.
The fact of the matter is that when you speak aloud you’re issues (either to yourself or too your friends) it gives you the chance to realize that it is an actual thing! Plus, it allows you to talk it out, generally (I will admit this) I can be indecisive at times. I think a lot, so it helps me (at least a first) to try and give myself a solid talk before I speak with anyone else. Talk it out without an external influence, have a solid cry if you need to (It’s amazing how much those can help) and acknowledge all the craziness in your life. Your heart will actually thank you for it, as you’re giving the proper amount of acknowledgement. Now don’t get me wrong, you don’t want to sit and dwell on it and do nothing else, that’s just as unhealthy as tuning everything else out. But voicing the things that are on your mind allows you a solid avenue to release your thoughts.
Side Note: If you aren’t quite ready to speak your feeling aloud, then write them down! I’m a huge advocate for writing things down in a journal, it may sound a little obscure, but writing your thoughts down is a healthy exercise. That way you can look back on your notes and smile on your history later on.
Step Away From a Lot of Your Responsibilities or Commitments
Let me be very clear here. I’m not saying that you should abandon EVERYTHING in your life that’s not even close to what I’m saying. I’m saying that if something isn’t super prevalent, take a step back from it for a little while, and clear your mind. After my world shattered recently, I stepped back from coaching, I stopped working on a project which had basically stalled in it’s tracks, I took a bit of a step back from the blog and all the other things that weren’t as prevalent as me focusing on my own health and happiness. The reason I recommend this isn’t because I want you to give up on your passions, but I’ve often found that if it’s stressing you out at a point in your life where things are spiraling already it can be hard to get things going organically.
You want to get back to a point where these things are back in your life, but if you take a bit of time off so you can process things, nobodies going to blame you. But don’t just shut these arts of your life out, just slow down the progress so you can focus on getting back to a place of a happiness. If you take the time to explore the elements of your mind it can be especially helpful in the creative sector of your life. Taping into those emotions will often bring out new ideas and a new perspective on how to tackle some of your projects. It’s surprising just how many things we can accomplish if you look things from a different angle.
So take a step back for a little while, and allow yourself time to heal if you really can’t figure things out. Don’t get lethargic, just take a few days off and then tackle it again from a different side.
Dedicate some to time learning who you are NOW
After a huge period of flow in your life, when things fall apart you have to realize that you aren’t the same person you were when you went into this. At this point, you need to find who THIS new person is. Try some things you’ve always wanted to, spend sometime reconnecting with REALLY old friends, take some Small Victories in your life. No mater what it is you do to find out who the new you is, make sure you take the time to do so! Rediscovering yourself is a severely important part of the healing process. Things are never the same after a huge collapse, you’ll find yourself drawn to different things. You’ll find yourself in a different place! And while at first it’s easy to be nervous about getting going again, you’ll find after time goes on that you’re much stronger then you’re giving yourself credit for.
Try writing some poems, go play some baseball or go rock climbing. Listen to some new music, Be open to the change that you so badly need, as it gives you time to move on. The fact of the matter is (as difficult as it is to face) is that you aren’t that same person. As much as you’re brain and heart may want to be, you ARE NOT the same person you were before that huge chunk of your life was gone, so you may as well swing into that. That person couldn’t have dealt with the huge blow to your ego, that person couldn’t have dealt with feeling lost, they’re too dependent on the success.
You’re strong, you’re you, enjoy that new you, because I can guarantee that they’re an awesome person!
Spend Time With Your Friends
Holy crap is this important. Often times our lives get wrapped up in a bunch of stuff, and while we don’t exactly disconnect from our group of friends, we do put a bit of distance because you’re focused on other things. So one of the biggest things to do is to start hanging out with your friends more often. Get back to your roots, talk out the issues that you’re going through, take comfort in the fact that your friends have your back. They’ll often be able to help you talk out your issues and give you advice on how they tackled things (though whether you decide to take said advice is up to you).
At the same time, working with your friends allows you to explore new avenues. If they’re involved in something that interests you, ask them if it would be okay if you join them for a while on it. Paint with them, go to their soccer league one day, ask them to teach you an instrument. Your friends are the family that you choose, they’re the support system that can help you get back on your feet. Your friends love you and want you to be the best version of yourself that you can be!
On top of supporting you where you need it, they’ll also give you those blunt truths when you need it. If you’re doing something unhealthy and don’t realize it, normally your closest friends will call you out on it. In the moment it usually sucks to get confronted, but that doesn’t mean that you shut them out, that’s egotistical. Listen to what they’re saying, they know you really well, So at the very least its worth hearing them out because chances are, they’re probably saying the truth and it’s just bothering you that it’s so spot on.
Get Back to a Place of strength and happiness with yourself before you continue down the path
This is pretty important in and of itself. A lot of people try to just keep running forward at this stage, so as a result they rush into things and they don’t really work without them being able to figure out why. But think about it, you’re viewing your as falling apart, you aren’t thinking logically. If anything you’re being more desperate to latch onto anything that’ll give you validation. At this stage, when you’re trying to build yourself back up, you should be focusing on what you do have and what makes you happy. That means if you’re trying to start a relationship, a new business, move, make some HUGE decision, it’s going to come into conflict with all the emotions you’re feeling.
Before you start making ridiculously huge decisions, get yourself back to a place of happiness and strength before you start trying to move forward at a rapid place. Think about the sense behind this. If you just got out of a relationship, the last thing to do would be to jump on the bandwagon of getting into a new relationship right? That’s what your heart wants is to feel that connection again, except it isn’t real. It’s a farce by our desire to get back to the place we were before, but the fact of the matter is even if you do get back into that situation, you aren’t emotionally ready for it.
Thing of all the things that got you to this place, pull all the lessons you can from the situation you’re in. Use everything you’ve learned and while it shouldn’t blind you to everything else, know that they’re important to at least have so you can learn from the experience!
The Final Word
Now for the wrap up. When things fall apart around whether it comes in the form of a breakup, getting fired, or anything else that causes a monumental change in the stability of what you do know, it’s important to take things in steps. Don’t block out your emotions, and don’t be afraid to be sad for a time. Allow yourself that time to heal away from the things that are causing you so much pain. Think on everything that’s happened, take solace in your friends, discover new things.
It’s difficult going through the rough times in life, and all too often, people get swept up in their emotions to the point to where they shut down entirely! That’s exactly the type of behavior none of us want! Remember that you have a community here that will always listen to the issues you’re going through, so don’t hesitate to speak up when you feel the need!
The best part of this new time in your life is your chance to do whatever you want! Work towards the new project you’ve been wanting to work on, Paint the painting, go to the beach and walk along the shore everyday! The world your playground, and you now have the freedom to explore it for a little bit! Enjoy it, and be sure to comment on this post about your thoughts and questions! I’d love to hear from you guys!