When it Feels Like You’ve Lost Everything

It’s 2016…boy am I glad. 2015 was a doozy, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. Even so, the whole New Year’s celebration idea can be daunting as well. What could this year hold? Prosperity, health,  and love, these are the things we toast our drinks to on New Year’s Eve, but what happens when we have lost all of these things the year before? What do you do and where do you go?

This is not meant to be discouraging, but think about it….

This is what I experienced in 2015. Like I said before I’m sure I’m not alone here. I lost my dream job, my apartment, my day-job, a man that I had fallen in love with, was pulled out of school, spent ten days in a hospital bed, and was placed in a residential rehab facility for disordered eating. All while dealing with a mysterious and nagging pain in my neck (literally).

On the surface I played cool customer. I laughed and made jokes in class, made good grades, but underneath the facade I became a hoarder of secrets, deadly secrets. My Facebook page was covered with happy pictures of me, and all the wonderful/interesting things I was up to, but in actuality I sat alone in my apartment every weekend, not wanting to see anyone.

Does this sound similar to your 2015? If so, this post is for you.

So what do you do when you feel like you have lost everything and you’re just ready to give up?

  1. Get Help

I know this sounds incredibly simple, but this is actually the hardest step. It took me about seven months before I was willing to do this, and even when I did I worried that I didn’t need it, that I was wasting my therapist’s time with my non-sense. I worried that I was an incredible burden. I still feel like this most days, but I still go to my appointments.

Why? Because even when I’m not in the best headspace to listen to her, and to dig deep, it helps me get through the week knowing someone cares, and someone knows. This step can feel awkward and scary sometimes, but I know it is worth it. I have learned so much about myself through the experience.

It will be hard. I called and hung up the phone multiple times before anyone answered at the counseling center at my school because I feared therapy. I feared accountability, and I frankly feared change. I wanted everything to stay the same, but that little authentic voice that had been smothered was crying out that I needed help.

2. Try to Move Forward

Search for a new job, go back to school, but do not stay idle…

As Shia Labeouf would say: JUST DO IT

I have spent so much time trying to figure out this formula of how to be happy and productive again. I’d search online how to be happy, or how to get over someone, and how to not engage in eating disorder behavior, but life is messy, it can get utterly ridiculous some days, and you are gonna screw up. I screw up all the time, trust me I know.

Those are the days where you really just have to reach inside yourself and rip that authentic voice out of it’s bondage and listen to it.

This is what this voice says to me: Dammit Meagan. Why do you mope so much? If you don’t like how things are then get out and change them! Get out of this bed, get out of this apartment and just do anything else but stay here.

Sometimes this voice isn’t as loud as other days, but that is OK. Sometimes you can’t hear it either, and that is OK as well because sometimes it isn’t there, but don’t stay there for long because it’s miserable.  I’ve been there a lot lately, and one thing I can tell you is if you don’t make a least a tiny effort to move forward your issues will become your identity. Do not let this happen.

-Take a picture of you at your lowest. I did this while I was in the hospital. I look at this picture whenever I lose motivation, it reminds me that I never want to go back there. (Was going to post, but it is incredibly personal, and I would not want to trigger others with eating disorders.)

3.  Give yourself some grace

One thing I learned about myself this year is that I am way too hard on myself. If I am not perfect I am a failure. This is what I tell myself all the time. I am almost obsessed with looking, acting, and seeming perfect like I have my life together. I’ll practice what I am going to say before I go out, I will obsess about my looks, and spend an excessive amount of hours on writing assignments for my classes.

I do this because I want people to like me. But instead of being me, I hustle for my worthiness, and for the acceptance of my peers, teachers and bosses.

I started reading a book while I was in treatment called The Gifts of Imperfection. 

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This book is a must read for anyone struggling with loss, depression, perfectionism…etc…the list can go on and on. It’s really a must read for everyone.

I love Brene Brown’s definition of Authenticity:

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go if who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.  

Talk to yourself like a friend. Would you call your friend stupid and worthless? Then why are you allowed talk to yourself like this? Give yourself grace, embrace who you are and suddenly the pressure to be flawless melts away.

Finally, if you don’t hear anything else, hear this. I came to this realization today: Sometimes it takes losing everything to discover how much we have to gain…

-Meagan

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