I think back to all the days, maybe even months, and probably even years wasted being sick and tired. What an awful place to be… don’t you think? When you are stuck in that place, you just cannot seem to find a way out of it. It weighs you down and it’ll eventually drown you if you do not figure a way out. I remember saying I am just sick and tired of being sick and tired. Matter of fact, way too often too. That comes from a place of being unhappy. You think you can’t change it, but you can! Believe it or not, you are the only one who can.
Your family, friends & peers.
Your accessibility to get help.
These three things play a significant role in your mental space. While it is not limited to these, my belief is that they are some of the most critical areas to address.
Your family, friends & peers: While most of us would like to believe that this would be a no-brainer and we would have the love and support of all of them, a lot of the time we don’t. It could be that they have chosen not to be supportive of you. It could be that while they care about you, they just do not have the ability to help. It could also be you have not shared your situation and they have no clue. Yep, sometimes we have to get out of our own way! Whatever the reason, we need to take a deeper look at who we have in our support system. Over the past 4 years, this has been the most extensive work I have done. I have cut those out who do not support and inspire me. There were also people in my life who I loved so much that I allowed their unhealthy behaviors to drown me. As much as I did not want to give up on them, I knew I couldn’t save them without hurting myself. When I did all this, I found that I had more energy and time for the ones who did love and support me. I knew that there were others who would have tried to help but just did not have the capability to at that moment in time. I loved them for that, but I didn’t want to add to their plate of responsibilities. I also had to own the fact that I hid a lot from my family and friends. I was embarrassed and unsure of myself. I did not want people to know how unhappy I was. That fear of judgment kept me from seeking & accepting the support I needed. Removing those who did not support me gave me the clarity and confidence to stand up for myself and reach out for help. I will say that without the support of one dear friend, it definitely would have taken me a lot longer to figure this out. She was my rock and would not let me drown. She was there even when I did not want her to be. She was a light during the darkest of days and pulled me through to the other side so that I could work on the other things that needed to be done. It is my hope that each of you has that one person in your life, too. It makes all the difference.
Your surroundings: I remember moving a lot until we ended up in my last house. There was always a reason I wanted to move. I came up with good reasons. What I realized after my last home was that the deciding factor in all the other homes was the bad memories. I felt like if I could change my surrounding then it would magically get better. Now, there were many bad memories at the last house, too, but my love for that place was stronger than the memories and it made the why all the other moves happened so much clearer. It can be hard to be in an unhealthy environment. It feels like you cannot control what is happening around you. You see and experience things that trigger you right back into the hopelessness that it will never get better. You try to make changes. You try to control the chaos. You work hard on making sure everything is perfect around you. But you cannot do all those things if others around you are not. I remember working in the most toxic and chaotic environment ever. It was my business, but I hated going to work. I never thought that would happen, but the environment was so bad. So, a change had to happen. One of the hardest – but most rewarding – things I have ever done. Not just for me, but for my entire team. If your surroundings are unhealthy and chaotic, it is hard to get out of that space. You must change what you can, and that starts with you. It can be small steps. Progress is what matters most. Your surroundings are one the hardest things to change. It may come with financial issues as to why you cannot. It may also come with family obligations that will not allow the change. It’s never easy. Do what you can – there is no right answer. It is all based on what is best for you.
Your accessibility to ask for help: How is it that when we are struggling the most, it is also the least likely time we reach out for help? Is it because we feel so helpless? Is it because our pride gets in the way? Is it because we do not want to burden anyone else? Yeah, it is probably all of those and more. We have no problem coming up with excuses, don’t we? There will be times when we feel afraid to ask for help. Lean in and do it! Help comes in all forms. Maybe your physical space needs help, like repairing worn or broken areas of the home. Maybe you just need help with lifting wood out of one area and into another. Reaching out to a friend helps both of you; you get the extra help and it makes them feel important that you reached out. Maybe you just need some me-time. If you have small children, which does not happen near enough. If you are caring for aging parents that cannot be left alone, ask for a personal care provider to help so you can run errands. All of this can wear you down and is daunting when there’s no end in sight. Reach out and get someone to come help. They may want to visit with your children or parents. It makes them feel valuable that they can take some of your burdens off your shoulders, even if it is just for a brief time. Maybe the help you need is a mental boost. Reaching out to a therapist is what saved me. Reaching out to a close friend who understands is priceless. Reaching out to a mentor or peer can help with work frustrations. Reaching out to a teacher can give you guidance on helping your child instead of just trying to figure it out on your own and still being wrong. I do not know about you, but I could not help my children with math after first grade. 😊 Finding a coach, reading books, and listening to podcasts are other ways to access help.
I know that I will never find myself in that headspace again. I realize that I will be sick, and I realize that I will be tired. But I will not ever let myself get sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Keep Living Your Best Life!