There are different ways to solve problems. The only question is which way you personally can manage and what quality of life it provides you.
Sometimes we all feel bad. Stress at work, conflicts in the family, life disorder, loss of a loved one, a midlife crisis, or rethinking yourself and life in general can all contribute to this feeling.
Feeling bad can manifest in different ways: overwhelming anger or despair, when everything around seems intolerable. Or perhaps it’s crushing loneliness, when you long for someone’s hand to hold, someone to comfort and reassure you. Sometimes, it can be a resounding emptiness, making you feel as if there’s no way out.
Despite these various forms of feeling “bad,” there are universal methods that people use to help themselves.
How to survive difficult times? The human way. People.
“Embrace me and share my pain!”
Close people are the strongest support. If you have someone to rely on, who will lend a shoulder in difficult times, with whom you can talk heart to heart, whom you can ask, and they will give – you are a fortunate person. Cherish it, because many people don’t have that.
If you have a close friend with whom you can meet and share feelings without needing to resort to alcohol, then you are indeed a rare find.
This connection isn’t about alcohol. If you meet over a bottle, you’re in company with a substance, not another person. Friends in such situations often play the role of a backdrop, like a switched-on TV, while everyone is in their own world.
How to survive difficult times? Creativity
“Find a container for your feelings.”
If you can channel your experiences onto paper, express them in dance, convey them through music, you are very lucky. You’ve found an outlet for what’s happening inside. Moreover, you manage to create something meaningful from the agony of your own soul.
If you aren’t into paints and colored pencils, take a pen and express what you feel in a notebook. See if that helps you. Write about what’s troubling you, whether in a diary or a letter to yourself or someone else (that you’ll never send). The paper can handle it. Write as much as you need.
Stand up and express your emotions through movement. Tell your story with your body. Create your own dance, pantomime, or solo performance.
Browse through works by photographers and look for images that reflect your current condition. You may notice a sequence of photos that illustrate a transition from darker themes to lighter, more peaceful ones, providing calm and hope.
How to survive difficult times? Nature
Rough tree trunks, wet falling leaves, soft rotten grass, smooth chestnuts, fragrant mushrooms, the wind, rain, thunderstorms, noisy waves, chilly sunrises, and warm sea sunsets, air smelling of dew… These are all gifts we receive for free.
But if you’re really down, neither nature nor creativity will be of help. The resources of loved ones also aren’t unlimited. When despair rises from your soul, and the only thing you can manage is to snap at everyone or lie facing the wall, the best approach is to seek help from a psychotherapist. This trained professional can help you handle your despair. They can help you sort through the turmoil of your soul.
If they believe your mental resources are currently insufficient to manage your crisis, they may refer you to a psychiatrist who might prescribe medication. I personally know people who have been helped through drug therapy, but in my experience, many people can work through their problems and emerge into the light and clear waters of wellbeing. It’s just that at some point, most of us need support.
People also choose other ways to breathe life into their existence:
Each of these methods comes with a serious price.
How to survive difficult times? Children.
When you’re feeling low, you may yearn to hold your child close, inhale their scent, and find comfort in their presence. You might want them to offer comfort, or even protection. Sometimes, you may simply want to lie beside them, read them a book, and draw warmth from their innocent laughter.
However, it’s crucial to remember that a child cannot share in adult experiences. They can only become a receptacle for parental suffering, storing it within themselves. This includes fear, horror, anxiety, hatred, sadness, and loneliness.
These difficult emotions should be shared with other adults, not burdening children with them. Even if you don’t say anything and just cry, hugging your child, this little being absorbs your pain.
Adult children can also find this difficult. Your son or daughter will always be your child, regardless of their physical size or age. If you hold out hope that your son will be your rock, and build a relationship with your son as if he is your spouse, it places an immense burden on him. This isn’t his place; he has his own life, his own future partner, and his own relationships to foster.
How to survive difficult times? Faith. Religion.
This is an age-old path. As long as humanity has existed, so has the ability to find support in something or someone strong, all-loving, forgiving, and powerful. The one who sees you, knows you, accepts and forgives you, who governs your life, who is both strict and merciful, the ideal Parent.
To my surprise, this method remains the most popular. As a way to support oneself in times of crisis, turning to God seems to be the choice of many.
Drinking to numb your pain.
The price of this method is potentially alcoholism. As long as you believe you control the frequency and dose, you may have the illusion that you’re controlling alcohol, not the other way around. Alcoholism is one of those addictions that not only affect physical health but also degrade a person’s character. Under its influence, people change and deteriorate.
How to survive difficult times? Eating.
Filling your emptiness with things.
To fill an emotional void, you might start accumulating beautiful things like handbags, jewelry, and clothes. You might also sweeten your life with treats and habitually comfort yourself with food.
How to survive difficult times? Becoming seriously ill.
This method can be effective. Any everyday problems retreat in the face of a potentially deadly disease. And if you manage to survive, such an experience can bring about a profound re-evaluation of life and its value. Sometimes, only when faced with death do people allow themselves to live to the fullest. Nothing invigorates more than the proximity of death.
However, this method has downsides: if you don’t survive, your hopes for a happy life could end abruptly. If you manage to escape with minor damage, the cost is still significant – a lost organ, physical scars, and lots of money and time spent on treatment.
How to survive difficult times? Finding someone who has it worse.
Everything is known in comparison. Against the backdrop of a friend with an alcoholic husband and dire poverty, your life may no longer seem so terrible.
However, the downside is that you might end up keeping only such friends in your circle. Otherwise, seeing someone else’s family happiness, success, and well-being could plunge you into depression.
Finding someone who has it worse and taking care of them.
In comparison to a children’s oncology ward or a home for abandoned children, any problems may seem trivial. You can also appreciate the value of your well-being and distract from your own problems by solving those of others. However, while you’re busy solving the problems of others, your own problems don’t disappear; they continue to grow. One day you might find that you’ve missed out on your own life.
How to survive difficult times? Psychotherapy.
In times of emotional distress, professional psychotherapists are trained to help guide you through the dark and into the light. They can help you manage your emotions and navigate the stormy waters of your psyche. When necessary, they may refer you to a psychiatrist who can evaluate your mental state further and prescribe medication, if needed. Drug therapy can be effective for some, offering the necessary support to get through the difficult times.
Sometimes, psychotherapy is not about providing answers, but about helping you learn how to ask the right questions. It can offer you new ways to view your situation, open up different perspectives, and equip you with the tools to deal with your feelings. Remember, reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it takes courage to acknowledge you’re struggling and seek help.
Suicide is a permanent decision for a temporary problem. It’s important to remember that there is always help available, even when things seem unbearable. It’s okay to reach out for help when you need it. There are suicide prevention hotlines available in most countries, with trained professionals who can provide immediate assistance. Suicide is never the solution, and there are always better options available.
The most important thing to understand is that feeling bad is part of life, and it’s okay to experience these feelings. What’s important is not to allow these feelings to consume you. It’s important to remember that this feeling won’t last forever. Seek help from those around you, whether they are friends, family, or professionals. Remember, it’s okay not to be okay, and it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.
No matter how hard it gets, remember that there are always better days ahead. Life is a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, but it’s these experiences that make us who we are. Try to hold on to hope, even in the darkest times, because light always follows the darkness. You’re stronger than you think, and you can overcome anything life throws at you.