Time to Buck the Fuck Up!

Ugh, I feel like such a wimp sometimes. The demise of my marriage completely knocked me on my ass — to a degree that is very hard to rationalize. Though I know many can relate to my experience and of course I understand my own psyche, I’ve often said to myself, “come on, big fucking deal, your marriage ended, happens all the time, get over it already.”

Well, I’m finally over it. I mean over the break up, over the loss of the vision I had for myself and my kids, over the disappointment.

But one of the most annoying things about traumatic events is that typically when it rains it pours. It’s like when a boxer is on the ropes — that moment of weakness leaves him open for more hits and the more times he gets hit the harder it will be for him to get back up. But he gets back up, he has to. And you just don’t know until the damn thing ends if that worn out bruised and bloody disoriented mess of a person is going to pull it all together and win the match.

I’m not bruised and bloody, but I was a disoriented mess of a person for a long stretch after my husband left. And I’d get back up and get hit back down. Whether it was drama with the ex, dating disappointments, work prospects falling through, a friend’s betrayal, or some other let down, every hit seemed to weaken me further. Each blow sent me spiraling back into that pit of insecurity, with panic attacks, nightmares and pervasive self-doubt. The thing is though, each time the recovery has been shorter and more informative.

This shit comes with the territory of being human. I’m not in a war-torn country, I am not starving — I am not suffering the fate of many, if not most, people on this planet. I am simply alive and facing the music.

So, today it occurred to me that I need to buck the fuck up. It doesn’t mean I won’t be sad or feel insecure or get hurt again, it just means I need to keep my big girl panties on and keep going.

At the bare minimum, bucking the fuck up can mean just staying alive. Yes, that counts. If you’re depressed, just staying alive is brave and bold. And hopefully from there it is getting out of bed, engaging in life, taking some risks. And if you get hit one, or two, or three times, take a breather, lick your wounds, and then get back in there. None of us know what is coming next and when some gust of inspiration, fortitude, or kismet might propel us forward.

It would be so lovely if we could give ourselves credit for getting up off the ropes and back in the ring. When in the midst of despair, it takes great courage to respond with a renewed commitment to risk loving, caring, and engaging in life. It takes awareness to appreciate that it may seem to get worse before it gets better, that our resolves may be challenged over and over again. This is how the best stories unfold, how we get to know our own strengths and weaknesses and how we discover who we really are and how to fulfill our own potentials.

There are so many diverse and inspiring quotes about courage. When I read them I feel humbled and sort of ridiculous for thinking there is anything particularly unique about my journey. The greatest thinkers have made it explicitly clear that they had to buck the fuck up and so must we.

5 Reasons to Come Down Off That Ledge!

Five Things To Remember When You Are Feeling your Worst

5. You have felt happiness before and you WILL surely feel it again.

4. Life is short, with a max of around 100 years to put in total, you may as well take a shot at seeing if something better comes along. In the end you’ll die anyway but in the meantime, even one or two amazing moments will be well worth sticking around for.

3. The best, most inspiring, authentic, effective people have been right where you are at least once. You are in stellar company.

2. Someone loves you. Someone has loved you. Someone will love you. Imagine, actually, know in your heart that someone loves you. Try to hone in on what that thought elicits for you. Feel it. Bottle it…save it for whenever you need it.

1. You deserve life. You would not exist if you didn’t. I’m not commenting on how good a person you are or are not (at least with me, when I’m feeling like shit about myself there’s no talking me out of it). But, even if you are the worthless piece of crap you’re telling yourself you are (you’re not by the way, but if you insist)…the proof is in the pudding. You are here, therefore you are meant to be here. I can’t fathom that you would be here, even as you struggle, if there wasn’t some mission, minor or major, for you to fulfill.

My advice here is heartfelt and lighthearted and it is truly what worked for me in my scariest moments. That said, I am not an expert nor a psychologist. If you are in any danger of harming yourself, please seek help immediately from a loved one and/or a professional.

You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Life’s short … so I better hurry up and fix this mess!

Clean up this mess In a comment made on my post Children Need Their Fathers…Duh!, D.A. Wolf of Daily Plate Of Crazy mentioned our “happiness’ culture.” This got me thinking about the quagmire that anyone in the midst of trauma finds ourselves in. We all know the platitudes. We know that everything works out in the end and that a good attitude is key, but we also can’t repress and deny the genuine pain and dis-ease we experience when faced with huge life changes that include upheaval and loss.

Probably the primary triggers of my acute phases of depression have been my realizing that I have failed to stay positive and graceful, I have failed to provide a utopian environment for my children, I have failed to “manifest” all that I desire for my children. This sense of failure is an abusive vacuum that in an instant sucks all hope and innovation out of me. I have learned to recognize when it’s happening and immediately shift my focus. Still most days I ward off feelings of inadequacy not just for failing to create the stable life for my children that I had envisioned but also for failing to buck up cheerfully and be a TEDxTalk sensation by now. Continue reading