When Life Screws You Over

We’ve all felt like that… That life has screwed us over countless times and we raise our fists at it and scream until our throats are raw but to no avail. Anger rages, yet life just keeps on screwing us over. Am I right? Well, I guess it depends on your perception of the definition of being screwed over. Something happened which was the last thing you ever expected. Something happened which left you dumbfounded and angry and robbed. Something bad happened to a something that was supposed to turn out good and in which you just intended for good. You just wanted to be happy. Hell, not even happy. Perhaps just okay. 

There’s this wise old saying some people use to shrug life’s robbery off; “Shit happens.” The world is made of a butterfly effect and therefore is the most unpredicatable chaos your heart and mind could ever behold. With the flap of a wing and a chain reaction of events, while you are so blissfully unaware and going about your business, the chain suddenly flows through you and everything in your life changes. Perhaps you develop depression or some other terrible illness. Perhaps someone you love is lost to death. Perhaps you lose your job or your business crumbles. Perhaps, no matter how hard you try to climb that ladder to reach your goals, every step is broken and you’re the furthest place from where you wanted to be right now. Who do we blame then? Ourselves? The people around us? Your boss? God? The guy who broke you? Anything… Anybody?!? Yeah. We do. We do that just because we are trying to find peace and we think we can find it if we pinned down the cause and found justice. So we find justice by hurting ourselves, becoming so cautious of everything in life, by being hurtful towards others because suddenly, everyone seems like a terrible person deep down. I’ve been down this road. I’ve hurt myself and screamed at God and my parents for having depression develop and spin my life out of control. I’ve screamed at God some more because he took the most beautiful woman in the world who was all I had – my mom. I’ve started glaring with anger at every guy I see because my body was misused for sex while I thought I was loved and respected. If you read my last post you may have deduced that. My long time ago ex made contact with me and asked if we could have sex again but no relationship. Just sex. Followed by three smiley faces. Meanwhile, here I was missing him over the months. Stupid me right? I hate him, I hate myself… I don’t know who to hate… There’s so much more on this list of life that can immensely piss me off right now and I can choose to think about it and play the victim. But I don’t. I’ve come to accept this butterfly effect of chaos none of us are resistant too.

The thing is, we get screwed over because we all screw each other over and we live in this broken and fallen world where people lose their minds in fear and pain and they will do whatever it takes to not be at risk of loss. Even if it means hurting others and sending a ripple effect down their lives. Illness infiltrates our bodies because of this fragility we were created with and the mere impact the environment has on our genetics. Death has no predilection for anyone. We ask, “Why me?” But really, why not you? Why should you be spared and not another kind and caring soul who never harmed anyone? So, we don’t get to ask “Why me?” 

What we have to realise is, we are not in control of what life deals us with. We are only in control of what we are going to deal life with. What are you going to do to stop a ripple effect on others? Are you going stop all the crap you get up too? Because if we admit it, we’re all up to some or other form of crap that sometimes we just burn ourselves. No, depression or any other illness was not your choice but staying down was. Did you really fight as hard as you could every single time it hit? I know some days I haven’t and instead, I just let the waves of it carry me and ended up hurting myself and my own life more. Yes, I got used for sex, but after strike 3 you’d think I would stop letting it happen. Yes, my mom died, but after throwing my fists at God for three years and rejecting my spirituality, my own soul suffered the consequences. I didn’t always choose the right thing to do when I could’ve. Sometimes we are in such a turmoil in our hearts that we simply don’t have the capacity in that moment to be superwoman/superman. We don’t have the capacity to see beyond our pain. We’re stuck in a big black hole we fell down in and we can’t see the beautiful sun on the outside of it so we just decide to bury ourselves in that hole. Maybe that’s why life screws us over more than once.

I realised today that it took my stubborn heart several times at failing the same test before it got the message and stopped digging deeper into a hole it already fell down in, and so, maybe being screwed over isn’t such a terrible thing. Eventually you realise that nothing will change unless you change how you will react to a screw over. I had to get to a point where I stopped allowing the effects of depression to dictate my life and give up and lose all hope. I had to keep fighting in every which way I can because eventually, you do find a way out of it. I had to take my treatments and go to my therapy and retry new therapy and go to gym and force myself along in every area of my life I was supposed to and that my mind needed me too. I had to stop letting myself go into relationships in which I start caring too easily, trusting each and every word, instead of watching their actions, so that finally, I wouldn’t allow my body to be misused and disrespected. I had to take all that screwing over and instead of relying on my desperation for others to love me, learn to love myself. I also had to realise that not every human being is representative of other human beings who hurt me and so, I deserve to give them grace and be kind. But I also had to learn how to put up boundaries. I had to learn that my mother’s death didn’t mean I entirely lost her and that I can still choose to live in a way that honors her, knowing she’d smile if she was here. I also have to learn to stand right in the fire and learn the burning. In other words, life isn’t easy and I get tired and weary and things are hard. It’s hard to go to a job that exhausts the hell out of you and it’s hard to allow yourself to work at relationships. It’s hard to keep doing what’s good for your health and it’s hard to still have life’s common problems come and go while you’re trying to find a place in the world. It’s a constant matter of endurance. Just as you physically have to bear a lot of pain and breathlessness and your heart racing while you run a few kilometers and your legs are burning from the ache and all of you wants to just stop and sit down on the ground, you have to endure such a burning mentally. The secret lies in not focusing on the burning and how your legs ache and you struggle for breath. Instead, focus on keeping on moving one foot in front of the other and the road ahead of you because you know you have a destination to get too. 

I am enduring the ache for my destination and I am working on myself for all the times to come in which I will be happy. I am learning how to navigate through relationships so that someday, I will be happy in a real one that honors love. I am working on taking care of my body so that I will get to use it so wonderfully in all the moments of dancing and running and feeling healthy to come. I am working on my mind so that I will never be defeated by depression again. It took a lot of screwing over to learn how to walk through fires and not just stand in them.

30 Day Chronic Illness Challenge: Day 13 & 14

What would you say to people newly diagnosed with this illness?

I would say to them all what I would’ve said to myself when I was first diagnosed; be brave. Those two words carry your world, because what it all comes down to, is that it is going to hurt and you’re going to feel helpless and in incredible pain despite doing everything you can and you’re supposed to do in order to help yourself and all you can do in those times, is be brave. You have to develop some serious endurance with a mental illness because it might not just be a once off event for you. No one should ever wish for death as much as we do. No one. Know you are not alone in the struggle towards health and know that many have recovered and you can too, but it requires you to be committed to your recovery and to never stop trying. Also, as I’ve said before, a mental illness isn’t all your life will be. You will still have such great moments in between if you try to find them. Remember, pain is everywhere. Unfortunately, life grants no one full freedom from that and all we can and must do is grind through it and wait for each sunrise. Just be brave. I promise you, it will be worth it. Don’t give up on yourself or your life, ever. The times I lost my mind in total irrationality and tried to, I am so glad I didn’t because I see it now for what it is and it’s not the truth that you’re better off dead. You were lost in a moment. Just one moment that overwhelmed you so much that could’ve ended in an unnecessary catastrophy. You will probably get caught up in those thoughts too much to believe any of what I’ve just said right now, so if you can’t hold onto anything else, just hold onto this; be brave! And also, a part of you might always feel damaged and maybe a part of you really will always be damaged but it’s okay! We are all a little damaged in some way. Just don’t ever let the damage consume you.

What is your favourite quote that has helped get you through?

You’re Going To Fail But You’ve Got To Rise Again

You’re going to fail no matter how hard you try to be perfect. No matter how hard you work and all the effort you put into everything in your life. No matter your attempts to make everything fall according to plan, and despite the meticulous step-by-step path you create for yourself, sometimes you’re going to slip. Sometimes you’re going to mess up. Sometimes you’re not going to measure up, you’re going to falter, you’re going to let yourself and others down, you’re going to trip and land flat on your back. You’re going to fail.

But that’s okay.

No one in this world is perfect. No one has it all together, despite the photos and social media posts and smiling faces when you happen to bump into that person in public. No one is getting through life unscathed. No one is continuously on the up-and-up, never having a moment where they make a mistake or feel empty.

We’re all in this mess of life, trying to fight through, trying to make sense of our troubles, trying to find love and companionship and answers and hope.

And in this mess, we’re going to experience triumph and success and happiness, and we’re going to fail—that’s just how it is. But you cannot let the moments you falter change your course. You cannot let what brings you down shift your future, your perspective, your purpose.

You’re going to fail, and fail hard. But that doesn’t mean you’re any less of a person.

You cannot let the moments you slip change your self-image. Just because you messed up or went through something awful doesn’t mean that you are unworthy. It doesn’t mean that you need to carry your pain around with you like a badge on your chest for everyone to see.

You’re going to lose people you really cared about. You’re going to feel like your heart was dragged in dirt. You’re going to aim for a promotion or raise and not get it. You’re going to experience physical pain, mental pain of exhaustion and emotional pain you cannot comprehend at times. You’re going to create beautiful things and you might lose beautiful things. You’re going to fail.

But you’re going to learn too. You’re going to grow. You’re going to take the ways that life has defeated you, and turn them around into lessons. You’re going to find new wings and fly all over again.

Because defeat does not and should not ever define you. And you can’t let it.

So take the negative moments of your life and try to see the positive. Keep your head up and crawl through the lowest times until you can find your footing again. Don’t be afraid of starting over and letting go of that which no longer serves you. Don’t be afraid of continuing on through your brokenness.

You will be okay. You just have to hold on through the hard times and lean into the good. You have to know that life may always have difficulties but that doesn’t mean it can’t be good.

You have to remind yourself of all that you’ve pushed through already and the strength within you. And you have to take the courage, the will, the fight from inside yourself and battle back.

It’s a bad day maybe. Maybe a bad week or a bad month or a bad circumstance. But as clichèd as this may sound… It’s not a bad life. Remind yourself of that and move forward, never letting what has defeated you convince you that you will never rise again.

Because you can. And you will.