How did this happen? How did your life get here? Maybe you know, maybe you don’t. But day and night. Sitting or lying down. You gaze. Defeated. A circumstance, or set of circumstances has occurred that leaves you in a state of depression. It zaps you of your energy and your will to do anything. Ability to enjoy anything. And perhaps worst of all, you don’t see a way out. This is how it will always be. Suicide enters your mind. But you’re not there yet. You just don’t know what to do. Or how to let go and move on.
What can possibly cause this state? Lots of things I suppose…
- Death of a loved one?
- End of a relationship?
- Deterioration of health?
- Failure to achieve a life goal?
Maybe a combination of the above. Or maybe something personal to you that I haven’t mentioned. For each of us the answer may be different.
Some have a “healthier” response to loss, disappointment, failure, et al, than others. This is contingent on a number of factors. And is a topic for another day.
Emotionally letting go. Getting back on course. We all do have the ability to emotionally let go. We may not see it. Realize it. But it is there. Might be harder to find for some, but I believe this to be true.
Where to look is the question.
The mind is powerful and formidable. Once it convinces itself of something it can be challenging to change. Politics, sports, stereotyping and discrimination are examples of areas of life where we can see people become entrenched in a point of view. Once a belief is fortified, it can be difficult to budge, no matter what contradictory evidence or facts are presented.
Subjective matters of the heart and mind are no different. We can convince ourselves of something not rooted in fact, and entrench ourselves in ideas that are worse than bad for us. They can rob us of our life. Once such example is, “I can’t move on from this loss”.
Cognitive psychologists would warn against such absolute statements and the distortions they give birth too.
So what is my suggestion for the person reading this who believes he or she can’t emotionally let go or move on from some painful situation or experience?
For now. If and until you are ready to move on, you don’t literally have to. Just pretend. Here are possible ways you can get started:
- Engage your family.
- Your children, if you have them.
- If you’re alone and don’t already have one, think about getting a pet.
- Get therapy
- Join a support group.
- Maybe meet new people or a group that shares an interest you have.
- Involve yourself in a project.
Any of the above that involve triggers of what it is you are trying to let go, you may want to avoid.
The idea is to surround yourself with people and or situations where you have to engage and get out of a negative space. Even if it is just for a little while. Even if the mask you wear in these situations hides what is really going on inside and you are just going through the motions. For the purpose of this exercise, you are an actor in a play. And your role is to pretend to be okay.
There are lots of options. Start slowly. You don’t have to pick everything. But pick something. Then you can a build at a pace you are comfortable with. Do these things without the pressure of “letting go”. If it does feel like you are just going through the motions, that’s okay. There can be a benefit to doing so that you may not see right away.
You will let go of whatever circumstances or emotions you are holding onto when you are good and ready. No one can force you to do that.
You may find that the process of faking it will lead to a gradual shift in your thinking and an actual letting go. And on that day, what is fake, begins to becomes real.
This is but one suggestion in a sea of many. Please don’t give up. If this is not for you please don’t hesitate to reach out for help or try something different.
Faking it is not meant to be offered as the only possible, or even the final solution. While it can be for some, for others it has the potential to be a bridge to take you where you want to go, or at least be a first step.
Peace And Adventure On The Journey.
*AN IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE. THE ABOVE REPRESENTS MY PERSONAL OPINION. I AM NOT A LICENSED THERAPIST. ANY WORDS IN THIS BLOG ARE NOT MEANT TO, NOR SHOULD THEY REPLACE THAT OF A DOCTOR OR LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.