Tag Archives: hurt

Don’t Get Over It

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Good morning, and a very merry Thursday to you!

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to recover from emotional hardships, don’t we?  When we don’t get a job that we desperately wanted and would have been perfect for, we immediately shrug it off.  When a friend lets us down, we want nothing more than to forgive, forget and never discuss it again.  When we get our hearts broken, we put an unbelievable amount of energy into getting over the rejection and recovering our confidence.

My dear reader, I have an outrageous suggestion to put to you: we shouldn’t try to get over these things.  We should try to go through them, instead.

The other day my flat mate asked me whether I would go for an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind situation if the opportunity presented itself.  (For those of you who haven’t seen the film, the basic premise is that a scientist offers people the chance to erase all of their memories of a previous, painful relationship.  This allows them to live without any heartbreak, or any idea that their ex even exists.)  It’s an appealing thought, and it reflects something that a lot of us feel when we’ve just been hurt: we want things to go back to the way they were, or we want to be the person we were before our beloveds messed us up.

It sounds ideal, doesn’t it?  But I ended up saying no to my flat mate, because even though my romantic history is basically one long, embarrassing cautionary tale, it is a part of who I am.  This is true for all of us.  It might be exciting to imagine that we could revert to a previous incarnation of ourselves, and that we could take back the humiliation, regret, wasted time and pain, but we can’t actually do that.  We can’t go back to who we were; we have to go forward being who we are.

So we can’t erase memories or travel through time, but we can recover from the situation.  Excellent.  In that case, we would like that recovery to happen now, please.  We’ve got stuff to get on with and it would be so much easier to go about life without an emotional hangover, thank you very much.

Again, this is not really an option.  We can suppress our thoughts and distract ourselves; we can refuse to think or talk about what’s bothering us and keep ourselves too occupied to dwell, but eventually the grief will find us.  We will eventually have to go through the draining process of recovery.

It’s a difficult period in anyone’s life, but you never know what could happen during it.  You could have some pretty interesting epiphanies about who you are and what you want in life, you might reconnect with a friend who helps you through the pain, and you may even discover a hidden talent.  (For example, I have a friend who worked out that she’s an excellent darts player by throwing darts at a photo of her ex when he left her.  Silver linings are flipping everywhere.)

Recovery is hard, and it also takes time.  We shouldn’t beat ourselves up if it takes longer than we expect, because there are no rules governing the time frame of mending a broken heart.  “Shouldn’t I be over this by now?” is not a good question to ask, because our feelings are not library books.  “You’re three months overdue with your emotional recovery, by the way.  They’ll start fining you if you’re not careful.”

Don’t get over things; go through them.  Also, have an amazing Thursday.

Sticking to Your (Metaphorical) Guns

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Good morning, lovely reader.  How is your weekend going so far?

As those of you who have read this post about me bullying a pepper pot will already know, I recently made a sweeping declaration about a particular aspect of my life, i.e. that if something hadn’t changed by a certain point in time, I would have to radically change my behaviour.  Without delving too far into the hows and the whys and the “do you mind if I don’t?”s (sorry – I can’t resist the opportunity to include a Blackadder reference), I will tell you that the deadline for something to change is today.  I now realise that I was being ludicrously optimistic about that time frame.  Radically changed behaviour, here I come.

When my house mate gave up smoking, she went completely cold turkey straight away.  I have rarely seen such impressive will power, especially given that she went to a snazzy industry party in Soho three nights later and could very easily have reneged on her decision.  She was out in central London with a lot of booze, a lot of smokers and some very famous actors, but she didn’t give in.  Amazing, isn’t it?  I know.  She’s a legend.

It is examples of self-control like that one which make me determined not to go back on my deadline thing.  It’s going to be painful and difficult.  I will probably change my mind about it in the next few days, hours or even minutes.  I feel incredibly sorry for my friends, who are going to have to put up with a lot from me for the next few weeks, but it has to be done.  This may have started with a sweeping declaration and an unfortunate condiment container, but I think we all know that when we try to make big decisions about our lives it’s because we recognise that something is wrong, and our job as human beings with a sense of self-preservation is to get the heck out.

Who knows what we are missing by pursuing things that are bad for us?  What kind of amazing stuff is happening that we don’t even know about because we’re too busy being addicted to a harmful substance, malingering in a dead end job or chasing after someone who doesn’t love us?  I can tell you for certain that you are a fascinating person with a lot to offer, and I hate to think of you wasting your time on something that is hurting you or holding you back.  Make the decision to stop what you’re doing, and then stick to your guns.  I cannot stress enough how utterly and completely metaphorical these guns should be (unless you’ve got water pistols, which are just cool).

Have the kind of Sunday that will make for a great anecdote tomorrow.

McFly Were Incorrect

McFly

Good morning dear reader, and welcome to midweek!

Today I’d like to talk about something that I think a lot of us struggle with, and that McFly were wrong about: it’s not all about you.  I don’t mean that in a narcissism-busting sort of way, or want to imply that you are self-centred.  You’re obviously a tremendous and non-selfish person.  I actually mean in it in a really positive way.

When we were in Year 9 or 10, a girl in my form was keeping an online diary, or “blog”, if you will.  (Blast from the past, right?  I know.  Whatever happened to those?)  One thing you should understand at this point is that in those days the internet wasn’t broadcasting for us in the way that it is now.  Teenage girls saw the internet as a virtual locker, and only certain friends could open it with a special key, i.e. if we told them which obscure website our stuff was on.  This applied to various things, including fan fiction writing and blogging. Someone unexpectedly finding your blog in 2004 was the virtual equivalent of somebody breaking into your locker.

Anyway, some other girls in my form (who were nasty to everyone all the time for funsies – not quite bullying, but on the cusp) found this diary, printed a load of pages of it out and brought them into school.  They went and found anyone who was mentioned in the blog (including me), and charmingly read out the passages of text pertaining to them.  It’s not always easy to look back at your fourteen year-old self and find things to be proud of, but this is one of those moments for me:

Me: “I don’t care.”
Sort-of Bully: “But she’s said mean stuff about you!”
Me: “You say mean stuff about me all the time.”
Sort-of Bully: “She’s been horrible about everyone!”
Me: “YOU’RE horrible about everyone!  Is that why you’re showing it to us?  Because it saves you the effort of thinking up new insults?”

BOOM.  Well chuffed.  High five, past me!  Etc.  Anyway, the reason that I brought that story up is because I knew at fourteen that people will say unkind things because they’re upset or hurt; it’s not necessarily about you.  Teenagers can be very unhappy and/or confused, so it’s not surprising that a lot of them lash out.  For instance, when I was a teenager I said some dreadful things to my mum (who, as discussed in previous blog posts, is very awesome and did not deserve that), but unfortunately it’s not exclusive to adolescents.

The people who love you the most are supposed to cherish you and build up your confidence.  They are supposed to be proud of you and encourage you.  They are also supposed to take the mickey out of you and embarrass you occasionally.  They are not supposed to take bad stuff in their lives out on you, blame you for things that you can’t possibly help or make you feel guilty because their life is not what they want it to be.  Loving somebody is difficult, because you’re essentially giving another person your favourite type of cake and hoping that they enjoy eating it rather than smashing it in your face.  Ultimately the choice is up to them.

Sometimes your boss will be unkind to you, or a stranger will swear at you for crossing the road when you shouldn’t, or you’ll discover that a friend has been bad-mouthing you behind your back.  You have to ignore it.  If someone gives you a fair criticism, use it to learn from.  If someone says something about you that you think is based on truth and you could improve yourself based on it, absolutely go for your life (for example, maybe wait for the green man before crossing next time).  But nine times out of ten, people who say nasty things to you are just not worth listening to.  It’s not about you; they are hurting, they are lashing out, and they are trying to make you as unhappy as they are.  Do not let them succeed.  I have said this to you before, and I will repeat it many times: you are a wonderful human being.  You do not have time to listen to rubbish like that.

Bearing that in mind, I hope that you have a lovely Wednesday filled with small victories and lots of moments of random kindness.  I’m off to Surrey to help my best friend clear out her garage, because I definitely did not choose the thug life.