Roller Coaster Wounds

I’ve heard people say that life is a roller coaster and you don’t always know where it is taking you.  It can have series of ups and downs and some where you feel like you’re being turned inside out.  You will also have patches of where you are able to leisurely enjoy the ride and bask in the lack of excitement for the moment.  There is an operator on that roller coaster and they know what’s next in the journey although you may not.

My life has been on a roller coaster of sorts lately.  It seems to be a roller coaster that is out of control though.   The operator on my roller coaster seems to make sudden stops and blazing out of control movements and I am left wondering what in the hell happened and how I’m supposed to deal with it.

That has been the most challenging thing for me for as long as I can remember.   I look outside of myself and see what I think the world wants me to be or thinks I should be and that’s who I try to be.  It works for awhile.  Maybe a short while and maybe a long while.

But…soon enough I feel like I’ve lost a part of myself in the process and I question who I am again.  At that point in time, I become very selfish and try to do what makes me happy all the time.   If you’re not happy, then no one is happy, right?!  That’s what I think half of the time anyways.

I suffer a great deal from depression and it takes a daily toll on my body and emotions even when the outside world doesn’t see it.  Finding the daily balance of who I really am and who I should be always seems to be such a struggle for me.   I experience dramatic highs and lows with my thoughts and feelings that, honestly, is quite exhausting.  I don’t know if I struggle with this area of my life more than others or if others constantly feel as I do.  I believe that my dreamer personality is what makes me struggle the most.  Besides, dreams weren’t meant to be ignored.  I believe they’re put in our soul for a reason.  I’m just trying to figure out what that reason is.

I have an immense amount of childish happiness in my heart and soul but I don’t share it with as many people as maybe I should.  I never know how to balance that side of me with the more mature, knows exactly what she needs to do and be, woman.   I’ve had people in my life recently that have encouraged me to be that happy girl and live life to the fullest.  I also have people in my life who tell me that I need to grow up and take care of the responsibilities set before me and that life isn’t a daydream.

There is a huge disconnect for me when trying to figure out the balance of what makes me the happiest while at the same time trying to be selfless and make everyone else happy.  At the exact moment that I think I have it all figured out in a particular way, I get smacked in the face by something telling me that I don’t.  I have a hard time believing that other people struggle with their identity as much as me.  If people in life truly do struggle as much as I do, then no wonder that there is such chaos in the world.

Love comes hard for me.  It is something that I don’t share with many people and it has affected many of my personal relationships.  My tendency to be selfish has negatively affected many, many people in my life.  I want to be the person that people know they can always rely on to be there for them.  I’m not sure what has scorned me so bad in my life for me to be the way I am because it surely isn’t normal in my mind.  I am thankful for the select few people in my life that love me for who I am.  They take me wholly whether I am wounded or not. 

I admit, I am a wounded person. 

I have physical wounds from life’s challenges.  I’ve lost people close to me that have caused physical scars on my heart that will always be there.  I’ve experienced things that no one should have to. Those wounds are easy to explain because they’re physical.  Each physical scar that I have inside and out has a story that can told with it.  A story that is easy for people understand.

The wounds that are the hardest to overcome and understand are the mental and emotional wounds.  They are the wounds that so many people inflict upon themselves that no one in the outside world sees.  Those are the wounds that hurt the most.   They seep deep into your soul and cause a pain that is indescribable to most.   Those are the wounds that are the hardest to overcome and the ones that haunt you on a daily basis.  And yet, no one sees or understands them but you.  My passion would be to have the ability to share all of my struggles with others so they don’t have to experience the internal battle with themselves.  It is a daunting and painful struggle to deal with daily and if anywhere along my path I am able to help others overcome that, then I feel like my life will have been served well. 

I do believe that in time it is possible to overcome.  I believe that the internal struggles I deal with on a daily basis will make me an amazing woman someday.  A woman who will wake up one morning and be able to say, “Here I am!  This is me and I LOVE ME!”  I will be able to serve anyone around me with LOVE because I have that LOVE inside of me for me.  

So I’m back again to the finding that balance. 

How do we balance figuring out how to love ourselves along with loving other people as much as they deserve at the same time?  What I do know is that it’s a battle that I will approach everyday with an open mind and willing heart to learn what is next on my roller coaster ride.  I may get thrown off a time or two again but I will get back on and keep going.  Besides, I love the highs and lows of roller coasters and couldn’t imagine life any different.

Here are FOUR ways to get out of the low of life’s roller coaster:

Prioritize Yourself

This is a MUST! Put yourself first for awhile. That doesn’t mean you need to be a jerk to those around you, but that you make decisions based on what you need when you are struggling. Stop letting others dictate how you feel because you aren’t strong enough stand up for yourself.

Feel the Pain

In order to work through hard things you have to feel hard things. Counselors and therapists would not have a place in the world if we didn’t need to work through the pain that we feel and inflict upon others. Opening yourself up to feeling pain, whether from the past or present, it hard but REQUIRED work! Feel it TODAY so you can move through it and not feel it again!

Eliminate Stresses

Sometimes when we are on a never ending roller coaster, we forget to see the power we have in what we chose to be around us. Maybe it’s a thing or maybe it’s a person that is causing a great deal of stress in your life. You need to recognize what stresses you have an begin to eliminate them. Maybe you are in a toxic relationship and eliminating the stress is easier said than done. Look at life through the lens of TODAY rather than months ahead. Take one step today that will get you close to eliminating outside stress, whatever that looks like.

Practice Self-Compassion

This can be the hardest of them all because we are the hardest on ourselves. Until you are able to look within and talk to yourself like you would encourage your best friend, then you can’t do anything! Remember those things you tell others when they are struggling. All of the “you’re got this”, “look at your blessings” are real and you need to take a moment to recognize where you are too. Have some compassion for where you are right now. Sure, maybe yesterday you really screwed up. But you’re not there anymore and you aren’t going to stay there either.

What do you think?