Today’s NaBloPoMo challenge is all about writing a How To. It made me question what I could write a post about something I know how to do. To be honest with you, most things I have skills for are not the kinds of things that would take a few steps on a blog post. I like having one person in front of me, going step by step and creating something together. There is only one thing I know I can talk about and give tips, not so much steps, and that is How To Survive. In exactly 11 days, I will be 48 years old. I’ve survived three miscarriages, two dead brothers, plenty of friends and family members passing on, gallbladder surgery and many other surprises along the way, good and bad. The one thing that I know for sure is that attitude defines how you will survive anything. So I decided to make this post about ten tips you can use on how to survive anything.
1) You can cry if you want. I have always fascinating that mothers teach their boys not to cry and then if the girls cry for too long, it will ruin your looks. Who was the idiot that came up with the idea that you should not cry. There are two types of things that make me cry – Disney movies and situations that anger me. It is quite ironic, sad situations in real life don’t bring tears to my eyes. You cross me, and that is it, I will get so mad that tears will well in my eyes. There is nothing wrong with crying people.
2) After you cry, you can now stop crying. I am not being sarcastic or funny, you cannot keep crying uncontrollably. The thing about mourning is that everyone is different. You might cry for an hour, go on with your life and six months later, start crying for apparently no reason. Other times, you might cry for a week and then never shed another tear ever again. The important thing is that after a good cry, you pick yourself off and go on with your life. If you can’t find a reason, think about this. Would your loved one want you to stop living because they died. No, they would not like to be burdened with that.
3) Do not abandon your current relationships. Whether someone dies, you are going through a divorce or have major surgery, never stop hanging out with the rest of your friends and family. Your support system will only assist you if you ask. Good friends will not meddle, they will wait until you are ready, at first. There will come a time when they will see you there, feeling sorry for yourself and one of two reactions will happen: – they will pull you by your hair and get you out of the house – they will abandon you. This is not the time to play the martyr. Be a friend, always.
4) Do what makes you feel good. Lots of people will give you advice on how to get over (insert your tragedy here). Only you know what feels good to you. If taking $200 and blowing it on a casino is your idea of fun, do it. If reading a book is your thing, go for it. It is really that simple.
5) The best thing you have been given in life is the present. It is a gift. Take it one minute at a time. Breathe. Live.
6) Do something silly and laugh with abandon. I don’t care who you are or what tragedy you are going through. There is nothing a good laugh cannot help heal. Every person is different and we all have our own way of dealing with things. At the same time, we all laugh at things that we find funny. Some of us feel guilty if we laugh while mourning. Who says? Go ahead, laugh.
7) Black is a great thing to wear for no reason, so is red, blue, green, yellow, purple, pink…I think you get the idea. What you are wearing and what you look like has nothing to do with how you feel, unless you want it to. You also have to be careful with the message you are sending out. Looking like a person in mourning will only gather the victim lovers, those people who are all too willing to console you and pity you. They are mostly well intended, and some are just sucking the life out of you. They will all keep you in the past and you don’t want to live there.
8) Find an outlet. I love writing, and drawing, and playing music. Those are the ways I find relief from the world. Look at what lets you get all your frustrations out in a positive way and do it.
9) Go for a walk. I don’t care what the weather is like. If it is sunny, walk in the sun. If it is snowing, walk inside the mall. Surrounding yourself with other things will help you in ways that you don’t imagine.
10) Volunteer. I left this one for last because it is that important. I don’t care if you just help someone out for an hour or ten, volunteering will take your mind out of your troubles and make you understand that most of us are hurt but not broken.
So what would you add to this list? Leave your comment below.