The last 12-18 months have been very difficult for me. In January of 2014 I discovered a lump on my neck and soon found out it was a growth on my thyroid. By way of WebMD and 3 “suspicious” biopsies I figured cancer and death must be imminent. After the nodule doubled in size in only a few months and I found out that the doctors were unable to properly diagnose me, I got half of my thyroid removed. As a result of my thyroid surgery, not having a job and still not knowing what was wrong with me, I became very depressed ( a combination of unbalanced hormones and just being sick of being continuously knocked down).
Three months after my surgery and a complete mental breakdown, I finally became inspired to plan for my life again. After researching numerous options, I felt that returning to my alma mater and finishing my bio degree to apply to med school would be the best decision.
With my new direction in mind, I began to study for the MCAT, I found a summer apartment and signed a separate lease for the 2015-2016 school year. I bought a bookbag, packing supplies, and I even cleaned out my closet and booked an acting job for the day before I was going to leave.
Of course, everything changed when my mom called me ON SET and told me that my mother in law had died. I was ON SET, I was going to start my new journey the next day…
Everything was supposed to be better but there I was…knocked down…
As you may have guessed, everything changed that day and there were 1000 things that I had to take care of not including all of the things my husband had to drop.
Fast forward to August 2015 >>
At this point, I realized that not going back to school was actually a blessing in disguise instead of the setback that it looked like. Yet, I was back to being confused about my purpose and my next step. To let you in on a little secret, I HATE not having a plan or a sense of purpose, it drives me absolutely INSANE.
However, because of my extend stay in the pit of hopelessness I have learned 5 simple things to keep you from staying defeated:
Have someone who believes in your future
This person can be a partner, best friend or family member. Whenever you feel like crap or like life has nothing more to offer you, this person will be there to remind you of your strengths.
Believe that you deserve better
Number 1 is great, but if you don’t force yourself to actually believe in your talents and worth, you’ll never be able to get up from your pit and stand on your own. No amount of words can make you feel better if you do not believe in them yourself.
Eliminate the negativity in your life (that includes people)
Social media, that constantly complaining family member, reality TV, etc. These things and people can keep you laying on the ground of despair forever. Misery does love company. Instagram will tell you that everyone’s lives are perfect…but yours. That negative nancy will encourage you to stay negative. And reality tv just sucks, there is never anything inspiring in the storylines so just stay away from it. Once you find what persuades you to stay in your pit, get rid of it.
Set goals (even if they seem unattainable)
Setting goals when you feel like you have none and can’t see why you should even waste your time on them can be extremely difficult to overcome… BUT YOU HAVE TO DO IT. During the past few months I decided to put together difficult puzzles. They took my mind off of negative thoughts and I felt obligated to complete them once I started. After making an effort to complete puzzles, I started to add goals that would help me get out of my situation like applying to different types of jobs and pursuing other interests.
Be patient (change takes time)
I feel like I’m a fraud for even suggesting this one because patience is not my strong suit, but according to my husband, patience can and will make all the difference during your stay in the hotel of hopelessness. Like one of my favorite professors always said, “You can do everything right, and still fail in the end”. So why not just wait, if you’ve done all that you could to get out of your situation and you wholeheartedly believe that better is to come, then be patient and let go. You can’t control anyone else but yourself.