Making it Easier to “Just Get Over It”.
Everyone experiences things in their lives that are hard to get over. It could be that someone you are extremely close to has died – which is a tragedy – or something much smaller. Perhaps it happened yesterday, or last week, or even ten years ago. We all go through it, don’t panic, it means you’re normal. However, the one thing that we, as humans, are not good at is listening to someone complain about the same things for a long period of time. Let’s not beat around the bush, we have all had moments where our friend is upset about something and we are tired of hearing about it; our natural response is to want to scream “just get over it already!”
That may make me sound a bit insensitive, but I know I am not alone. We have all done it. It doesn’t mean that we don’t care, not at all. It’s just our response when we have run out of answers. We lose our patience, we are only human.
And then there is the eternal questioning in our own mind when we encounter this kind of problem – why can’t I just get over this!? It’s frustrating, it’s upsetting, it seems impossible. And again, you are not alone. There are so many people who find it hard to bounce back from this kind of psychological injury. I know I do – I still freak out about things that happened to me when I was 13, let alone what happened to me last week.
But never fear, because here are some guidelines to help you find the exit, as described by Dr Linda Sapadin on psychcentral.com. It IS possible to escape and find closure. You CAN let go. So here it goes:
Don’t be too harsh on yourself!
It is common knowledge that wounds take time to heal, so do not judge yourself too harshly. Try to stop thinking about what you did or didn’t do, it’s in the past now and it doesn’t matter. Take a deep breath and let go of your judgements, your questioning and your worry. Give yourself a break!
It’s okay to spend time alone – but not too much.
My way of dealing with this kind of situation (I must admit) is to spend the day on my own, in bed, on the sofa, and basically feeling sorry for myself. DO NOT DO THIS! Take it from me, it doesn’t make you feel any better. It is okay to spend some time alone to reflect and process your pain, you can watch your favourite TV show or take a nap. But don’t stay in bed on your own all day, this will only escalate the situation. You need to be strong for the good of yourself and start the day afresh. Take a walk, be creative, and let go of your anger. You never know what this new day will bring you!
Find someone you can talk to.
Don’t expect to be able to handle this on your own, because you are not on your own – really, you’re not. You need to find someone who understands you, and the situation you are in, and what it means to you. If you are talking to someone and they are using a lot of “yes, but” (yes, the dreaded yesbut) then this is NOT the right person to be talking to. Go and find someone who truly understands, and talk through things constructively.
So, what have you learned?
This may not be a question anyone thought to answer, it’s definitely not first on my list (mine is usually ice cream), but it is definitely an important one to remember. Life is a very harsh teacher, and so try to be aware of what the experience has taught you. It could be about your friends, your family or even yourself, but I bet here is at least one POSITIVE thing you have learned from the experience. It may not come to you straight away, but it is there waiting for you to discover it.
It’s possible that the experience has changed your view on life – so what is important to you now? Focus on it, and work towards it. What do you truly appreciate? What is still good about life after this experience? (No, do not say “nothing”).
It’s all about moving forward, so think about what you can do now. You can’t change what happened, but you can change what happens to you now. Focus on ways that you can make the future better, work towards it. Maybe you need a new hobby? Maybe you need a new job? Maybe you need to stop stressing out and have some fun? The possibilities are endless! Just remember, you can go ANYWHERE from here. Take it from me, I am writing this in Hong Kong after working with an Occupational Therapist all morning – your life can be anything you want it to be.
I am not telling you to repress your feelings, I am not encouraging that. It’s not about forgetting what happened either – it is a part of your life. You just need to let in today, and tomorrow, and next week, and next year, until you can look back and think “hey, I actually got over it!”
And never, EVER, forget the power of positive thinking! Honestly…