Be advised, this is not for everyone. The following advice might not apply to you or to anyone outside the realm of rejection or depressive thinking. But for some, this is what I call a relatable substance. Not everyone knows how to get back up after they’ve fallen, nor does everyone believe they have the ability to do so. No one talks much about this.
To be honest, most people will say, “Don’t talk like that,” or they’ll say, “Don’t feel that way,” or “You just have to get back up and get over it,” as if the word “Just” makes everything “That” simple.
People will say things like, “Get back up,” as if this was an easy choice, which it might be for some. For others, the pain or the anxiety that comes after a fall, the depression, or the struggles with rejection sensitive dysphoria, and all beneath this spectrum of depressive thinking or shame and regretful ideation; the idea of getting “Over it” and moving on is a lot more difficult.
I once heard a man tell a doctor, “Please don’t try and talk me out of my depression.” and all the while, I’m not sure the doctor understood exactly what this man was saying.
There is a talent for getting up after one has fallen down. No one ever discusses how to do this. Even if there were step by step instructions labeled, “How to get back up after life just kicked your ass,” the difficulty is very real.
There is something amazing about the ability to get back up, which, from a distance is enough to make one question, “How do they do it?” Not that this is me. Not that I have mastered the art of getting back up when I fall. I still struggle and I still train. And not that the ability to get up after I’ve fallen a thousand times is a simple task (because it’s not) but there is a talent to it.
There are times when all of your heart and your dreams are compiled in an idea of something in the form of a life which is more desired. And you work. You scrape and you claw. You give it your all. You try to pull it off and the outcome falls short.
You find out you trusted the wrong person or gave too much faith to the wrong process. You learn that others had a different plan. The people you partnered up with had a different agenda and in the end, things fell short.
This is life too by the way. Not everything will go as planned. In fact, more often than not, life has a way of destroying our plans. Life is a game and more to the point, life has a way of changing the game right beneath our feet.
So the question really becomes how do we fight through? How does one get up or keep going and try again? How do we endure and not allow the fall to be so overwhelming that we never try again? How many times can one say, “It’s back to the drawing board, I guess” without the sharp pains of discouragement?
This is very real by the way. More than rejection and more than life not going as we planned is the personalization of what happens when things don’t go our way.
And think of it. Think about the work we put towards our plans, whether this is business or personal. Think about the effort and the hours. Think about the proposals and the presentations. Think about the desires and the dreams which either fell flat or didn’t come through.
I think about the critics. I think about the unanswered emails. I think about the empty business promises and the commitments that went unmet.
I think about the doors I’ve knocked on which never opened. And I wonder how many doors I’ll have to knock on until one finally opens and I find the right fit. I do not see this as weakness. Instead, I see this as a sense of honesty. Rather than deny me my right to thought; I allow myself the freedom to acknowledge this.
I see no reason in denying this. I know there are people that keep swinging and missing. I know there are literally millions of people in this world — or wait, no. Let me start over. There are billions in this world and all of us are looking to find our place in the circle. Some are lucky. Some are built with special talents. Some are afforded special benefits. Some are born in the right place at the right time and some come from the lucky gene pool. We are not equal in this world and it would be a farce to believe otherwise. So then what do we do? What do we do when we are disadvantaged or discouraged?
I remember being told that a watched pot never boils. I was told about target fixation, in which our focus on a problem can actually create the problem. I was told to be more mindful. I was told to give myself a break. And intellectually, this is understandable.
At rougher points in my life, I was told, “Benny, you complain that you have no shoes. But what about the man with no feet?” At the time, I was in no mood for silly little questions like this. I was in a bad way and frustrated. Besides, the question didn’t make sense, which is why I replied and I cringe to admit, “Fuck the guy with no feet. He doesn’t need shoes!” and then I charged, “What the hell does he have to do with me anyway?”
I can say that yes, at different points of my life, in fairness, I was angry and broken. I was tired of trying and tired of falling. I was tired of coming close but not pulling off the ultimate trick. I was tired of that dreadful idea, which is like the impending doom of doubts and regret because in my head, I knew how this would turn out, which in fairness was a lie. But to me the lie was true.
The question is how does one have it in them to get up and keep going? How do we keep looking for the chance or keep our minds open for another opportunity? How does one remove themselves or detach and find the gumption to keep going?
I have been in meetings after meetings and led presentations to hear excellent feedback, which is a victory. Yes. I get that. And it is smart to compartmentalize this. It is smart to compartmentalize all of our successes no matter how big or small they may appear. However, there is a lie that people tell, which is almost like saying “Dust yourself off,” without acknowledging the pain we feel when things fall short.
But hey, this is life. It would be dishonest to say that loss is without pain. It would be even further dishonest to say (or suggest) that life plays fairly.
Life hurts. People fail themselves. They fail each other. Not everyone follows through with their word. Disappointments are real.
Not everything works out in the end and life is certainly full of unfortunate surprises. This is absolutely true. And trying to create another word for this to put a positive spin is almost condescending to the truth. Why deny it? Why not acknowledge this and find a way to utilize this energy as a recreated fuel?
One of the struggles people face with depressive thinking is the idea that we are “Wrong” for thinking as we do. And when people try to steer us away from our thoughts, there is almost a threat or a sense of anger; as if someone is trying to separate us from our truth or take away our feelings.
Something that irks the mind is real — and to some, this is painfully real.
Trying to change someone’s opinion or seemingly take away their thoughts is unhelpful. For example, think about someone that is undergoing an episode and they’re convinced that they hear voices. It is impossible to convince them otherwise because they do, in fact, hear the voices. The fact that the voices might be their imagination or due to something more severe is irrelevant. The fact is the voices to them are painfully real. To try and deny them this is threatening.
Depressive thinking works very similarly. Rather than try and take this away, it is better to allow this to play out. Talk. Scream. Find your team of close, personal support, and be able to speak freely with them to create new, and separate ideas.
Depression is energy and when held, the energy becomes corrosive. This can decay us from the inside out. This is something that takes us away from our best potential. Depressive thinking lingers in the mind and then we tend to perpetuate our predictions through a subconscious means.
(This is a version of target fixation.)
I have been working on a plan of mine for more than 13 years. I’ve had my share of advancements. I’ve improved. I’ve taken a few bumps along the way. I’ve felt the pain of rejection. I certainly felt the sting from the critics.
I’ve heard both good things and bad things. I’ve also learned enough about my wheelhouse to understand what my talents are and where I fit. I have spent decades trying to mold myself into the right situations but in the end, the fit was dissimilar because the fit was unnatural.
The secret to my endurance is that I know there is a place for me. If I do not replace thought with action and keep moving then I will easily give way to depressive thoughts and remain still (or stagnant).
I am working on an effort which constantly has me looking to find my purpose. This is my goal. Allowing my goals to be in the forefront of my thinking is an excellent sense of focus. This does not mean my life comes without pain or intimidation. This only means that I keep moving. I hurt. I get up. I keep moving because the alternative is more depressing than any of my failures.
I know there are times that I feel as if I am a wanderer. I can say there are times that I feel homeless or misplaced. Or should I say out of place? Or maybe I’m an outlier. Maybe I differ in some ways from the norm or from my circle of influence, which is something I have learned to celebrate instead of regret.
I know that I need to find my spot. I want to create and build and make my place in this world. My dream and my desire to do this outweighs my fear. But more, my worry that I might miss the chance to achieve is bigger than the ideas of rejection. I can take rejection. This is part of life. However, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I simply gave in. I couldn’t face the mirror if I accepted the fact that my trick wasn’t good enough because deep down; I know there is something beautiful in store for me. It’s just a matter of time before this blooms.
I know it . . .