No, you can’t just “deal with it”. Especially not in the case of things like chronic pain, depression, and anxiety. There’s a huge list of things you can’t just get over, ranging from diseases to mental health problems. This is where coping mechanisms come into play.
So often that phrase is met with repulsion. In reality, so long as your coping mechanism actually helps you cope and function outside of what you suffer from, it’s successful. That doesn’t sound very repulsive for me. Bad coping methods would be abuse of Vicodin or other prescription/illegal drugs, harming yourself or others, or ignoring the problem completely. Obviously these are tempting ways to deal with something, and if you you are stuck in any of these situations we are here to help you. I promise never to shame you if you have a coping method that may not be healthy for you or others. I promise I will support you in your journey to get better. Above all, I promise that I want to help you. A lot of us do! More of us want to help than don’t, in fact.
Healthy coping mechanisms come in all sorts of shapes and forms. For those suffering from depression, you could even say prescribed medications and therapy are coping mechanisms. Heck, they work right? You learn to cope.
Let me tell you my story.
As many of you may know, I suffered from an injury many years ago when I was 14. You can probably imagine how horrible it is to be 14 and living with pain. On top of that, it was diagnosed as a chronic pain, which has proven to be true 8 years later. That pain definitely made me depressed. It made me feel alone, sad, and misunderstood. No, people don’t believe your pain if you’re under the age of 30.
It took me a while, maybe 4 years or so, to figure out the ideal way for me to “deal with it”. Writing!
I was often confined to my house, or going out for a long time was not an option. Forget about going out if it was COLD! That only made it worse for me. All through high school, I would enjoy looking out windows, or falling asleep to made up stories in my head. Finally, I put those stories down on paper…well, digital “paper”… I use Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.
I suddenly noticed, I didn’t feel so bad. I realized that writing made me really and truly happy. These stories had nothing to do with me. I wasn’t writing characters based on myself at all. Though some qualities they had were qualities I admired, or I believed I had, they were not me. I felt… free.
I worked on this one story for a long time, up until about 2 years ago. After that it was very off and on. Mostly off. One day, this year, I decided I wanted to finish it. Guess what I felt? Happy. AGAIN! Of course I still deal with pain, though the pain itself is much better. My husband is far away from me, and I spend much of my time alone. Though I don’t always mind being alone, it can be…well…lonely.
I love writing so much that I’ve written over 53,000 words. That’s not including all the stuff I’ve deleted in the process. Dare I say… I wrote a full book.
So next time you complain about a problem and someone says, “Write a book about it” maybe you should?
No, that’s not my advice. Here’s my REAL advice. Find something that makes you happy. Is it reading? Writing? Poetry? Do you like to sing? Maybe dance! Even if you’re confined to a wheelchair, you can still find a way to dance. Perhaps you simply like to kick back and listen to music.
I guess I’m telling you to get a hobby, but it doesn’t have to be a big one. It can be as simple as writing one sentence a day.
Maybe you just like to read blog posts about people talking about themselves.
Or maybe, you should call the person you hold dearest more often and just talk! Ask them how their day was. Makeup? Painting? Drawing.
You don’t have to be the best at your craft either. I mean, to be honest, you don’t even need to be good. You could literally be THE WORST, but if you’re having fun, you should never stop. Plus, practice does make you better!
So what should you take away with this?
- Coping isn’t a bad word
- Get a hobby
- If you love it, keep at it!
Ahhh, I finally found a nice way to tell people to “get a hobby”.
If you need help figuring out what you might enjoy, totally hit me up. I’m all ears and have lots of opinions!