Choose your own story

So, here we have it.  October is nearly over and we are now on the final week before the half term.  Usually this would be a week of great excitement and anticipation but this year it’s a little different.  This year, this week doesn’t hold much for me to look forward to.

Do you ever look at your Facebook memories? It’s an interesting feature in Facebook, where you can look back and see what you were posting on this day in years past.  Most of the time it’s an amusing reminder of things you’ve done and how quickly time has passed.  Occasionally, however it can have a much darker effect.

For example, according to my Facebook memories, one year ago last Saturday I received a pretty horrible phone call.  The kind that you never imagine you’ll get until the day you answer the phone and somebody tells you something you’d never expect to hear.  The kind of phone call that makes you fall asleep every night, hoping you’ll wake up and find it was a nightmare.

Strange to think that this nightmare has been going on for a year now.  I had assumed that this would all be behind me now and I’d be moving on with my life.  Instead, I’m looking forward to another few weeks of uncertainty.  Bleurgh!

Still, having said all that, I think it’s important to remember that no matter how bad things get, there’s probably someone out there who has it worse.  You only have to look at the refugee crisis to realise I’m actually pretty lucky.

When you’re having a bad day, or week, or maybe even a shitty couple of years like me, it can be all too easy to wallow in a pit of self pity, feeling sorry for yourself at the expense of all others.  It’s easy to forget that you’re not the only one who’s having a rough time and has lots to worry about. That when you’re at work, at school, or even at home you are surrounded by people who are struggling to deal with the crappy hand life has thrown them.

Sometimes you just have to stop.  Stop feeling sorry for yourself – it usually achieves nothing.  I don’t believe that things happen for a reason, but I do believe that we write our own stories.  If you are in a terrible situation, you probably can’t change what is happening but you can change how you can deal with it. You can decide if this will be the moment that drives you to climb to greater heights or you can give up and let it defeat you.  You can choose if your life is an inspirational success story, or a depressing tragedy.

I know which I choose.  So I’m off now to give myself a firm kick up the backside, look myself in the mirror and pull myself together.  I know I’m stronger than this and I will not be broken.

And who knows, maybe by this time next year my Facebook memories will make me smile again, safe in the knowledge that I made it through the tough times to the light at the other side.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see

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