Nothing worth having comes easy sounds like a cliche but this idea has brought me through some dark times. I’ve been through so many situations where I just wanted to lay down and give up. I didn’t know how I would get through it and it was hard to imagine anything good ever coming out of it. Looking back I still recognize that those situations sucked and many of them were unfair. However, I’m also able to see how they shaped my life and helped me grow into the person I wanted to become. Here are some of the ways that dark times have served me in my life. If you’re struggling and need a good pep talk check out my podcast episode below and you can find information to make a crisis plan here.
The tough times inevitably made me expand and grow. Yes, those times were hard but looking back those difficult moments are the moments that have really defined my life. These are the times that stand out in my life when I reflect back because I learned so many tough lessons. These lessons prepared me for the future and got me ready for my next chapter. I have found that I often have to learn really tough lessons before I’m ready to open a new chapter of my life. If you’re struggling right now just know that you are getting prepared for the journey ahead.
You Never Know What Is Waiting For You
Life is so crazy and anything can happen. I’m sure you can think of half a dozen examples of things working out for you in the most magical way. There have been lots of times when I’ve been stressed or worried about how a situation would work out and it ended up unfolding perfectly. I can think of examples in my life where I thought things were definitely going to get worse only to have everything turn around. You never know when things are about to work out in your favor. When I’m really struggling to see how things will possibly get better I make a list of all the times life worked out in my favor.
Tough times really made me figure out what positive coping mechanisms worked for me. The last time I walked through a really dark time I quit drinking alcohol (it makes me feel worse) and started running five miles every day. I knew I needed to do that run to stay functional and just to live through the grief and sadness I was experiencing. Tough times often make us figure out what we can do to process difficult emotions. I couldn’t rely on my unhealthy coping skills because I was too distraught and anything that would make it more difficult in the long run just wasn’t an option. I had to figure out positive ways to process really difficult emotions. It was a really tough time that made me realize I had to go to therapy and process some things I had been carrying around for years. Developing these skills continues to serve me and help me process the everyday stress of life.
You Need Contrast
I believe that the dark times are important because they teach us to appreciate the good times. I always appreciate the things I have in my life more when I’ve had to struggle for them. The contrast of struggle makes the happier times feel better. I’ve learned to appreciate the good times when they’re here and to be thankful for the blessings that I already have. I believe contrast serves us by making the good things in our life even more apparent and bright. I’ve also found that when I try to resist difficult times I only make it harder on myself. By appreciating that difficult times make my life better in the long run I’m able to move through those feelings easier.
Hard Times Create Change
Oftentimes difficult times have forced me to take action in a particular area of my life that I’ve known isn’t serving me but didn’t want to let go of. I’ve left relationships, changed careers and moved to new towns as a result of the discomfort of a difficult time. Tough times will often make us realize that parts of our life need to change and we will be so uncomfortable that we will be moved to actually take action. This blog was actually born out of a rock bottom moment in my life. I had been wanting to create it for a long time but I finally hated my life so much that I was compelled to take action. If I hadn’t been really miserable I wouldn’t have had the motivation to change anything. I would have kept working at my mediocre job and watching Netflix every night instead of creating the life I actually wanted to live.
Difficult times and tough lessons have given me a fresh perspective on tough situations. One of my favorite mantras, when I’m processing a difficult time, is “I am willing to see this situation differently”. I talk about this in my breakup episode of my podcast. When I was initially dumped it was hard for me to see how it was serving me. I felt sad and angry and all of the emotions people often feel when someone you’re dating ditches you suddenly and unexpectedly. While I still had to process all of those emotions I was able to get new perspectives on dating, how I want to be treated and the type of men I want to date in the future. Ultimately, it gave me clarity and a fresh perspective about how I wanted my life to look.
I’ve been through so much shit that at this point it takes a lot to really knock me down. Every difficult situation has made me stronger and taught me how to cope when things suck. If things had always been good and easy I wouldn’t be as good at dealing with stress or hardships that inevitably come up throughout life. I feel more prepared and able to cope with the stress of my day to day life. I know that I’ve been through so much and I’m still here. I have proven to myself that I can withstand uncomfortable, tragic and difficult situations.
The difficult times in my life made me realize what was truly important. It was after a major loss that I moved back to my home state and decided to settle down near my friends and family. Tough times tend to shine a light on what we really value and care about. Traveling, freedom and other things I thought were so important to me suddenly seemed insignificant while processing loss. It made me reevaluate my priorities and figure out what was actually important and what wasn’t. Difficult times often make you really look at your life and figure out what you want. I probably would have remained directionless for years but a difficult situation made me really figure out what I wanted.
Nothing worth having comes easy is kind of a cliche but it really makes me think about what I learned during tough times. I’m thankful for everything I’ve gained from the hard times I’ve walked through. I’ve been able to gain insight and perspective that continue to serve me every day. I know I can face and handle anything that comes my way and that’s really comforting. If you’re struggling and looking for more resources check out my other posts on depression.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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