That title about sums it up. Yep, it’s been a bad week. I mean a knock-down, take the wind out of my sails, kind of week. I really have no words to describe the trauma of the past seven days. Life changing events that you wish you never lived through, and you hope you never have to again. Plus, I had the flu.
I’m not going to dive into the terribleness that was this week. Reliving it is defeating. Talking about it isn’t ‘therapy,’ and hanging onto the vivid memories of it just makes me feel bad. While I know it’s in our human nature to oddly want to know the depressing details about the lives of others, I’m going to take the higher road and explore this week from a helicopter perspective.
When it rains, it pours. Sure does. Life sometimes just seems to slam you from all directions, all at once. One blow after another. “C’mon!! Pick on someone else for a while!” are the words screaming in my head. I also then go through periods of stomping my feet, like a child having a tantrum. “Why? Why me! Why! I don’t deserve this!” Then comes the sad, “feeling sorry for myself” stage. And, WHY so often does the sky come falling down just as soon as you begin a “new”, positive routine or habit?? Happens all the time! I feel like the Universe is mocking me at times!
You know. You’ve been there. Where the constant string of crap just never seems to end. Where you hesitate to pick up the phone, check your email, or look outside because surely the next crazy thing is waiting to pop out from around the next corner and trip you up. Where you’d much rather just build a blanket fort and crawl inside.
What’s amazing to me is that the healthy routine I’ve worked so hard to build often seems to go down the tubes during these times. It’s amazing to me because, why does something I value, do every day, and feel so invested in, just slip away in any moment of chaos or crisis. That, in and of itself, seems deflating. Because once the clouds clear, there I am, starting “all over” again.
Well, “all over” is quite dramatic. It’s really just restarting the same good habits and routine I had prior to the s*&t show that seemed to recently overcome my life. But, why does it seem to take some much effort? And, why do I so easily let my normal routine fall apart? How does negativity so easily breed more negativity? It takes so much power to build yourself up, and one little tiny pin prick to have it all crash down sometimes.
I suppose that’s the journey of life we are all on. Ups and down, rollercoaster. My good habits aren’t far away. They are just at arm’s reach right now. But, as the clouds clear, it is up to me to pull those habits in closer and to get back to business.
We call that relapse. It’s actually even part of the curriculum I teach in my community college personal trainer course. What we teach is so true – relapse isn’t a “bad” word. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just means you’re off course for the moment. As a Trainer, I wouldn’t think to judge a client that relapses. It’s actually pretty common. So, while it’s no one’s job to judge another, in the same respect, I have to stop beating myself up for relapsing as well.
No one is perfect. In this type of job (well, I guess in a lot of professions), we try hard to be positive role models, live clean lives, and appear to have it all figured out. We don’t. We are people, too. Relapse happens. But, it’s hard to live in that bubble of having it all figured out because it’s not reality. I think it’s more genuine and real to be honest with people, show your true self, and let people see transparently that life is not perfect. No one has it all figured out, we all fall off the wagon, take breaks… relapse.
The secret to relapse is ending it. The sooner the better. Stay in touch with yourself. Check in with how you are feeling, and acknowledge that today may not be the day you’re pulling up your bootstraps, but that you’re going to have to do it soon. Very soon. As in tomorrow. Even if tomorrow doesn’t pan out to be a complete relapse reversal, it’s a start of getting back to your true self. Congratulate yourself on everything you’re doing RIGHT, even if seems silly (btw: it’s not silly at all, and even if it was, being silly is fun and we all need a bit more fun in our lives :).
Let’s be honest, that positive routine you had before the s$%t show struck is the “real” you. It’s okay to lose touch now and again. Just check in with yourself, have the hard conversations, and I’m betting you’ll be back on track pretty soon. It’s when we let the s$%t show spiral, that we – as in our health – also spirals. Then it’s a hell of a mess to clean up.
So, I had the conversation with myself today. Tomorrow is the beginning of a new week. The bad week is behind me. Back to the normal me. Life goes on. I, once again, remember why I chose the healthy track. It’s a daily reminder, but personally, I hate cleaning up s%^t, so the sooner I’m back on track, the better!