Breaking the Habit

There are days when you are simply just not feeling it – and this is one of those days.  So what do you do when you are faced with hard decisions in life that don’t jive with your soul?  How do you reassert self control when your life decisions are made for you – and you aren’t allowed to participate in the conversation? Regardless of your situation – job or love loss, even bereavement – when your life dynamics are altered, you feel it in your heart.  Many people are facing permanent life changes that alter the trajectory of their happiness and life fortune.

Letting go is the hardest thing to do.

For me, I chose to live life one day at a time recognizing that surviving loss is a process. I cannot conceive of this lost feeling forever – it’s grief work, but it is painful.  I woke at 1 am this morning and worked on my manuscript for a while, then returned to bed for a few more hours of watching the numbers projecting on the ceiling from the bedside clock.  My memories varied from one “first” to another…memories that mean so much to me.  My reverie was interrupted by our youngest daughter, Taryn, who came in to announce that she was cold and needed to cuddle.  I was reminded of why I’ve made the decisions that I’ve made and snuggled our daughter between Brian and I.  Still, my soul aches in ways that I can’t begin to describe to you.

The snow outside is beautiful and the house is bathed in gentle light.  My good friends bless me with wonderful candles from their shop.  I’m going to light a fire in Brian’s den and cuddle into the soft leather sofa, sip some hot tea and write.  If you read the articles on relationships you will know that days like these are tough for the left-behind.  It’s like being six inches under water…close enough to see the open blue sky, but still drowning.  How am I going to change it?

  • First, practice good self care.  A good warm shower and my favorite sweater.  I took the time to do my hair and swipe on lip gloss, even though the most glamorous place I will go today include the video store and the bank.
  • Clean something.  The smell of success can just be the simple swipe of cleaner in the bath, a freshly washed bed or even wiping down the kitchen counter.  I need to know that I can still make a difference.
  • Read or watch something funny…laugh out loud funny.
  • Work out with the right attitude – my health and fitness are important.
  • Call and ask for help when the anxiety of loss becomes to much for me to handle.
  • Cry when I need to.  It’s okay to express the heartache that I feel – I just can’t live in it.
  • Be kind to everyone I meet.   I send out the most motivational, positive quotes I can, focus my energy on others…and imagine that in the end, I will feel whole and complete once again.

These are the best suggestions I have here in my view from the floor.   If you’re suffering from symptoms of depression, remember that the music you listen to and the things you take in are important.  Avoid tunes and views that remind you of what plagues your soul.  Make healthy choices of uplifting, meaningful lyrics.

Affirm the love of those in your life and … breathe.

4 comments for “Breaking the Habit

  1. Tina
    May 8, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Hello Alison

    So sorry for your pain.

    You say to listen to uplifting positive music but I am struggling to think of any and to be honest am too weak to look. Is there any chance you know or could recommend any uplifting music (NOT about love please) that will boost my self esteem and remember all that is good about life please.

    Thank you xx

    • May 13, 2012 at 9:07 am

      Hi, Tina….

      Thanks. In reality my pain helped me learn a lot about who I really am and what life means to me. After all, I am here with you, right? There is this phrase in the bible that I really like about “redeeming the time.” I’ve lost in love more than once in my life, and today I am happily married to Brian (although we’ve had some near misses with not staying married, honestly.) None of that came without being where you are now. The cool thing is that I realize what it’s worth becasue of the hurt – and I’m stronger for it. That is my choice – you’ll have to come to that point, too. You’ll choose that it either takes you out or makes you stronger. I’ve seen both. Right now, it’s to new for you.

      I tend to listen to Linkin Park and 30 Second to Mars because I love that kind of music. Yes, it’s all angsty and kinda dark, now that I think about it, so it may not be for you right now. When I was going through my massive depression phase, I learned to kickbox….yes, I have a real honest to God punching bag in my workout room even today. I use it. I listen to music that gets my heart going. Other than that, I listen to Tony Robbins talk through being grateful and loving life. I listen to Gaga sing about…well, being Gaga. I listen to “Dare You To Move.” I avoid anything that makes me think of him like it’s poison. Some suggestions…get on Pandora.com and program your own station. I have music only stations like new age contemporary – Dark Night of the Soul is a song that I used to form a station….as well as 30STM, JLo, Linkin Park. I find that music that focuses on feeling good makes me feel good. I like up tempo beats because it helps get my energy back. You’ll find that when you get up and move, after the initial I don’t want to get up and move wears off, you’re going to feel more human again. This part doesn’t last forever – it just feels like it does. Don’t regress…if it’s over, it’s over. Keep that focus – you’re right not to want to listen to the sappy I will love you forever stuff. Not knowing what music you like – here are some of the ones I play on my iPod….but it’s easier for you to go to my Pandora profile and click around on what you like. Keep in mind – I move and write to music. Start writing a journal. Get up and move. Box. You’re going to get REALLY pissed off soon (that is totally normal) and it helps to already have a place to channel that backlash.

      Songs that I listen to: http://www.pandora.com/profile/rodgers.alison

      I will look for more specific playlists and send them to you in email. Sending you lots of love and hugs – it’s going to get better. Remember – clean water, clean air, restful sleep (not all day), get up and move. Talk to other people, see movies, let it out of your grasp for moments that turn to minutes then hours…it’s a process. This is not going to last forever.

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