How to Cope When Life Gets Tough

WT

“This place is a prison

And these people aren’t your friends

Inhaling thrills through $20 bills

And the tumblers are drained and then flooded again

And again”

The Postal Service – This Place Is a Prison

I would love to say that I’ve never wished I was dead.

My problems may have been nothing more than a misunderstood kid lashing out for attention.

But to be cliché: The struggle is real.

I didn’t know at the time how trivial some of the things I was facing would seem later on in life. At the time they were of high importance. I want to feel loved and accepted. At that is the problem. I was. I just didn’t know it. It was not communicated to me in a way that I found to be adequate.

For those of you who don’t know I am the fourth of seven children. Making me the middle child. Which I fit many of the typical middle child stereotypes. But due to the age gaps (a total of 18 years from oldest to youngest) there were some times where I was not always in the middle.

Obviously when I was a baby I was the youngest. Things were good. Well as much as I remember. I would tag along when my brothers and sisters went to the school library to play Oregon Trail. Times were simpler.

Then my parents had a few more kids (my two younger sisters). Then we moved to Texas. And here comes my youngest brother.

And at some point the older children grew up and moved out. And then I was the oldest one at home. Which lead to many summer days of being the worst babysitter the world had ever seen. Or at least I felt that way about it. Nobody ever actually got stabbed.

As a young boy I spent ungodly amounts of time watching TV and playing computer games. I would spend several hours alone in my room. People start to get weird when they spend too much time alone. By the time I was in middle school I was a sugar fueled bundle on insecurity.

In high school I wrote the book on apathy.

But I couldn’t just do that right either. Sometimes my internal conflict is a walking contradiction.

I did well in school. Naturally smart they say. I don’t know. I don’t care.

The point of this is that I thought my life sucked.

I grew up in one of the safest cities in America.

I had no idea at the time.

And thinking my life suck caused to do all sorts of dumb stuff. When my thinking is bad and wrong, I do bad and wrong things. I made a huge mess of my life. I thought I was doing what I wanted. I thought I was being me.

I was pretending.

“I feel must I interject here

You’re getting carried away feeling sorry for yourself

With these revisions and gaps in history”

The Postal Service – Nothing Better

I was an enemy of God.

I hated Christians.

Also I was living in a lot of sin. At one point I even tried to convince myself there was no such thing as “sin”. But we all have the eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Then an incredible series of events transpired in my life. I wouldn’t, and wasn’t, headed into the life of a born again Christian, but God loved me way more than I loved myself.

And my mind was renewed on my views of what it means to be a Christian.

Ask me if you want to know more.

“I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more

Well, I wake up in the morning, fold my hands and pray for rain

With a head full of ideas drivin’ me insane”

Bob Dylan – Maggie’s Farm

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Day 86 of Claudia’s book Become An Idea Machine.

Ten Things I Could Do to Get Out of a “Funk” or Other Such Mood

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I brought up the history lesson above to show you that getting out of a “funk” is nothing new to me.

Hopefully my ideas today will help show how to cope when life gets tough. They work for me. Maybe they will for you.

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1 Drink coffee

I drink it by the pot now. Maybe that is not good. But drinking coffee helps get me going again.

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2 Take a nap

This is great if I have the time. I love to nap. I nap now more than ever. I love the idea of siesta.

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3 Pray

My spiritual life gives me meaning and purpose. Praying helps me get back focused on what matters.

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4 Take my dogs to the dog park

Getting out doors helps me refocus and calm down. Then I can get back to the grind.

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5 Call someone

I don’t do this enough. It helps to talk things out. That is why therapy works. But friends are cheaper.

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6 Read

This is a great way to escape from the world. To get my mind off the “funk”. It also is a way to learn how characters deal with issues. Also I can go on adventures. Then I can go back to real life.

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7 Write

Writing is a great way to deal with issues. It is like talking to others but easier because no one else has to be there. Then people like YOU can read it and maybe help me process things too.

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8 Play a  game

This is a great way to have fun and take my mind of issues. This is also a good way to solve problems as I solve puzzles in the game. I think it helps my thinking to be clearer.

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9 Help somebody else

Helping others takes the focus off my own problems. Then they fade away. And life is good when I get to be part of another persons success.

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10 Smile

I used to be terrible at smiling. People would often tell me to smile more.

After a tough time in my life I realized I would only smile again if I tried.

So I wrote the word “Smile” on a sticky note. Then tried to smile every time I looked at it.

Now I smile when I laugh. And I laugh often after years of working with children and finding my soul again.

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Now I no longer wish I was dead.

But I still need to escape from prison.

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Why would anyone let another person affect their thoughts and behaviors?

Are we not independent and self-reliant?

As much as we may be filled with thoughts like these, anyone who is honest will admit that they have been shaped and influenced by several people throughout their life.

Speaking of influential people, what do James Altucher, Dale Carnegie, and Theodore Roosevelt all have in common?

When reading Conspire To Inspire, you will find out why I chose to feature these three prominent people along with six others. You will get a quick and to the point glimpse at inspirational people, a story about when I discovered them, and why you should care.

Don’t believe me?

Find out for yourself by joining me to Conspire to Inspire.

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