Life is incredibly scary; some could even call it terrifying at times. This is especially true when you are having a domino-effect of troubles. It feels like your life is sending you into a free fall, hitting every object possible on your way down.
This can happen in so many scenarios, and can start with something big, like loosing a loved one, or something smaller, like failing a class. No matter how it begins, at the end it all feels the same. It feels like you have lost control.
Triggering the free fall
No matter how your free fall began, there is an ominous presence throughout—stress.
Whether you’re stressed about money, getting a job, finding a soulmate or finding yourself, the stress affects every aspect of your being, even if you don’t feel it.
Stress can make you feel crazy. It can make you emotional, lonely, exhausted and confused. It takes a toll on your mental well-being and, if it’s severe enough, it can even take a toll on you physically.
When people find themselves in these moments, they panic. They let their emotions consume them, and let their minds trick them into thinking that their life is in much more turmoil than it actually is.
Thus, triggering (or encouraging) the free-fall.
Finding your parachute
When you find yourself in this free fall, the instinctive solution is to search for your parachute. In this case, the parachute is anything that subsides your stress, making your troubles almost disappear.
For many, this is an outside source of relief. Generally, people seek comfort in others, turning to a friend, family member or significant other. They release their feelings and emotions, and find comfort in the words of others.
While this isn’t a bad thing, it’s not necessarily a good thing either.
It is so incredibly important to surround yourself with others who make you feel good. They lift you up when you’re down and melt all your troubles away. They make you feel safe and loved. They make you feel whole.
But what happens if you don’t have those people around? What happens if you’re left to find your own parachute and safe yourself from free falling off the face of the earth? (Just pretend that’s possible.)
Being your own parachute
You have to save yourself. Easier said than done, I know.
While it’s so important and such a great feeling to surround yourself with people who are always there to lift you up, you have to learn how to lift yourself up. You have to look out for yourself and you have to be able to be your own parachute.
Personally, I have always been the type of person to rely on others to “fix” me. I surrounded myself with people that cared for me so much (again, not a bad thing) that I didn’t know how to care for myself.
I got a huge wake up call in college, when I found myself crying alone in the middle of the night. No one was there (or even awake) to catch me as I was falling, and I felt like the world was caving in on me. I wanted to get in my car and drive an hour home in search of someone to help me—that’s how vulnerable I was.
In that moment, I felt helpless. I felt weak and powerless. I felt like I had no control over myself or my life, and I was scared. Life became terrifying.
That’s when I knew I needed to change my mindset. I needed to focus on becoming mentally strong enough to stand on my own.
I am a strong, independent woman
(Ask Tyler how many times he’s heard me say that in our relationship.)
Truth is, life gets hard, and it doesn’t happen at the most opportune times. It happens when you least expect it, and when you are least prepared to handle it. You are not always going to have loved ones around to help you, so you have to learn how to be strong for yourself.
When you’re in a moment of free fall, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that things will get better. You have to take deep breaths, find things to occupy your time and your mind and remind yourself why life is so great (even though it doesn’t seem too great at the moment).
You have to tell yourself that sure, this moment may not be the best, but that’s all it is—a moment.
At first, it’s so incredibly scary to have to rely on yourself to pull you out of dark times. You may feel like you’re not strong enough to or you don’t trust yourself to, but trust me, when you feel yourself calm down after having a mental breakdown or panic attack, you will feel like you can take on the world (and you can).
It is the most freeing, invigorating feeling to know that you can always count on yourself. You can trust yourself to parachute safely to the ground as you free fall, and you will love yourself in doing so.
If you can take care of yourself, you can take on the world, and others will notice.