Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;
I know that I am supposed to be building a new life and all, but I am recently divorced, emotionally spent and my faith has been shaken. I’d like to build a new life, but I don’t know what to build because I’m numb. If it wasn’t for the fact that I have a daughter out there in the world, I think I’d give up. So I won’t give up, I just lack the drive and energy it’s going to take to rebuild. In the meantime, I woke up the other night and realized I was all alone in the world and might never find a companion or mate. It was awful.
I was so lonely that I almost went home with a guy I met at a bar, but I caught myself in time. I had no idea who he was or whether I could trust him, I just didn’t want to be alone.
I guess my question is- how do you rebuild when you just don’t give a crap and aren’t sure you can trust your own judgment but you know you’d better do something because you feel terrible. BTW- I’m broke and without insurance, another downer.
Think of life as a puzzle. Just as it helps to have a picture of the finished puzzle to work towards, it helps to picture the life you would have if you could do anything and you could be anyone. That picture is your intent and will help you fit all the other pieces together. Passive hope is related to depression. Envisioning what you want is not passive HOPE. Instead it is an active acknowledgement that you will have to find and assemble the pieces yourself. Active intent is like preparing for battle. It is even called the way of the warrior in Toltec philosophy.
Your failed relationship was an exercise in trying to force two pieces of the puzzle together that were not compatible in the first place. You need to get to know who you are and define your boundaries. If you don’t figure out who you are, even if you have clear intent, you will probably continue to do this same thing over and over and over.
They say to trust your instincts, but that only works if your instincts are trustworthy. Yours are not at the moment so instead you need to question your instincts. Your current instinct to give up is an example of a destructive instinct. It is at these very moments when momentum is low that you sink or swim- you need to learn to push so that you gain the speed to climb any hill.
Keep peddling and assembling,
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
Granny says: All great advice, but this does not answer the question: how do you get past the lethargy and hopelessness? If you went to a therapist, they would probably recommend whatever drug fit your symptom cluster. This would be about as useful as a hole in the head, so don’t lament your lack of insurance or money on that account.
You need to hear from people who have been where you are- despondent, confused and unable to trust their own instincts. You need to be with other people who are trying to put their lives together because they are the only ones who will understand what it takes to pull yourself out of the abyss. All the blah, blah, blah advice in the world from a doctor sitting at a freaking’ desk can’t compete with one good AA meeting. These people have been in the trenches. They are past the bullshit and brutally honest with themselves and each other.
You don’t have to be a substance abuser to attend an open meeting. All you have to do is get off your butt and out the door. Hearing the questions and feelings that are running around inside of you coming out of dozens of other people’s mouths is the best medicine for what ails you right now.