When should you press the restart button?
Have you ever pushed yourself so low that you thought that you would never get out of it? How about, have you ever screwed up so bad that there was no recovering? I hear all the time people talking about how they would just like to go back in time before they made that mistake, so they could try to not do it again… but what if you could just start over?
When we really fuck up, why is it so hard for us to let go, forgive ourselves, and move on?
I graduated from college this last December (yay me!!!) this was a huge accomplishment, but around that time there was a lot more that I was dealing with than I was ready to admit. This made it difficult to accept and be happy about this new change.
I had overworked myself the entire semester. I mean I was working 40 hours a week and sometimes more for most of the semester, I had planned on maybe 30 at most, but we were understaffed. I was taking 19 credit hours and six of them were the hardest classes in my program you could take, and including working for the paper. I wasn’t complaining about any of it. I loved my job, I loved my classes, my professors, my coworkers, my writing, all of it.
But on top of that I was hiking down a hill 2 miles every morning and up that same hill every night. I would leave my house at 7, sometimes six, to get to work on time and then not get home until after midnight most nights.
Grocery shopping was an anomaly, the times I remembered to eat I would either chow down on some ramen or buy something at the mall I worked in. I don’t know if I realized how bad it was at the time, but I liked my body better when I hadn’t had much to eat… so days where I felt the need to look extra good, I would not have time to eat. I always had time for that extra cup of black coffee though.
Any of you who know what that combination will do to you have a pretty good idea of what I am about to say next. If you don’t, then please pay attention.
I was fighting a solid eating disorder, and was getting sicker and sicker by the day. I was battling my depression and anxiety by not eating and dousing myself coffee and energy drinks. When I didn’t have work or school (regardless of the homework due) I couldn’t get out of bed, and would sleep through the day.
Probably the best moment, and my worst moment was one week in the middle of January. I hadn’t been to the store so I had no food, and I was too weak to try to get there outside of my schedule anyways. I didn’t really even have the money either.
So I did what any 21 year old would and should do. I called mom.
I didn’t tell her everything, I just told her I wanted to come home so I could save money to move back to Europe and that wasn’t going to happen where I was at and how I was doing things. It’s true, I am saving up for Europe, and I wasn’t able to do that in Flagstaff.
I didn’t tell her I was battling my anxiety until we were in the car on our way home. I didn’t tell her about the depression until later. I couldn’t really hide the fact that I hadn’t been eating but I made a few light jokes about it and we moved on.
She didn’t care really what had been happening until that point, and it’s not to say she wasn’t concerned, she just wasn’t judging. She was more focused on making me feel better and helping me get strong again.
So the first step was helping me make sure I got to work okay, and then making sure I got enough food and sleep, and then to make sure that I tried to go out with friends or work on my hobbies.
It wasn’t until later that I realized that she just kind of pressed the reset button for me.
In a conversation that we had a few days ago, we talked about starting over. She had had no problem with helping me try again, because she had had to do it herself several times.
“I don’t see why we can’t start over every day.. We make mistakes daily, we don’t get as far as we wanted, or we find something we want to change. I treat every day as a chance to restart,” she told me.
I think we often times get stuck on this whole accepting our situations until we can find something better that we forget to actually take care of our needs. The idea that we have to stay in whatever shitty situation we put ourselves in is ridiculous.
But how do we change this mindset and accept that we don’t have to be the same person we were yesterday?
This skill is something that can be, and should be taken and used in every situation. Have you every been in a work space where you knew it wasn’t taking you where you wanted to go? Did you ever realize you were stuck in a dead end job and it was going to leave you in a position you didn’t want to be stuck in?
The best thing you can do is to drop everything. AND CHANGE.
Starting over can be absolutely necessary. Don’t be scared to take the plunge.