You don’t walk out of the hospital after major heart surgery and line up to run a marathon. A company doesn’t come roaring out of bankruptcy the day after they file chapter 11 and start acquiring competitors. A country doesn’t wake up the day after a tsunami that eats an entire coastline and have all systems running normally.
Similarly, when you go through a personal crisis, you don’t just operate as you normally do the day after it is over. There is a recovery process to get back to where you were.
You need to think about it with a clear head. With your ‘smart brain’, not the clouded one that you were using in the middle of your crisis. You have to actually find the road to recovery first, then get on it and start your journey.
And the journey won’t be easy. And you will relapse and take steps backwards on the road back to yourself.
When I was a couple of months in on doing Urban Samurai, everything had been going so well, then I woke up feeling emotionally terrible one day. And I wrote this:
‘What happens overnight that sometimes leaves you waking up angry and depressed? I’m in no better or worse place than yesterday when I woke up feeling great. Nothing happened yesterday to make me feel otherwise. A good reminder that this road is long and the cure does not come in a z-pack.’
I love when people’s advice to a person struggling is ‘snap out of it.’ As if it were that easy, that the person would need that ‘pearl of wisdom’ to get back on track. That’s not it. It’s never been it. It takes time to recover.
My dreams tell my story. They are weird and emotional, and I wake up really tired, like I’ve been through a lot during the night. And no lie, I just realized this as I was typing, this must be my brain’s way of processing everything. This is my brain recovering.
So I don’t wake up with that bounce in my step. With that smile. With that internal go. I feel like I’m still in this valley. I can see the road, but I’m not yet on it.
But I’m standing up at least. My head is clearing. I have a lot of good friends and they help.
It doesn’t change the fact that there are still clouds overhead and I can’t see the summit. But this is it. It’s over today. I’m tired of all this shit. But tired is not the right word. I am angrily sick of feeling like this. The fire is starting to come back too.
Since starting Urban Samurai, I’ve gained tools and strength, and a lot of support from the people that come here. That stuff doesn’t go away just because I’m not on a mountain top. This is actually when they show themselves.
It’s a good lesson, that even when you are on high, keep building your muscles. Keep sharpening your tools. Keep building a support network. There will definitely be times when you need them.
I’m going to start using mine today. This is the day I start my climb. And I’m not trying to just to get back to myself…I’m going to get back to my old self, put him on my back and carry him where he always wanted to go.