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Shippy's avatar

When "everything" is going wrong, how do you make it go right?

Asked by Shippy (9852 points ) November 28th, 2012

It just seems like everything horrible is happening at once.

How does one cope and how to you pull things right or into perspective?

I have a good friend that (well intentioned) tells me, “It’s going to be OK” soon you will be happy, soon all this will go. It’s just so not helping me right now. I think If I had a gash in my throat he’d say “It’s nothing really!”

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23 Answers

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

I have had spells where I felt that everything was going wrong, but a good friend of mine taught me how to look at even the smallest of things that may have a silver lining to them. By doing this it helped me to see that even if other things are bad at least one thing has gone well and to then try to build from that small base.

It can be difficult to see any positives when there are clearly a lot of negatives around, but a small positive can keep that light burning and something to hold onto and through love and care from others that light can get brighter even in the darkest of days.

jordym84's avatar

Think of another time when everything was going wrong. Think about how you felt then, how it seemed like the world was ending an nothing would ever be ok. Now think about when that was all over. Think about how, in retrospect, things are never truly as bad as we believe them to be in the moment. I’m not by any means trying to minimize your current situation, but I do know from personal experience that perspective is the first thing to go when you start to feel like you’re drowning with problems. Take a few deep breaths and hang in there; everything will be fine again if given enough time :)

marinelife's avatar

Sometimes life is bleak, and it’s hard to see or remember the good times during those periods. What has helped me is counting my blessings and saying thanks for them even if they are few and far between.

janbb's avatar

I know the feeling. One thing that sometimes helps me is having a plan for the day so that I know I am going to get up and do some things. Another thing is talking about it with friends that will validate my feelings; not minimize them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Shippy I feel the same way as marinelife.

My mom was diagnosed with cancer last year and just got cleared last week. My favorite great-aunt is dying in the hospital, my car died, at the same time I’m going to have to put my dog baby down after 13 years. My marriage isn’t 100% right now either. I owe several thousand in medical bills for my husband, and his overpaid unemployment $.

Sometimes life does seem very bleak and all you can do is keep on keeping on. Wallowing in the bleakness is not healthy, or focusing on the negatives- not productive.

I have a lovely home, a great job, a husband who loves me, I shared 13 years with a great dog, and I have two other vehicles that work. Count those blessings and focus on how to make things better.

Try to also remember there are so many people, even little children, that have lives that are living nightmares. I feel very blessed that my problems have nothing to do with my health and I’m not in foreclosure or anything. :)

marinelife's avatar

@KNOWITALL and @Shippy Hugs to you both.

downtide's avatar

I always used to feel like “everything was going wrong” and there was nothing I could do to fix it, until I had a friend who was totally emo and would say exactly the same thing – that everything was going wrong and it was hopeless and there was nothing she could do. Except that I could think of a dozen things she could do to help her situation. I offered her suggestions but she was the sort of person to reject everything and continue to wallow in her own misery.

Needless to say she’s no longer a friend – I had to break contact with her to protect my own sanity. However I learned something valuable from her. If I am having problems of my own, now I turn it around and look at it as though it’s someone else’s problem, then I come up with a list of solutions. It’s much easier to do that if you’re looking at the situation from “outside”, so to speak. Then when I have my list, I pick one of the options and do something practical and physical to make it happen.

Every problem has a solution somewhere. It might require you to swallow your pride and ask for help or money from others, but there’s always something. Even if it’s only learning to accept a new situation (as with my current health issues).

jordym84's avatar

@downtide Nicely put!! I love your take on this!

Judi's avatar

I just read this this morning and I thought it might apply.

“This being human is a guest-house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
Who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.
Still, treat each guest honorably.
Who may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”

~ Rumi

KNOWITALL's avatar

Lovely Judi, thanks for sharing.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @downtide
I think it is important to remember that whatever our struggles and challenges they are never any better or worse than the rest of humanities.
None of get out here alive, let alone without the usual human travails of death, loss, pain, survival struggles, broken relationships, dead pets, broken cars, health problems.
I cope with humor and reminding myself that nothing really matters all that much, in the grand scheme of the universe.

I am going through a challenging time myself.
5 years ago I had a job that I loved and a 130k in the bank. Zero debt and only needed to work part time.
Life was good, easy, and now that is all changing again.

I have had little work the last 2 years, am running out of money fast, wracking up my credit cards after being debt free forever.
Like a gazillion other people in this economic climate I cannot seem to find any, even remotely suitable work, this last year and might very well end up working in Walmart rolling up rugs in a stupid blue vest with a bunch of other displaced middle aged people.
This last few weeks have sucked, the cash is flying out the door, car repair, bills, and I am really sick with a sinus infection and my toilet is fucked up and am waiting on the $200 an hour plumber right now.
It is pouring rain, a tree just fell over, literally, about 5 minutes ago in this crazy, wild storm, but…it missed the fence in the pasture and didn’t block the road. Bonus, not having to chase down escaped horses in a driving storm with a fever. Hey..be grateful for the small stuff. I know I am going to lose power at any moment with 4 major storms rolling in back to back the next 5 days, but…I’ll still have fluther battery power while I blow my snotty brains out. lol

I focus on the moment, and ask myself ” What problem do you have RIGHT NOW?”
Not 5 minutes from now, not tomorrow, not next week, not next month, not 5 years from now, but NOW!
The answer is always the same. I have no problem right now.
Right now, for this moment, this hour, this day, I am safe, warm, fed, sheltered and alive.

That’s all any any of us ever really have, just this, just now.

Deshi_basara's avatar

I cut….

Myself a piece of cake, and try to enjoy time away from what ever is going wrong. When the cake is finished and your mind has had time to to relax, maybe your problems will seem much easier to resolve.
Most of mine do anyway….. Most…

hearkat's avatar

I have done what @downtide suggests… to objectify the situations as though they were my best friend’s problems, and to consider what advice I would be giving them, and then follow it myself. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but eventually, I’ve become my own best friend.

Reminding myself that “this too shall pass” has helped me get through many tough times; especially when I took time to consider what I need to do in this moment in order to have the fewest regrets when looking back on it. A part of that has also been to consider what role I played in contributing to things going sour in my life, and what I might have done differently to avoid or at least minimize the problems, so that history won’t repeat.

Practicing gratitude for any and every little thing that does go right was another component in transforming me from a cynical pessimist into a hopeful realist. I mean even the most seemingly insignificant things, like a green light when I’m in a hurry, or a good parking space when I’m tired, or that my body hairs are fairly light so I don’t have the grooming hassles that others deal with, etc.

But the most crucial and challenging aspect of it all is to believe that you, yourself, truly deserve for everything to go right. This was a humongous obstacle for me, having a history of self-loathing and depression, partly hereditary personality traits and partly stemming from childhood abuse (by relatives with those same hereditary personality traits: dysfunctional natures tend to result in lack of nurturing – a cycle that’s tough to break; but I digress). It took a long period of deep reflection, contemplation, acceptance, forgiveness (of those that did me wrong – which included myself) to get to the point where I could love myself unconditionally and fully accept abundance of goodness in my life, without looking for strings attached or second-guessing that it’s too good to be true.

Hang in there!

Bellatrix's avatar

As it all reaches a crescendo I will probably throw a bit of a mental – perhaps cry and need a hug. Then once that tension is released I will remember tomorrow is another day and eventually things will improve. They always do. It just takes a little time on occasions. Then, I will start doing what I can to improve things. Calling in the troops where required. Letting people who need to know things are pear-shaped, what is happening and what I am doing to fix it. I break things into smaller, manageable chunks, make lists, delegate and try to be realistic about what I can do and time frames. After the pressure relieving tantrum – I try to stay calm, keep an accurate sense of perspective and quell the nasty, negative voice in my head. I might also call on other people for ‘reality checks’ to make sure I am seeing things clearly.

Coloma's avatar

I also totally agree with @hearkat in that, even when things are rough, it is very important to BELIEVE you deserve good things, abundance, prosperity, peace, happiness, etc. and that this too shall pass.
I do believe our thoughts create our reality, and we can CHOOSE how we think about anything, in any given moment. This is why I like to substitute the word “problem” with the word “situation.”
“Problem” sounds much more negative than “situation.”

JLeslie's avatar

Usually I just suffer through it. One thing that helps me is I would rather everything go wrong at once, and have nothing really wrong at other times. I don’t want years of shitty things happening. Of course, there is no guarantee of carefree times, but for whatever reason the idea of it helps me. I also vent to close friends who are empathetic. If I get very depressed I seek out a therapist to vent to and give me some structure on how to cope. I also try to focus on the good things that are in my life if I can manage it. Sometimes that is very difficult when negative things a overwhelming.

I have been told the book Bad Things Happen to Good people is very helpful when life is disgustingly unfair. I haven’t read it though.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Not me, my friend, there’s something to be said for small doses imo- lol. Everything is really overwhleming me right now and I feel like shutting down, the only thing that gets me through each day is my faith that things will work out like they always do, somehow someway.

I am a naturally contemplative person, and sometimes I overthink and try to fix so I can move on to other issues, basically get back to being happy. It’s probably not the best way to live life, which is why lately I often think of running away from everything, family, marriage, house, etc….sell everything and move to a different locale and start over, but that’s not how I was raised, to basically give up and run away. This too shall pass, as coloma says.

Coloma's avatar

@KNOWITALL Overcoming how we were raised and checking out why we believe what we believe is the most important inner “work” we will ever do.
I did exactly what you are thinking of 10 years ago.
I left a crappy marriage, moved to a new area and stared my new life.
Best thing I ever did, and some of the best words ever spoken to me by my therapist at the time were ” Don’t should on yourself!” lol

I didn’t give up and run away, I gave IN and surrendered to what my soul was telling me.
No regrets, best thing I ever did. :-)
There is glory in being a martyr, martyrs always get burned at the stake.haha ;-)

Coloma's avatar

Edit” There is NO glory in being a martyr

deni's avatar

I think about it like this. When everything is going wrong, I guess that means that for the most part, the rest of the time, things are going right. And though it sucks in the present time, things will improve, you just have to stick it out. THat doesn’t necessarily help right now but it’s more of a mental thing I think. I had a couple weeks like this recently, I thought about walking out of my job, breaking up with my boyfriend, can’t afford rent without a job though, cat is going crazy, I couldn’t handle it. For the time being just find something that makes you happy and distracts you and it will pass! It always does.

Haleth's avatar

Try to fix the things I have control over, one at a time, until they are all squared away. If you can improve even one tiny thing, it doesn’t feel so much like everything is going wrong. It makes the situation more bearable.

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