General Question

emmy23's avatar

When everything in your life is going wrong, how do you find the strength to keep going?

Asked by emmy23 (256points) April 2nd, 2009

When all hope is lost…

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

52 Answers

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I do something I enjoy, and I engage in an activity I know I’m good at. That gives me a spark of confidence to get through a little more, and it eventually builds. I also seek solace in friends, and, if worst came to worst and I was unable to get myself out of it, I would seek help from someone who is trained to provide it and work with them until I am emotionally self-sufficient again.

qualitycontrol's avatar

do you go to church?

dynamicduo's avatar

I think about situations way worse than mine: starving children in Africa, lack of women’s rights in Iran, the oppressiveness of China. Doing so allows me to put my suffering in perspective, and as grim as it may sound, I take comfort in knowing that as bad as my current situation is, it’s hardly as bad as scrounging for food on the African plains.

Amoebic's avatar

Tunnel-vision and fervent optimism.

Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

Good question.
Just have a positive attitude, Even on negative things, Things WILL get better.

DragonFace's avatar

Watch no arms, no legs, no worries on That guy will get you going.

MrGV's avatar

Man up, life is never fair if you give up nothing good will ever happen.

kayysamm's avatar

Fill your life with fun activites for you to enjoy. Try doing more excrise or give yourself a goal and try to meet it.

If you create the life you live with happiness and the things you enjoy then you will be able to be happy.

Have a good attitude about thing and forget the bad. Thinking of bad things will only make you feel worse. :)

Link's avatar

Here’s the strategy: look in the mirror and say “You’re a man god dammit! Act like one.” This is fail proof strategy and works for all men. No but seriously, man up a little and realize that it’s all about how you decide to see things. You can either see adversity as an opportunity to make a dramatic personal change for the better, OR you can stare out the window and hope for things to happen. The choice is yours.

mattbrowne's avatar

When things go wrong you might try to perceive them as a gift for your quest for personal growth. A crisis can be a blessing.

Mr_M's avatar

Sometimes you DON’T! That’s called depression. You mope around for a few days. Then time heals all wounds (for most).

elijah's avatar

When I’m having bouts of depression the only thing that keeps me sane is thinking about my kids. They don’t deserve to deal with the consequences of my decisions. If you don’t have kids you can think of your mom, or grandma, or anyone else that loves you.
All the people that say “just snap out of it” don’t understand depression. It’s not your fault when you get sick. If you feel a bad time coming on, you have to try to motivate yourself. Exercise, a hobby, just getting up and showering can help.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Mr_M – We have to distinguish between a major depressive disorder (also known as clinical depression or major depression) and depression meaning sadness and other related emotions and behaviors. For the latter time can heal the wounds.

cookieman's avatar

I think to myself, “Self…your daughter needs you, your wife needs, so stop your fucking whining and get to work”.

and cookies. lots of yummy cookies

McBean's avatar

A surefire way to turn your luck around is to count your blessings. It sounds silly and overly simple, but it really works.

1.) Get yourself a notebook, a writing tool and a cup of coffee.

2.) Sit down and make a numbered list of 100 good things in your life. They can be as silly as “My shoelaces aren’t shredded.” or as huge as “I live in a wonderful country that affords me the rights, abundance and opportunities to build my life as I’d life.”

3.) Do not get up until you’ve finished the list. You’ll roll your eyes about it at first, and think it’s the stupidest thing ever, but I can almost guarantee that by the time you hit 30 you’ll feel a shift in your thinking and energy.

Find a way to reach out to others, too. This can take the form of meeting someone for coffee, chatting with a stranger while waiting in line, or volunteering to help someone in need. It all these things seem too overwhelming for you and you’ve been unable to pull yourself up and out of your depression, talk to your doctor.

Things will turn around. They always do. Bad days and weeks do end. My best to you.


Link's avatar

I like what CPREVITE had to say. You can also try going out to the bar with your boys, getting hammered and hitting on chicks. Doesn’t that sound like it’ll snap you out of it?

Bagardbilla's avatar

Ok Buddy, heres the deal! I’m gonna let you in on a secret…
“when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at Change!”
Point being that your outlook can dramatically affect your mood! it may not change the reality but it will lessen it’s impact on you! and thereby make it that much more bearable.
Find the morsals of positive in all: loss of job, your job does not define you, you are and will be who you were/are/continue to be… now you have an oppertunity to look for a better one!
Loss of love/SO/GF, it was not meant to be, now you know better what to look for, wish/ask/demand that from the universe… so on and so forth. If you think that All is going wrong, then everything that does not go exactly (and NOTHING does), as you want will reinforce that negative idea!
Remember, ”...keep your thoughts positive, for they become your words.
Keep your words positive, for they become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive, because it become your habits.
Keep your habits positive, because they become your values.
Keep your values positive, because they become your Destiny!”


You will get through this and you will come out the other side better then you are now.
... and lastly, also know, you will face times like this (if not worse) AGAIN! but you WILL be prepared. It is life.
Best of luck emmy!
Stay in touch with people here…

Mr_M's avatar

@mattbrowne , I did. That’s why I said “for MOST people”.

manoffaith3112's avatar

Being I call myself manoffaith, perhaps its no suprise that faith in a living God helps a lot helps to fight battles of dark emotions.
Plus lately I’m learning to use my faith not just for things I’m familiar with using my faith for. But now I’m using it to counter act negative thoughts about other’s, using it to be thankful in spite of having a disabling condition that really hurts physically, and using faith to promote hope in my mind. Not trying to sound trite or “religious” but hope can transends one’s circumstances, and help me to develop peace inside.

wundayatta's avatar

Sometimes, when it’s bad enough, and you go to a doctor, they will prescribe drugs. There is no shame in that (I hope). If you are pretty worried about yourself, it’s always worth going to the doctor, or to a psychiatrist.

manoffaith3112's avatar

I absolutely agree there is no shame in getting medicine from a doctor to help a person. There was a break through in Psyche medicine back in the middle of the 80’s. Those medicines can be the difference between having a life and not really being functional. In fact it may keep people from destruction, and the chance at enjoying life. Counselling from a good psychiatrist or psychologist can help a person learn the truth about themselves to get to feeling better too.

VS's avatar

@dynamicduo – Like dynamic I remember how much worse off others are. I spent almost 28 years working in the field of vocational rehabilitation assisting people with physical and mental disabilities. I know how bad off people’s lives can be. I have so much to be thankful for and I remind myself of that daily.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I remember “that this, too, will pass”.

RedPowerLady's avatar

Find some support to rely on. I found some of the responses to this question odd in that it seemed as if they were coming from people who haven’t hit bottom before sorry guys/gals but telling yourself to “man up” or “get over it” or “life is great” doesn’t solve depression. Sometimes we just can’t bring ourselves up and out of it and we need help. And though it is damn (can i say that?) hard to ask for help it is often the best thing you can do for yourself. Find a friend, a partner, anyone you can use for support. If you don’t have someone like that in your life then go see a counselor (often there are free clinics).

Another thing that helps is to get yourself out of your head. Our thought processes often make depression much worse. Find something to do that engages you, anything at all. Do chores, do a craft, volunteer, get a massage, whatever used to make you happy. It doesn’t have to make you happy this time, but it will be nice to get out of your head for awhile.

Also allow yourself to cry or be angry or whatever it is that is appropriate for your situation. Sometimes depression and hopelessness is fueled by the fact that we just don’t allow our emotions to surface because they are painful. But did you know that when you cry your brain releases endorphins (happy hormones). So you feel good after. Also swimming or cycling is helpful for reasons that are too complicated (and boring for that matter) to explain here.

I know I used the word depression a lot but basically that is what your question eludes to. A form of depression. It happens to most of us at some point in our lives. Let me tell you, I’ve been there (seriously) and you can make it through it. It is really hard but you can do it. If you still need help after reading all this and don’t know what to do you can call this number: 1–800-273-TALK

MacBean's avatar

Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is knowing how much it would upset my best friend if I were to give up.

nebule's avatar

I look at my 2 year old son

VzzBzz's avatar

People rely on me to come through, people I dearly love and I know they love me so usually that’s enough for me to pull my head out of my bum… or the sand.

SeventhSense's avatar

I find the strength to go on from those who have overcome adversity such as Jesus, Gandhi or countless political prisoners. And it helps to let go of attachments to outcomes and what you “think should happen”. They say that life is what happens after you stop making plans. Life happens as well, in spite of your plans. Make plans anyway. But peace of mind is always present and available when the focus is just shifted towards acceptance of whatever circumstances that you find yourself.
I think of prisoners who go away for 20–40 years and then are released because of DNA or some other evidence. It’s like saying, “Oh sorry, our mistake, you’re free to go.” How does one reconcile that? How does one forgive those who jailed them unjustly for their whole life?
Also there are many who have been subject to abusive families, beliefs and methods and they find some new truth or clarity. They may find themselves excluded. Some people live their whole lives addicted to drugs or alcohol and then are forced to change. How do they go on? How do they live without their crutch? They reach down and sever all attachments that would keep them bound by limiting thoughts, lack, hatred, guilt and fear. They find that humanity is essentially consistent of this determination as it’s bedrock and that underneath it all we are all good people doing the best we can with the awareness we have at any given moment. And if we knew better we would act differently. And those who can’t change or cope are not bad but simply sick. We are all innocent. The universe supports us because we’re still here. And that gives us strength to know that.
Find those people who are overcoming and reach out to them. You won’t have to look far. And regardless to contrary appearances we are all one and everything is exactly as it’s supposed to be.

wundayatta's avatar

@RedPowerLady: I used to get very frustrated when I saw all these answers that told people to quit screwing around and pull yourself out of it. Like you said, these people have no experience with real depression.

However, this is a prejudice that is quite common, I find. Hell, I believed it before I got depressed. That’s the way I was brought up. My family didn’t believe in mental illness. Neither did I, until it happened.

It’s a problem for a lot of people who are diagnosed with manic-depression. They refuse to accept the diagnosis, and they refuse to believe it is something they can’t handle on their own. Some of them do manage to struggle through life without medication, but most end up destroying their lives and the lives of those around them (metaphorically destroying) and far too often, they also literally destroy their lives.

Depression comes in so many different forms. It is not our fault. It is a problem with the neurotransmitters. It is not our fault any more than cancer is our fault. You wouldn’t ask a person with cancer to “man up,” would you? Why would you ask someone whose neurotransmitters are doing the wrong thing, when that can be fixed, if they find the right drugs (which isn’t easy)?

Now I’m not saying @emmy23 is depressed, or that her neurotransmitters are fucked up. They could be. They might not be. In either case, a visit to a doctor or a psychiatrist or a therapist wouldn’t hurt. Just to cover all your bases.

There will always be people who don’t believe in depression. They’ll think we’re faking it or tanking it or whatever. We just want sympathy and a chance to dump our burdens. As far as I’m concerned, that is pure bullshit!

Every depressed person I know desperately wants to be able to contribute and do their best at their jobs, or at parenting, or at saving the world, When they get well, they work their asses off for these things.

Ok. Touched one of my buttons. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@daloon I couldn’t agree more. You said it very well. And it is the same for me. Until I experienced it I didn’t get it, i thought people should just be able to get out there and fix it. Much easier said than done. Like you said there is a lot more to it than just “man up”. And I very much like this quote:

“Every depressed person I know desperately wants to be able to contribute and do their best at their jobs, or at parenting, or at saving the world, When they get well, they work their asses off for these things.”

manoffaith3112's avatar

Depression and clinical depression is a very hard thing to live through, and can lead even to suicide.
On top of that if a person is stuck with bi-polar it can be an emotional roller coaster. Every one has an emotional line that goes up and down. But a depressed or clinical depressed person every single day feels just rotten.
Then bi-polar can be a very emotional deal with extreme highs and extreme lows.
If you’ve never had it good for you. But if you have had it it is not something a person can flat out control. The condition instead controls the person no matter how optimistic they are.
Would a person laugh or make fun of a person who broke their leg, and tell then why just get up. Jump up and you’ll be all right? Of course not.
People with mental illness are not monsters or strange beings from outer space. But rather people who are hurting bad, and don’t always know how to survive it. Especially the first times it hits, and not having experience it can be hard to figure out where the help can be. I have full empathy for things like that happening. Like I’ve written before; medicine can definitely help along with faith.

emmy23's avatar

Thankyou all for your help and support. I dont no a single one of you but yet all of your answers have touched me. I no that no matter what hard times I go through or any of us for that matter, we will all get past it. =)

ps. @Link im a girl haha =P

VS's avatar

@emmy23 – and know that while you don’t know us, we care about you and if there is anything we can do that will help you in your situation, I mean other than just try to boost you up, we will be glad to do it!

RedPowerLady's avatar

@emmy23 I ditto what @VS said!

manoffaith3112's avatar

I just caught that you say you’re a girl. In that case it would be impossible to look in any mirror and say I’m a man so just act like it. So, you know, forget that word of advice.

If you have a friend or family member you can trust it might help to talk things over with them. If it persists more then a month to six weeks I suggest seeing a professional mental health doctor…or a psychologist or psychiatrist. If a good one is chosen with the correct medicine it could make a huge difference.

One thing for sure you are absoutely not alone.

SeventhSense's avatar

You’re a chick…What?

asmonet's avatar

I tend to curl up in a ball with my puppy and ride it out.

Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight at the moment and my dog is unable to be in our apartment.

So. Fuck if I know.

emmy23's avatar

@VS and @RedPowerLady
Thankyou guys so much! Just answering my questions and giving me support is more than what alot of people I know do for me.

emmy23's avatar

And why is it so hard to believe im a girl lol My name is Emily aka Emmy. My picture is of a guy named Jared Padalecki who plays in a show called Supernatural haha =P

asmonet's avatar

Pfft, Dean is way hotter.

MacBean's avatar

@asmonet OMG, I don’t know if we can be friends anymore.

asmonet's avatar

@MacBean: I’m fucking right. I’d tap that, Hell scars and all.

emmy23's avatar

They both are sexy!!!! =D

asmonet's avatar

Jared Padalecki has the face of a woman.
I’m waiting for the episode they put him drag, it’s bound to happen.

MacBean's avatar

That would be the hottest thing ever. OMG.

asmonet's avatar

I sort of agree.
Pass the ham.

emmy23's avatar

NO, he doesnt look like a women. I just dont see it. He looks like a hot man to me haha

TitsMcGhee's avatar

If women looked like Jared Padalecki, I’d be a lesbian.

emmy23's avatar


lmao I totally agree with you

bright_eyes00's avatar

when all hope is lost? i dont think i’ve ever come to that. but i have come to a point where my heart was pounding in my ears and my thoughts were erratic and incomprehensible. where i felt like i had to run because there was something horrible behind me. where i needed to get away from all forms of civilization lest i do something that would embarrass myself. i go to the mountains. i go up there and just close my eyes and breathe. i listen to the silence and count until my heart slows then i put my life into a perspective i can handle better and i think through the things that were making me frantic. i think about all the things in my life that were right and i then think about the things that were wrong and i realize that the wrong things really arent that big a deal in the grand scheme of things. and i feel better.

hope remains even when you think you lost it. and when you feel it slipping through your fingers cling to it because if you lose hope you lose yourself.

good luck friend and i hope i helped you…even a little bit

emmy23's avatar

@bright_eyes00 You did help me =) Your logic makes perfect sense. No matter how many bad things in life you go through, there is always things to be grateful about. I love to go to places like the mountains and stuff to ponder about my life. It does put alot of things into perspective.

Thank you for your advice

bright_eyes00's avatar

@emmy23 anytime. i know how it feels to feel alone. hit me up if you ever need anything :)

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