5 Quotes + Tips That Get Me Through Bad Days

 I am the one thing in life I can control.

— Hamilton (Musical)

The following line is equally good — “I am inimitable / I am an original” — but this is the one I find most helpful. You will never be able to control other people’s actions. You will never be able to control what people think about you.  There is only one thing in this world that you have complete control over, and that is you. Your thoughts, your actions, what you put into this world, that’s all you need to worry about. Life gets quite a bit lighter when you accept and let go of the things you can’t control.

Motion creates emotion.

— Tony Robbins

Usually, if you have depression or something similar, everyone tells you to “go outside, get exercise!” with the goal in mind being to rid you of your gloomy depressive haze and make you happy. This quote, however, suggests motion as a means of creating emotion. Any emotion. Because whether we’re angry or happy or anything else, emotion is what gives us the drive to do things. And, often, if you’ve just been lying in bed all day, you don’t currently have a huge breadth of emotions.

The motion doesn’t have to be big, anything to give you a slight change of scene or viewpoint. Depending on the day, it can just be getting out of bed. Judge for yourself what you’re up for. I recommend putting on music you can’t not dance to (which is early 2010s pop for me. Happy nostalgia can be very helpful nostalgia!), but other, less exerting suggestions include: reading a book, taking a walk, sitting outside, calling a friend, texting a friend dumb memes that you know will make you both laugh, and putting on a new outfit and showering if you haven’t already.

Have courage and be kind.

— Cinderella (2015)

This quote has honestly become my life mantra. As long as I have it, I can get through anything, because if my only goal is to be as kind as I can no matter what (disclaimer within reason obviously blah blah blah if someone is stabbing you you don’t need to be nice to them), I no longer have anything to worry about.

Having a goal that’s aimed outwards — trying to make other people feel better rather than trying to make yourself feel better — can take a lot of pressure off, and be really helpful in getting you outside of yourself for a little. When I had auditions and rehearsals that I was really nervous about, my therapist suggested thinking about the nerves of the other people auditioning and rehearsing instead of my own. When we decided that my goal would be to make the people around me feel more comfortable and not worry so much about myself, although I was still scared, it didn’t seem to matter as much anymore. Trying to hide or calm anxiety is an extremely difficult and scary task; complimenting someone is not. So that was my lens: find the good in other people and bring it to their attention. Many times, approaching people in order to give them a compliment was still scary for me, but a smile often suffices when words can’t quite make it out. A quick, genuine smile at someone who looks scared lets them know that you’re on their side, and can go quite a long way.

Living by this quote is also helpful in taking down the stress of arguments and other unpleasant situations. If I feel that someone has been rude to me, but I can recount everything I did as being only kind, I can at least be confident that I did nothing to provoke it. And, referring back to quote one, that means that I can let go of it without worrying about it!

When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.

— Alexander den Heijer

Pretty self-explanatory! ♡

Imma keep running ’cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.

— Beyoncé, “Freedom”

And finally, Queen Bey. This lyric changed how I thought about myself, and about healing myself. I have the potential to do incredible things, to have so many new experiences that change and shape who I am. When I quit on myself, I quit on that future me that would have been. I quit on everything I would have done, and everyone who would have been effected by future me’s existence.

My existence is to be prized and valued, but prizes don’t come without hard work, dedication, and courage. So Imma keep running ’cause a winner don’t quit on themselves. 

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Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

 

Breakdowns, Guts, and Snot

I am reading Secrets for the Mad: Obsessions, Confessions and Life Lessons by dodie.  It is, among other things, very very much about mental health.  My Grandpa asks me what I’m reading, so I show him the cover.

“Are you mad?” he jokes, and I smile.

Yes.  By your standards, I am absolutely mad.

 


 

I am watching a six-installment movie with my family that I really want to see.  We watched the first three episodes last night, and tonight are watching the last three.

I watch episode four, and it is as engaging as all the rest.  We put on episodes five and six, and I very much want to see what happens.

But I don’t.

I am crying softly in my big poofy armchair (which is luckily the closest one to the TV, so all I have to do is lean my head on my hand and my face is hidden).

Tears, I’ve found, are actually fairly easy to conceal.  It’s the snot that causes the real problems.  You have three choices with snot: leave it be and let it run all down your face (an obvious no); try to, loudly, sniff it in; or try to, loudly, blow it out.

I go with a combination of options two and three.

I am crying because, through the evening, I have been texting my friend.  I am very aware that I should not be doing this, because what we are talking about could very easily lead to me spilling my guts.  And if I’m busy trying to sort out my guts and tears and snot, I’m definitely not watching the movie anymore.

But when my phone lights up, I enter my passcode as fast as I can, desperate to see the words that the notification on my lockscreen left out.  And then I type my guts into the little message bar.

The next reply asks for more of my guts.

Oh.

I do not want spill more of my guts.

I “watch” the movie and mull over what to say for a bit, trying to keep the tissue trumpeting to a minimum.  And then I decide that I cannot spill my guts now.  This is partially due to emotional distress, and partially because I have used the last of my tissues.  Mostly because of the tissues, I realize I have to distract myself and stop freaking out.

So, like any good, communicative friend would do, I stop replying with absolutely no explanation.

 

When I get back to the solitude of my room and bed, I contemplate more responses, and have a breakdown.

One of the most controlled breakdowns I’ve ever had.
It’s almost comical, really.   When I’m out of sight, I’m silently sobbing my head off, but whenever anybody pokes their head round the door I am calm and cheery.

It’s this that makes my phone start to call out to me again, daring me to make a social media post about how sad it is that I’ve gotten so good at having breakdowns.  I know I’ll never do it, but I keep thinking about it anyway.

And then I realize: I have gotten good at having breakdowns.

I can turn them off when I need to.  Well, not all the way off really, but I can store them away in a little box in my brain to deal with later.  If I’d tried to do that a few years ago, I would have tripped and dumped the contents of the box all over wherever I happened to be at the time.

I am gaining more control over things, and that’s not sad at all.

So, with a few residual tears, I do my best to box up the rest of the breakdown, and go to sleep.

 


 

 

Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash