Do you know someone who always blames other people for their problems? Do you know someone who can never get their act together? Do you know someone who is always complaining about their life and how everything is always against them? Is that person you?
No seriously, is that person you? I ask this because I found that . . . that person was me. I mean, we’ve all “played the victim” before, but do you take it to a new level?
Of course, things happen in our lives that will greatly affect us. Abuse and other trauma will affect our view of the world. Diseases and other physical or mental ails will limit what we can do. Other people will hurt you, make messes in your life (like leaving legos everywhere or crashing your car when they’re drunk), and make decisions that negatively affect you and/or make your life a lot more difficult.
These are an unfortunate fact of life. However, you don’t want to let (or even encourage) these things to continually affect you.
A personal example: I have ADHD. (On top of my depression and anxiety? Yeah, I’m a cornucopia of delight.) For a long time, I didn’t know how to live with my ADHD. It was like this constant badgering friend who wanted to go and make mischief. Whether that be watching TV instead of doing my homework or completely ignoring my friends’ ideas of fun for my own crazy games in which I was always the hero, I was weak and always gave in.
I started to lose friends, I was always yelled at by my family because they didn’t know what to do with me either (they figured it out and we’re all cool; they were just doing what they could), and I didn’t understand why I was always so alone.
Of course, as a small child, I didn’t know what ADHD was. However, as I got a little older and I grew to understand how I was different, I would sometimes use that as an excuse. “I didn’t do my homework. Because I’m ADHD, I just can’t focus.” “Maybe if you created homework that would engage my mind, we wouldn’t have this problem.” Okay, it wasn’t quite that bad, but situations like that did happen. I would get in trouble for being too wild or not cleaning my room.
I eventually learned how to control my ADHD as opposed to letting it control me. It’s not all cream puffs, it’s difficult. I can’t have too much stimulation, I become angry when disturbed, and sometimes I still just can’t focus. I’m still working on things and I probably will my whole life. But that’s okay. I feel it’s much better than never knowing where I’m going. I didn’t sacrifice myself by taking control of my ADHD, I simply learned how to guide my energy in the right direction.
Look at your life. Do you think to yourself “Well, if so-and-so would do this, then I wouldn’t have to experience . . . ” or “Well, I have such-and-such disease so I can’t . . .” That’s not so-and-so limiting you or your disease limiting you. You’re limiting you.
Yes, yes, I know that some things really do limit you. I can’t eat gluten, I have bad knees, and (if you’re new to this blog and have no idea) clinical anxiety and depression. The thing is, you just have you adjust how you do things.
I agree that it is easier said than done. Trust me, it took me years to find a decent tasting gluten-free bread and it can be harder to me to work out and lose weight or build muscle because my knees are so bad. But I found solutions.
Let’s be honest, it’s easier to keep playing the victim. “Timmy never puts his toys away and so every day I step on legos and then my feet hurt and then I can’t exercise and that’s why I’m 600 pounds.” You could either, pick them up yourself, teach Timmy how to clean up after himself (again, easier said than done but worth it in the long run) and then use that extra time to work out if that’s what you want to do.
Here’s a challenge: For the next week, every time you think something like “I can’t do this because . . .” or “If only that person would do . . .” take a step back and ask yourself “Is this something I can change?” or “If I can’t change it, how can I work around it?” Get creative. Be innovative. Start getting out of your victim headspace. It might be easier, but it’s sure a lot lamer.
I know this particular post was a little bit more cheesy, but it’s how I’ve been feeling lately. I think that I need to get off my butt and get going. I hope you guys can wish me luck.
Thanks for sharing your energy with me today.