The cliches available on tap that surround adversity, struggle and failure are widespread. There are sentences people absent-mindedly throw at you when you share the weight of your issues.
“You’ve got to fail first”, “Good things come to those who wait”, etc etc etc etc etc.
Ultimately though there are truths within these sentiments, sentiments that are delivered with no real conviction from their producer however. You can’t take anything from the value of their meaning though, whilst they are presented in the medium of just the written word. You will not find the freedom you seek in the pages of a self help book,pages stained with the false pretences of those who wish to make a quick buck.
Someone reassuring you that “Adversity makes you”, isn’t going to pull you from the black, eternal hole you seem to have fallen into. If you are to offer advice to someone in such a position, it should be four simple words. No complex teachings that lack substance. No elaborate quote on life. Just four words.
“Do not give up”
Do not tell them everything is going to be okay. Because ultimately that outcome is dependent on the actions of that individual, everything may not be okay. Encourage them to grit their teeth, and accept it as a form of baptism under fire. It is an exciting thing when you see it clearly, to be given choice, to be given control of your own destiny.
Don’t stuff phoney plastic bags down their throats, littering their souls with false hope and an expectation for life to simply fall back into place. Don’t do that. Make them fight.
Force them onto an open road at sunrise. Make them run.
I have been there recently. I have clogged my veins with despair, and pessimism, and the expectations of the world. I’ve stared drearily into the bottom of the bottle, picked the painkillers up, put them back down again. Picked them up again, and was saved.
I’ve smiled until the door to my cell closes, cleaned off the make-up to reveal a decaying, ageing, poisoned soul. A soul trapped in a cell of pure isolation and heartbreak. I’ve applied the make-up every time I leave this chamber, to give the representation of a seemingly content individual. I felt almost like a weird, modern, slightly warped version of Dorian Gray.
But, I got out. I escaped.
Because the secret is, no words will really work, action will.
You’ve got to fall into the deepest circle of psychological despair to learn to climb from it, and it’s the climb that provides the awakening.
Once you are on the open road, running, you’re beginning your bid for freedom.
When your chest is tight, you can’t breathe, you’re surrounded by the wilderness, your calves are ripping, the cold, sobering rain sticks your hair to your face, you double over hands on knees. That’s when the ascent begins.
The water falling from the sky simply baptises you, provides absolution from your past The mistakes, the people, the disregard. All gone.
It’s just you, against you.
You can’t go home. You can’t walk away. You grit your teeth. You’re aggressive in your approach to the soft voices in your head.
You push on.
That is how you win.