10 things to remember when everything seems to be going wrong

They say that troubles always come in threes, but, when you hit those moments when only having three problems would be just fine, then it might be time to re-evaluate what’s going on your life.

I know how it feels when your whole world seems to be falling apart in front of eyes and it’s a scary, out of control feeling that, if you don’t do something about, could lead you even deeper into the mire. What you mustn’t do is to turn to alcohol for support, give up trying or, sweep your problems under the carpet and hope that they will go away. Although it may not seem like it, there are solutions to your problems and things really will get better so, read these ten tips on how to cope when everything seems to be going wrong, from someone who has actually been there.

1. Don’t lose sight of the good things in your life
When things went decidedly pear-shaped for me, I lost my business, my home and my marriage, all in the space of a couple of years. When you are under pressure like that it’s easy to completely overlook the good things that you still have in your life and focus just on the bad and, that’s exactly what I did. I forgot that I have two wonderful children, I forgot that I was still able to keep a roof over my head and I forgot that I wasn’t starving to death. However much of the brown sticky stuff is hitting the fan, if you look hard enough, there is always something that you can be grateful for.

2. You won’t find a solution in a bottle
When everything is tumbling down around you it is very tempting to find some temporary relief from the stress and the pressure by drinking yourself into a stupor. Believe me, whilst drinking will give you a brief respite, it will ultimately only make things a lot worse. First up, alcohol is a depressant, so it will make you feel even lower. Secondly, you can’t possibly solve anything when you are as drunk as a skunk and, thirdly, if you drink to numb the pain, you are well on your way to becoming an alcoholic. It won’t be long before you need more and more alcohol for it to have the same effect and that’s when you start to develop a problem. Check out the stages of alcoholism that I went through that lead to my becoming alcohol dependant.

3. This phase of your life won’t last forever
I know what you’re going to say. You are going to say “You’re right! It won’t be like this forever, it’ll get worse!” OK, so maybe it will, but eventually your bad luck will take a turn for the better. Just remember, even the worst storms come to an end and, eventually, people do recover from bad situations. What’s more, quite often, what they find on the other side of the storm is even better than what they had before.

4. Stop trying to control the uncontrollable
Don’t waste your time and energy fretting over the things that you have no control over. One thing that you definitely can’t control is other people so, if your boss fired, or your partner left you, try not to focus your energy and anger on them, look instead to finding a new career, or learning to live the single life for a while. These things do frustrate us and hurt us but, if there’s nothing you can do about it then, the best thing to do is to try and put it in the past and stop worrying about it.

5. You are stronger and better than you think you are
When everything seems to be going wrong, it is only natural to think that it’s only you who are faulty and that everything you touch is going to go wrong. Even if you are having a really bad time, though stay strong and try and stay optimistic because, you are far more able to cope with this situation that you think you are. You may not ever be proud of all the things you did in life, but, one day, you will be able to be proud that you got through such tricky times.

6. Seek help when you need it
Whatever your problems are, there is no shame in asking for help. Don’t let pride get the better of you and think that you can do everything by yourself. 99.9% of the human race are honest, kind and good, and, people are far more willing to lend a hand than you think.

7. Don’t stop looking after yourself
You need to take care of your health too, while all this stuff is going in your life. Eat properly, try and get a good night’s sleep and, if you really are feeling like you can’t cope, go and see a doctor for advice. You won’t be able to solve anything if you are constantly tired and you don’t eat properly.

8. You’ve been through tough times before
Even if this is the toughest time of your life so far, you’ve handled problems before and you can handle them again. When everything hits you in one go, though, it can be completely overwhelming so, try and look at each issue in isolation and tackle your problems one at a time. Running around like a headless chicken, trying to fix everything at once, will not help you. Even if you leave one problem alone for a week, while you concentrate on another, will it really get that much worse?

9. You are not completely out of control
Although it might not feel like it now, you never really lose control of everything in your life. You always have choices and you there are always things that you can do to improve your lot. So, you may not be able to fix a particular problem, but, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do something else instead. Whatever you do, don’t give up trying all together because, this period of your life really won’t last forever.

10. Better things will come after this has passed

I let things get the better of me, when everything seemed to be going wrong in my life, and I sincerely hope that you don’t let the same happen to you. A counsellor once told me, though, that sometimes, a breakdown is really a break through, and she was right. Sometimes, things have to come to head before they can be resolved and the bad times are just the pre-cursor to the great ones that lie ahead.