“It is bad news. But we just have to get on and deal with it.”
Last week I got the news that my family and I dreaded. A complete match to what happened 3 and a half years ago. The first time around, I became incredibly subdued. I spoke very little and when I did speak, I wasn’t very friendly. I wasn’t really interested in what other people had to say and I became very selfish, unaware that people were just trying to help me cope.
When you receive bad news, you need looking after. Don’t shrug off other people’s help. You can’t deal with it on your own, no matter how much you think you can. You’re strong, but you can’t take over the world while you’re vulnerable.
Getting that bad news the first time kills you. It angers you. Then, it happens again. Should the second time around be easier to deal with? Or will it hurt just as much, if not more?
Honestly? It doesn’t get easier. It never does. It’s still the same old bad news with the possibility of the same consequences. You’ll see the same pain with the same aftermath and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s out there. It’s happening. You can’t change what life has in store for you. What you can change, is how to cope with it.
Let it all out.
The first thing you need to do? Express your feelings. Cry your eyes out. Go for a walk to an empty field and scream until your lungs hurt. Punch something (safely, of course). The natural feeling of wanting to do these things is a sign that your body needs a release, so do it! It might take a while to feel like this. We all react differently to bad news, but it will probably hit you all of a sudden and you’ll not know how to cope with all of the emotions. You’ll feel better for it. When you’ve let out your feelings in the best way, you’ll have a clearer head and a better idea of what your next move is.
Don’t isolate yourself.
It’s okay to spend time alone because my God, you’ll need some time to relax and look after yourself without people around. But please, whatever you do, don’t neglect everyone around you. Don’t be selfish. Realise that you’re not the only one that feels this way, and you’re not the only one that this bad news has affected. Other people will need your help and support more than you realise. If it helps, plan a day or two in the week to be around people, more if you feel up to it. You need a good balance of time alone and with others to keep yourself sane.
Talk about it.
No matter how much you don’t want to talk about things in fear of breaking down and making a fool of yourself, force yourself to do it. The more you do it, the more comfortable it will become, and the stronger you’ll feel. Talk to the people close to you about your feelings, the next steps, how you can help and how things can be overcome. The last thing you want is to become distant with people at your most neediest time.
Keep a diary.
You don’t feel like talking about your feelings all the time. I get it. It gets repetitive and it can make you feel overwhelmed. Buy a diary. Do it right now. Write down exactly how you feel each and every day. You may notice that some days are worse than others and you can write about the things you did that triggered your upset more and the things you might have done which helped dramatically. Doing this can help you think more logically about how to help yourself and others in the future.
In some situations, thinking positively may seem impossible, but there’s no harm in trying. You should always try to think about the best possible outcome or if there is anything good that could come out of a situation. If nothing good can come of it, all you can do is to teach your mind to overcome what you have faced and to move on from it in the right way. Doing so is never easy, but it’s crucial to living your life to the fullest. Very cliché, I know.
You know the things you love to do, right? Well, they’ve not gone away. You’ll still enjoy doing them. That’s one of the reasons why I’m writing this post right now. It’s a distraction. A task I can do which, even though I’m not writing about a nice happy topic, still keeps my mind busy and my thoughts on something that doesn’t make me want to break down. Keep doing the things you love to do and you’ll find it much easier to cope with.
The best part about going through all this for a second time? You’ll know what helps you to cope and what doesn’t. You’ll probably not know everything, but you’ll have a pretty good idea. Going through the bad stuff is terrible. Excruciating. Yet, it happens. Feeling the way we feel just makes us human, I guess.
I think there are few more positives this time, no matter how minuscule they might be:
- It’s been 3 and a half years since the first bout of bad news. I’m now 3 and a half years older and wiser to deal with the second bout of bad news.
- I have better people around me now than I did before, who will encourage me to do the right things instead of the bad ones.
- We’re all stronger than we were before. We know what’s coming and we are better prepared for how to face it.
It’s never going to be easy to cope with the things you dread to hear. Those things you hope you’ll never have to hear in your lifetime. But it happens.
How do you cope with bad news? If you need any help or need someone to listen, drop me a message. ❤