Often times we struggle for certain things in life. We work hard and we don’t always see the rewards straight away, in some cases it feels as though we will never see the rewards… So when the day finally comes when we have every reason to celebrate our success there tend to be two reactions, one more common than the other. The more common case is that we feel on top of the world! We have a mini Beyonce moment, screaming “I SLAY” and the feeling of elation can last quite a while. The less common case is a slight feeling of relief, then numbness, then nothing: absolutely nothing. You’re probably wondering how on earth someone can work so long and so hard for something and then feel nothing, I wondered this too when it happened to me.
Through-out most of my time at school I was known as the smart girl, school wasn’t really much of a challenge for me and it was something everyone around me knew. But as I got older, it appeared I had relocated to StruggleVille where everything seemed to be extra difficult. I was still achieving relatively well, but not to the heights I was used to and this affected me in so many ways, not necessarily because I cared a great deal about my education but because for most of my life it seemed like the only thing I had going for me, so if that wasn’t as great as it once was I was left feeling pretty useless. When I had finally moved out of StruggleVille I was shocked at my reaction, I didn’t feel as excited or happy as I would have thought and this worried me, so I tried to do some research into why that might be.
I found nothing. Nada. Nil. Almost as if I was the only person who had ever experienced this and was bothered enough to write something down. But here are some things I think may have contributed.
I had accepted StruggleVille as my home for so long, that moving to new territory was a scary thought. It meant that new doors would open for me and I would have to face different kinds of challenges. I was so used to dealing with the same issues on a regular basis that I was scared of failing when approaching something completely new. I had prayed for so long to leave this place, but not once had I prayed for guidance once I got out. Being out of StruggleVille didn’t mean everything would automatically be easy, and once I realised this came the feelings of ‘numbness’ because I knew that for a period, even if only short, I was going to be uncomfortable.
Being in StruggleVille for a relatively long period meant that I had learnt how to deal with what I saw as failures- I hadn’t learnt how to improve straight away but I had definitely developed some coping mechanisms. I knew just what to tell myself to deal with the anxiety and stress that StruggleVille brought. I knew when the pain would pass and I was usually prepared when I thought it might come back. I had learnt how to counsel myself through tough times for so long that when success came I didn’t know how to react. Almost as if that part of my brain had been left unused for so long that it no longer knew how to function. This was where the ‘nothing’ feeling came in. I literally felt nothing, because I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel if not disappointed or upset.
I’ve written before about Doing Things Alone because not everyone has your interests at heart and you don’t want to put yourself in the position where you are providing someone with ammunition. Because of this mind-set, when I was in StruggleVille, very few people knew about it. This meant that when I left, on top of not knowing how to celebrate my own success and this new milestone, I didn’t have many people around who would celebrate with me. I’m not suggesting that you should let everything people have to say about you get to your head, and you definitely shouldn’t rely on others around you to ‘gas you up’; but I noticed that it was a lot easier for me to remain in my feelings of ‘nothing’ when I couldn’t bounce off the praise of others. Praise is good, sometimes we need others to praise us to remind us of how much we have achieved so that we don’t fall into this state of confusion and ultimately end up feeling sad about our success.
If you follow this blog you can probably tell that I am extremely self-critical, I spend a lot of time trying to find ways to make things better, which is good, but the lesson I want you to take from this is that every once in a while you need to celebrate yourself. Don’t wait three years to leave StruggleVille, don’t wait any period of time to accomplish anything, celebrate yourself often just for being you because that in itself is an achievement! Remember that You Come First!
I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer so far, for those of us in the UK, keep praying for sun!!!
All the best,
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