How exactly do you pull yourself together when it feels like every single thing around you is falling apart? I mean, you really are falling apart. Your whole world is just absolutely falling apart. What do you do now?
Life can sometimes be hard. But in those really unforgivable times, life is impossible. The problems come over and over again without answers and no resolution. The waves of trouble hit relentlessly and fiercely. It is as if you are drowning in a sea of desperation and nothing and no one cares to know that you can’t swim.
There is no easy answer. But there may be a beginning. And that beginning can lead to a better place, even if only slightly. A form of relief can be discovered just enough to rekindle your knowing that hope still exists.
When you need to make a shift, change your mind, and believe in hope again, here are a few steps to point you in the right direction.
(Note: This blog post is not intended to replace the guidance of a licensed and professional therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or physician. If you are dealing with significant depression, having suicidal ideation, and/or have habitual issues with hopelessness and helplessness, do not hesitate to reach out to a licensed professional or dial 911. Always know that there are professionals who have dedicated their careers to being of service to those with mental health needs and you are not alone).
First, what does it mean to fall apart?
To fall apart is the unwilling but inevitable conceding that comes after exhausting all efforts to control or survive the insurmountable challenges that have come to pass. Regardless of the plans you’ve made, the idea of normal you have contrived, or the better experiences you’ve had in the past, you are right now living in an uncontrolled upheaval of life as you know it should be.
Falling apart can manifest due to anything you are going through like a failed marriage, a lost job, or a dying relative. It can be all three together. It could be all of this and, sadly, even more. But beyond the circumstances that serve as the catalyst to your bitter agony, falling apart is joined with your mental, physical, and even spiritual reaction to it all. You no longer have the strength to endure the stress that accompanies all the painful chaos in your life.
When you acknowledge that you are falling apart, you may gain one more layer of discomfort and this is in your loss of hope. You see no way out. You understand no solution. And you have found no plan of action to release the situation or the pain with it.
With such a bleak and empty disposition, where could you possibly go from here?
Surrender | Accept | Be Humble | Ask for Help | Start Over
To surrender is to give up. It is to relinquish all forms of control and succumb to the power of that which is bigger than you. And while surrender may seem similar to falling apart, it really can be quite different.
When you surrender, you have released the burden of power and control. With this type of release, you can also give away the idea that you, and only you, are the source of resolution to your problems. The very reason why it all may be so hard is that you made a massive assumption that it was all on you.
In reality, problems can come that are simply bigger than what you can resolve. And that is okay! You can surrender the responsibility, surrender the accountability, surrender the blame and instead accept that it can’t be you. And try to find peace in this knowing.
Yes. You are falling apart. But it is time to take a new direction. Instead of falling apart and allowing the weight of your problems to swallow you whole, surrender. Float on the surface of the water and let it carry you. Release your need to paddle so hard to survive.
Even if it is all yours to blame, from here there is nothing that you can do. So free yourself. Release your guilt and give in. If you can see and feel the subtle difference with surrendering, then you can start to make subtle but meaningful changes to pull yourself together and move forward.
#2 Accept Yourself When Falling Apart
The most significant shift that you make when your life is falling apart and you finally surrender is acceptance. Acceptance is not giving up on creating solutions or improvements. Acceptance is not wallowing in failure or self-pity. Instead, acceptance is embracing that you are where you are and that for you this is okay.
You may not feel okay. You may feel like it is all over. But you accept that your feelings, your exhaustion, your confusion of where to go next is okay and normal and human. You are allowed to be discouraged. You have permission to feel a sense of failure. You are okay to be angry, frustrated, and just disgusted with all of it.
Accepting your state may sound obvious to some, but for many, it is the very reason why you have nothing left. Fighting the reality of the severity of your situation, hammering day in and day out trying to create a breakthrough. Your refusal to surrender and simply accept is pushing you beyond your brink.
Lay down your armor. And give yourself peace. You can fight another day. But right now it’s time to stop and accept where you are.
When you can accept where you are, even despite the discomfort, fear, and shame, you begin to see yourself differently. Part of pulling yourself together is knowing when you should stop beating yourself up for where you are. It’s okay. You are not perfect in action, but you are perfectly human.
#3 Risk Being Humble After Falling Apart
Humility is often seen as a meek and mild state of being. However, when you feel like you are falling apart, being openly humble can be a significant demonstration of your strength in character and foresight.
When you have put your all into being strong, pushing through, and holding it all together, the last thing you want to do is fail AND let others know that you have failed. You don’t want to tell your story and have it show up like excuses. You don’t want to show your tears and receive pitying glances or be the subject of gossip and whispered conversations. You are not a failure and you sure as hell don’t want to be treated like one.
But when you release the need to be strong, you can open up a channel that creates a new strength within you. Being strong is not only doing it all and keeping yourself together. Being strong is also defined by knowing when to admit failure and knowing when you require support.
All of us, every human being, can only learn when we accept that life will always cause us to be a student at some point. And in life, there is no human being that exists that can avoid being a student. There is not one person who has known all things since birth. All that we know we learn.
When you embrace the humility of your situation and allow for solutions to come from somewhere other than you, you are stronger for it. Pulling yourself together is finding strength in new ways and not feeling shame when you have to do it.
#4 Ask for Help
Accepting that you need help and actually asking for it are two different things. The action of asking for help when you are in desperate need can bring to life a world of emotions and challenges.
The bringing in of others into a much-needed but highly sensitive situation is a delicate matter. And while it may be an absolute necessity, do not be so rushed in the process that you neglect yourself. Allow yourself to recognize that while it must be done, it is also hard to do. Beyond the potential of feeling awkward and exposed, you may also experience uncontrolled tears, anger, quietness, or unclear speech.
Some approach these emotionally rich situations with a “ripping off a band-aid” method; do it quickly and get it over with. Others display odd sarcasm or ready-for-attack positions. Still others can barely muster the words to say what they need and it barely comes out. None of these approaches is wrong. But before moving forward, attempt to be conscious of how you want to proceed.
Be selective, if you can, with who you reach out to for support. Make conscious efforts to choose those you know who will help you to stand in your strength versus those who will only make the road tougher.
You never need to be so humble as to take someone else’s abuse. And you never need to accept that part of being in need is being at another person’s mercy. Respect yourself through the process by allowing yourself to be respected while being supported. And feel comfort in knowing that you had a true partner with you to help pull yourself together.
#5 Starting Over
When you have lost so much, starting over can be a confusing option to consider. How do you start over when your partner has left you? Where do you go when your loved one has passed on? Can you start over when you are missing the most important pieces of you?
The reality that you already know, but needs once again to be heard, is the changes you have gone through have changed you forever. You are not the same and, at this moment, you may not like who you have become. But you get to decide if where you are, and what you have been through, is all that you have for your future.
The life that you once lived is no longer. Being at your darkest hour is a memory that will linger for some time. But you cannot move forward if all you do is look backward and relive a past that lives only in your mind. If you have made even a subtle shift and allowed yourself to surrender, accept, be humble, and ask for help, you are already starting brand new.
The place that you stand at this moment is one that you have never been to. You are, right now, making your mark. And every decision sets the direction of your thoughts, emotions, hopes, and dreams.
Starting over is a decision. Moving forward is a journey. Along this journey you may have to start over again and again until you become sure-footed, stable, and contented. But in making the decision, it can be called the most important of them all. Because when you have decided to lift yourself and pull yourself together, realize that you have claimed the strength within you to do so at the same time. You have truly regained your power.
When your life is falling apart, it may be the hardest time to see your way clear to a better place. You have tried everything in your power until you have no try left.
But despite even the most bleakest of times and the darkest of hours, there is always a way to move forward. Solutions exist if you are willing to surrender your doing, accept where you are, and be open to humbly receive.
When the most critical parts of your dilemma have begun to be put back together, you still are left with the remnants of your fractured self. But it’s okay. You made it through. And if you can muster the strength to start over from here, your wisdom will provide you an even stronger foundation. You can pull yourself together, one step at a time.
If you or someone you know is truly struggling with a life crisis, always stop and consider if professional help is required. Seek out the support of a licensed therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or physician to evaluate the situation and get help.