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The Weekly Fill: Thoughts on Miserable People.
4 minute read | I'm a recovering pain addict. Here are some lessons I've learned about miserable people and how to overcome it if you are one.
You might not know that I’m a recovering pain addict (which feels better than claiming I’m a recovering, miserable human). But they’re kind of the same.
You’ve heard the saying pain is inevitable, but suffering is a choice. I’ve purposely chosen on several occasions to engage with misery.
If you’re an eternal optimist, I’m sure you can’t even imagine the words I’m speaking.
But they exist.
Even this morning, my husband reminded me I needed to celebrate the small victory. Yet, for some reason, celebrating feels so terrifying. I’m much better at sitting in the pit of pain, expecting everything to go wrong.
It’s not for a healthy reason, and it can spiral out of control faster than greased lightning. Why wouldn’t it?
Energy grows what you focus on, making it easy to see how negatives can compound into more negatives.
It’s a nasty spiral, but it doesn’t have to be your spiral. We always have a choice.
Considering this week was mental health awareness day, I wanted to drop a few truth bombs for those lingering in the darkness. I wanted to share thoughts about miserable people, ideas if you are one, and truths to move you out of it.
If you’re struggling, my prayer is these words and my presence, no matter what distance separates us, wrap you in a warm hug and help you know you are seen, and you are loved no matter how dark it feels.
Light exists, and I hope this helps you see it.
Thoughts on miserable people (if you aren’t one):
Miserable people don’t want to be miserable.
Miserable people have a hard time seeing and loving themselves.
Happy feelings feel scary, uncertain, and sometimes even unsafe.
Misery loves company, not because it wants to stay there but because it doesn’t want to be alone.
Misery wants a voice. It wants to be heard.
Misery looks for truth and can see beyond the cheesy optics of positive thinking.
Misery will not go away by belittling it.
Misery is personal. You cannot understand someone else’s misery, and trying can make it worse.
No one walked into a life of misery on purpose.
Thoughts for miserable people (if you are one):
Feeling misery means you can feel a range of emotions, including greater happiness and joy.
Feelings are temporary, not fixed.
Life will pull you down, but you can choose whether it will pull you under.
Multiple emotions can exist at the same time. It doesn’t have to be pain or happiness, but it can be both.
You can learn to feel pain without adding to it.
Misery doesn’t have to be your story, but you must be willing to write a new story.
Misery builds resilience if you use it rather than be used by it.
There is always light. You have to look for it.
How To Change The Story
Misery doesn't have to be your story. There is a freedom story, no matter how damaged you've believed you or your story is.
One truth that helped me escape misery was the understanding that light always overpowers darkness. Shadows can only follow you to the degree you embrace the light. When light is above and around you, darkness is forced to leave.
But that means choosing light (which is different than creating it).
One of the greatest messages of hope we have to overcome darkness comes out of John 8:12:
" When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life."
The only place darkness doesn't exist is within God's presence.
In my darkest days, I didn't have the energy or ability to hack myself out of misery. I don't think most miserable people do. Of course, tactics and plans can help, but not when you're in the trenches. The only thing I found myself able to do in the darkness was to sit.
While it felt debilitating, I realized if I'm already sitting, then why don't I choose where I will sit?
It was this choice that changed everything.
Instead of sitting in the darkness, I choose to sit at the feet of Jesus. I decided to sit at the feet of the light of the world, and it was His light that overcame my darkness.
It was his light that saved me when darkness tried to take it out.
Darkness doesn't exist in Christ. That's why you need to embrace a daily practice of sitting at Jesus' feet.
If you find yourself in darkness today, I need you to know light exists, and it's not up to you to create it. You don't have to hack your way out of it or attempt to read fifteen million self-help books looking for a solution.
All you have to do is choose where you'll sit.
When you let light in, that becomes your freedom story.
Don't let darkness win today! Don’t let misery take over. Don’t let mental health be your story.
P.S. How can I pray for you this weekend? I know there is still a stigma surrounding mental health struggles. You can’t just go to anyone, but you can come here. Leave a comment (even if it’s just I need prayer) or send me a message, and I’d be honored to pray for you this weekend!