A long time ago, I sat with a drink in my hand, and my thoughts. I was weary. If a stronger word in the English language exists to describe how I was feeling, I have yet to learn it. If you’ve ever felt it, you know what I’m talking about. Many have felt it and few, I would wager, have not. Emotions are a part of the human experience, the difference lies in your reaction to those emotions.
Numb … that’s all I wanted to be. I was fresh off a tearful call to my mother. Talking is comforting; it soothes, clarifies and motivates. Talk is a catalyst for the actions required to create change. This is strength, knowing that I wasn’t OK but allowing myself the time to do what I needed to do until I was OK.
I took a sip of my drink and scheduled a Krav Maga (self-defense) class. My sadness was mostly circumstantial, and while some of those circumstances would change, some wouldn’t. It was on me to learn how to manage those realities.
Coping takes many forms, each unique to the individual. It takes trial, error and time to learn how you best cope. Learn how to handle life’s dark moments in a healthy way. Take time to understand what you need, so when you’re too sad to think, you won’t have to.
I knew that running away from the thoughts in my head wouldn’t help. I had to sit with them until they passed. I knew I needed to schedule a class, talk to my mom and allow myself to cry, because I knew those coping mechanisms worked for me. I was able to handle the difficult time I was facing in a healthy way. I knew what I was feeling was temporary, regardless of how strong it felt. I knew that it would pass and, until it did, I could handle it.
I finished my drink, got up and kept going. I, like you, am a relentless fighter and far more stubborn than this world.
Sadness is a feeling that makes us think we have no control, which isn’t truth. We can choose … choose to handle life as it comes, on our own terms. Life is as fluid and changing as the emotions we feel, so nothing will last as long as it seems.
You can do anything. You better believe you’re not alone. We, your wingmen, fiercely have your six.
If you’re going through a difficult time, or for more information, speak with a Luke AFB chaplain or Religious Affairs Airman or call 623-856-6211.