First, I need to state the obvious: this is one of the ways I cope day in and day out. Everyone is different and I don’t claim to be an authority on another’s illness(es), situation, coping strategies, etc.
Live in the now as much as possible.
I can imagine you getting ready to hit the back button/symbol.
“What the hell is wrong with this woman? The “now” SUCKS – I’m in pain/struggling/fighting self-destructive thoughts &/or urges/a burden/*insert string of expletives*.“
“Is this some positivity bullshit?”
Yes, the now is a pretty constant suckfest for many of us even on “good” days. Why would we want to focus on it?
Here’s the thing:
Barring a miracle, I am and for the foreseeable future will be carrying the really ugly baggage of incurable chronic illness.
The view ahead isn’t just not pretty, it’s pretty depressing.
The view pre-chronic illness is pretty, or at least pretty normal-ish – a combination of good times and bad with some “meh” spots sprinkled in. On the surface, it seems like a good idea to remember the good ol’ days when I’m having a really crappy pain day or struggling with depression or anxiety. Happy thoughts and all that, right?
But on a really bad day (physically &/or mentally), that Think-About-The-Golden-Years thing can be a trap that trips me right into the Rabbit Hole…because it may not be nostalgia sending me there, but grief over all that used to be and the me I was then (a rose-colored glasses view, since I was rather mentally messed up, but high-functioning enough that most saw nothing ‘off,’ including me).
It IS normal to grieve who we were and our past lives, and to grieve them deeply. But it can also be quicksand.
Time tends to feel like it’s passing at a crawl when I’m in the Rabbit Hole.
So when the depression is kicking my a** really hard, this is my saving grace: Just hang in there in increments.
When dark thoughts hit, I tell myself to just hang in there until tomorrow. If I feel like that’s an eternity away, I break it down further – just hang in there a few more hours…a few minutes, even. And once I’ve done that, hang in there a few more, and a few more.
Whatever it takes.
Be well, or as well as you can.