when life doesn't go as planned | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

There are many times when life doesn’t go as planned. You lose someone or something that’s important to you. A plan doesn’t go well. A career goal can never come true. Friends and family shift loyalties away from you.

When life doesn’t go as planned, there’s a certain amount of shock and denial at first. How can this be happening to me! I had everything planned out. Where the heck did that sucker punch come from?

Depression sidelined me.

For me, depression sidelined my life goals. I never planned on being depressed. I never imagined how dark my world could get. The challenges in my life – death in the family, moving to a new house, quitting my job, poor health – became huge monsters that I couldn’t see past. I had no good grip to deal with stress, guilt, and pain. They slipped out of my control. Life was spiralling down a hole. 

Stuck in depression, I thought everyone else had a good life. Even when I heard others complain about husbands, work, or their kids, I thought to myself how lucky these people were. These people were able to get out of bed every morning. They had energy to do things. They had money to travel. But I wasn’t seeing the whole story behind every person.

Two friends who I thought were happy and had a good life, died by suicide. For those two people, life hadn’t gone as planned. Divorce and dividing up the kids was a struggle too big to handle. No matter how much comfort and optimism others tried giving them, neither could see past the pain that seemed to stretch forever into the future.

It’s okay your life isn’t going as planned.

When life isn’t going as planned, you don’t have to fall into depression. Yes, sometimes depression is unavoidable. But hang in there.

The first thing you have to do is change your perspective. Your tunnel vision of the future is leaving out all the good stuff that exists. And, all that good stuff is there for you to enjoy. It isn’t just for some lucky few people.

It’s terrifying to give up control. You need to accept that you can’t, or couldn’t, control this one traumatic event. It’s happening. Maybe you think you have some control over the situation. But is it really true?

Ask for help. You need someone who won’t judge, and will take action to help you out of a situation. Sometimes you can’t go around a bad experience. Sometimes you have to crash through, burn yourself up, and emerge like a phoenix. You never know how brave you are, until you’re tested.

The phoenix has risen.

My life hadn’t gone as I had planned. But, I emerged from the depths of depression a changed person. I felt new. I saw everything differently and appreciated life more. When negative self-talk spoke I challenged it. Past pains that burdened me were gone.

Nowadays, I don’t get angry when things don’t go as planned. I challenge myself to see the situation from a different perspective. I see change as an opportunity to do something different. It might be outside my comfort zone, but my fear and anxiety doesn’t make me give up. And most of all, I am kind and gentle with myself.

Find me on twitter @tereziafarkas

More from Beliefnet and our partners