4 min read

Ask Alex returns! How do you keep on going?

"With all the hits you have taken, all the injuries, and all the attempts on your life.….how do you fine the will, the strength and the courage to get back up and put your big girl pants on.….or you Green Beret back on and move forward? How can "I" find "The Fey" in me?" MM

This is a great question that doesn’t receive nearly enough attention in our world of achieve, achieve, achieve. While I'm not quite sure how to you can find the "Fey" inside yourself, I can tell you how I found a way to keep going after all that's happened to me.

Here’s the short answer, because often when we ask this question we need to know right now!
As Jim Rohn said, “You’re here until you’re not.” If you’re still here, then it’s up to you to figure out how to live your life in such a way that your life matters to you. First, you have to make sure that your body, mind, and spirit are able to serve. This means asking for help from therapists, doctors, alternative medicine practitioners, priests and pastors, shaman, yogi, or anywhere that feels good to you. Focusing on being able to live your life will help you uncover what you want to focus your life on. It sounds convoluted; but it works.

Longer answer:
I realized early on that I wasn’t going anywhere. I couldn’t leave Max and John. Now that we have the twins, I would never willingly leave them. So I was here for a while.
Here are five things that helped me keep going:
Small giving ups:
I small gave up a thousand and one times after being injured. I gave up for an hour or a day, sometimes even a week. I gave up specific exercises (for example, lunges are evil) or being around certain people. Now that I am healthier, I still allow myself small give ups. I give up having a difficult conversation for a day. I give up making dinner some nights. Giving up for small lengths of time has allowed me to make progress over the long haul, so don’t be afraid to give up.

Can’t take on something big? Take on something small:
When I had a hole in my hip, I longed to be able to walk. Since that was impossible, I instead worked on something smaller. For example, I imagined myself walking, running, and even dancing. I lifted weights to make my healthy side strong and remind my other side what was missing. By committing to these smaller steps, I was able to move forward overall.

I wanted to heal, just like you do. Why not commit to something small such as by meditating for five minutes or writing one sentence in a journal or 5 body weight squats or simply laying down for ten minutes?

Getting a handle on my own ego:
One thing that was hard for me was believing that being injured wasn’t about me. My ego wanted to double down on blaming me for making everything happen. This was my karma. I had killed everyone. In my mind, I was able to manipulate the facts so that everything was my fault. This is my ego talking. See how important I am? I am the center of everything! I can make things happen!

One important way to keep going is to give up on the “it’s my faults” or any idea that places you as to blame for your injury and/or illness.

Life happens because they happens. Period. The only thing they have to do with you is that you were there. Period.

Now this, in and of itself, is a little frightening as by giving up your ego, you no longer feel in control of what happens to you. Truth is — you were never in control.

Stop the madness. The only thing in your control is you. And often, the only thing you can control is your response to things.

You were there. The perpetrator or illness was there. That’s all.

Asking for help:
One of the biggest lies in our society is that people do things on their own. No one accomplishes things by themselves. Even if it was their brilliant idea, all of their money, and manifested only the effort of their two hands, they are still driving on roads built by others, using education paid for by tax payers, working with tools (such as the Internet) that were designed and built by others, and on and on. No matter who we are, we stand on the backs of giants.

Let that seep in.

There’s no shame in asking for help. None. If you want to move forward, at some point, you’re going to have to ask for help.

If you’re like me, you’re surrounded by people who are simply waiting to be asked. Ask someone for what you need. You may be pleasantly surprised and get it.

Being honest with yourself and others.

How much did I want to get well? A lot.

And, being ill and injured allowed me to stay home and hang out with people I loved. I’d spent so much time on the road that the simply act of being home held an allure that was almost unbeatable. I had to be honest with myself that as much as I wanted to get well, a part of me was happy being sick and injured.

There are other honesties that need to happen. You need to be honest enough to say “No, I’m sorry, I can’t do that.” You need to be honest enough with yourself and others to know what feels good and what doesn’t. You need to be honest with those around you that you need rest, no matter what.

Once you get honest, the tools present themselves. You’ll see signs for therapists or other helpers. You’ll learn about tools to keep the trolls out of your email.

You’ll suddenly find that you have the support network you longed for. It was right there. Only you weren’t honest enough to see it.

I hope this helps. It’s still a work in progress for me.

One last thing -- these things will work for you, but they will also work for your loved ones. There are times they want to quit. They need to commit to something small to make something big happen. They need to get out of their ego. They need to ask for help. And, they must be honest with themselves and you. If you’re building a support network from scratch, these are qualities in people you want to be around.

Good luck,