Updated: Jan 22, 2021
I am not exactly a party to be around when I am struggling.
Stress and anxiety don’t bring out my fun side.
It’s not pleasant for anyone, or even for me.
As a therapist, I work with people who are struggling, and I hear them say similar things everyday.
Struggling with anything- mental health, relationships, life transitions, etc., is freaking HARD.
I like to remind myself and my clients that it’s very okay not to be okay.
It’s okay to be sad, scared, angry, and hurt. We are emotional beings.
But something I’m trying to work on, and something I think many others could benefit more from to, is a simple truth:
Our struggles are not an excuse to hurt other people.
I’ve heard many, many times people say things like, “My anxiety made me do this.”
“I had a hard day so I said these things.”
“I only did this because I was so stressed.”
I’ve been there, done that.
I still do at times.
But the thing is, no matter what our struggle is, we are not excused from showing people respect and dignity.
We can’t blame anxiety for us cussing someone out.
We can’t blame stress for us belittling someone.
We can’t blame the past or the present on how we are hurting others.
Even in the struggle, we are responsible for how we treat people.
Of course we will have bad days.
But it’s so important we learn how to deal with emotions so we don’t leave wounds on other people.
Be honest. Tell people, “I’m really struggling right now and having a hard time being patient and kind.”
Set boundaries. Let people know you might need a little space or time, because you don’t want to blow up on them.
And if you do snap, which at some point happens to all of us, it’s important to apologize.
Struggling is hard.
Grace and forgiveness are an absolute necessity in this life.
But we should try not to let our own struggles become something that hurts those around us.
Oh, and by the way?
It’s okay to not let those who are struggling in your life continuously hurt you, too.
~Kelli Bachara, The Unraveling Blog