What does it take to get through many of life’s adversities? Why does it seem so easy for some and hard for others? And knowing all of this why do authors (like me) like to put their favorite characters through the wringer?
The answer to the last question is clear (at least to me it is) — I like to throw all kinds of troubles at my characters simply because I can and because dealing with life’s troubles is just LIFE (did you ever notice that LIFE is a 4-letter word?).I’m not a sage, I don’t have all the answers, but I know that most of life’s challenges CAN be managed. Like many of my characters I’ve had more than one life-event figuratively slap me in the face, I am no superhuman, but SO FAR I have survived.
Here are a few of the hurdles my heroines have had to contend with: Paige was raped; Julie is stalked; Annie has an abusive husband; Deanna is kidnapped and held hostage; Caitlyn’s husband can’t remember her the day after their wedding; Sudah encounters prejudice because of her religion; Samantha has to hire a bodyguard because someone is trying to kill her; Layne goes into hiding because she fears losing her child; and Alli winds up having to defend the man she loves from a murder charge. Whew! And I am not even going to start on the mishaps my heroes face.
Indeed I am trying to find humor in this post, but sometimes life does get to some people’s ability to function, and that is not so funny. Everyone has a bit of trauma and drama in their lives and sometimes their coping mechanisms seem to break down. Folks become despondent, they give up and sometimes all they want to do is escape.
Z. Hereford wrote that “When you respond positively and constructively to your biggest challenges the qualities of strength, courage, character and perseverance emerge from deep inside of you.”
Here are some recommended strategies for dealing with life’s negative events: Accept that adversity is inevitable in life; Create and know who is in your support system; Know that there are others before you who have survived adversity; and Don’t focus on past negative events, shake off the self-pity.
Throughout life there will be challenges, disappointments, pain, physical and mental blows — it is important to Take Care of Yourself. Simple things like sleep and diet can go a long way. Understand that each person can view his own difficulties as something magnified, whenever anyone is in crisis it may seem as if their world is ending.
Do not self-medicate (alcohol, drugs, etc) or ignore the difficulty you might be experiencing. Don’t close yourself off from others, you should never feel isolated when you are in pain and need. Believe in yourself and in your self-worth. It is okay if you take to prayer or meditation IF you have a belief in a higher power.
Most importantly, if you feel your pain is beyond your coping ability, whether it is physical, emotional, financial, or social — IT IS ALRIGHT TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE.
You are important.