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How To Get Through Dark Times In Life

We all have hard times growing up.  Sometimes life really is tough, especially if you’re just going through hard emotional times.

As a young man, my first long term girlfriend was trouble, and led me to some dangerous and illogical decisions and choices in my life.  Her problems ran deep, and I don’t want to relive them so I won’t go any deeper than what I said in the previous sentence. 

Once our relationship was totally broken, I was lucky to have family and friends to help me isolate from the pain of my girlfriend’s problems.  It was so bad that I even decided to change to a new college (I helped my girlfriend go to the original college as I was going to).

It took me years to get my girlfriend and her problems out of my head.  It was very complex situation and in the end I’m the one who left (which made me even feel worse).  I really cared deeply about her, but her issues pulled me mentally into dark and horrible places where I didn’t want to be.

So my point is that sometime you get into such dark moods and places and need help to find your way out.  Untested people (and the media) don’t understand what you are going through and the way that you can get kind of crazy when under such pressure.  I was lucky, I knew how destructive my path would have been had I stayed.  Actually it would have been destructive for the both of us.  Sometimes with people, much like certain chemicals, things don’t mix well and explode, no matter how much they care about each other.

So the point of this post is to describe how to get through these dark periods in your life.

  • Family and Friends help, but only if they understand and come from a similar background.  If they don’t have depth in such areas, they can hinder and hurt more than help.  So this option depends!
  • People that have similar backgrounds and can help in many ways.  Sometimes going outside of your circle of friends helps!  Support groups maybe be the answer, again it depends…
  • Music… knowing that even the best and most successful of us have problem that they had to overcome helps.  After a while, try to mix some uplifting and exciting music your listening too, so that you can improve your mood.  Nothing is worse than dwelling on your pain, which is kind of what I did.  It’s a time and life killer, if it it does on too long.
  • Fake it until you make it.  This line of thinking is if you fake being happy, eventually you will be happy.   This works, especially after you hit rock bottom and feel like there is no way out.  Why not give it a try.  You are your own emotional keeper, you control your thoughts, you can become whatever you want to become!

And now that my reasoning is layed out for you, I want to introduce a song from NIN that was my favorite song for few years during some of the most dark periods in my life.  I may have listened to it for too long, but it was cool and made me realize that everybody does though some rough patches:

Here is an uplifting song, that while a bit light, is still fun. I epecially like the lyrics “I’m in the race but I’ve already won, and getting there can be half the fun”.

While I would have like the song above, it came after the dark times in my life, below is a song that worked for me, especially when I was in the martial arts. it got me pumping and I would perform better as I would play this in my head but at a faster rate of play.

Here’s one more song that I liked (and my first exposure to rap). It was a great song and luckily, I didn’t see the video until much later…

I’m not sure why this article came out of me, but it’s Saturday (which is my anything goes day) so I thought I’d share.


16 Responses to How To Get Through Dark Times In Life

  1. Hey, you have to do what you have to do to get though the dark time. You are in a better place now and that’s what counts.
    I think friends and family is helpful when you’re in that situation. One of our friend is having postpartum depression and although I don’t have that experience I try to cheer her up. It’s much more difficult to go through dark times by yourself.

    • This was a time way back when I just started college, I’m way past that point now.

      I think caring friends can help, but in the end the person in that state needs to find a way out themselves. Kind friends definitely doesn’t hurt though!

      I still a big fan today of NIN and other alternative bands even today. I’m a fan of all good music, no matter the type.

  2. I listened to that NIN album constantly. Great album, although I didn’t find it depressing. Should I have?

    I think tough times are magnified by 100 when you are still a hormonal teenager. People mellow with age. Breakups were so much harder in my teens than as a young adult.

    My tips:
    I think having someone safe to talk to is really key. This is a person that won’t judge you and will be okay with you talking irrationally.

    Also, keep telling yourself that things will get better eventually.

    Oh, and get out of your head if it’s taking you into dark places. Call someone.

    • No, NIN isn’t depressing, Trent is great!!!

      I agree, when you are young and inexperienced with other people’s problems you are kind of feed to the wolves. Earlier girlfriends were no problems. But, this particular ex-girlfriend’s experiences and problems were to rough for me at the time. The break was clean and good for both of us. After her, I didn’t try to save the world as much…

      Now that I’m older, I’m definitely a different person than back then…

  3. You are so right – some people just don’t mix! I’ve seen a few of my friends and anyone (except them) could tell they wouldn’t last long!

    Friends definitely help. I’m glad you decided to break it off and start fresh!

    • It was great at first, but then slowly her problems came out and even though was a nice person, I couldn’t help her. My background was nothing like hers. We had absolutely nothing in common.

    • I almost included that, but I wasn’t as bad as that, and that was a later song (have you heard the Johnny Cash version, very sad). I think that particular song was too drug oriented for my anyway. Great song all the same, we make such song relate to using in our own experiences!

      Trent is one of my favorite songwriters and performers. I wish I saw him in concert when I was younger, but the crowd I hung with just wasn’t into him.

  4. Cheer up Don! Step away from the cliff!

    I like NIN. We all go through dark times, but then I think about the children in Ethiopia or India starving, and I’m like… get it together Sam!

    • lol, that was a long time ago…

      This particular post started with me wanting to put a story around the NIN song… Funny how things roll out.

      For teens, world problems don’t cross their minds and shouldn’t at that age. At that age, it’s all about having a good time with friends, dating and being broke.

      I say let the adults (you and I) worry about world problems, let kids have at least a little fun in life while they are young and innocent.

    • In my case it helped to realize that I wasn’t superman, and I can’t fix exerything. Not matter how much I would like to do so, some things are beyond my control.

  5. I think having social support is really important and helpful during the dark times. Having a shoulder to cry on, having someone to bitch to, and having someone listen are invaluable tools 🙂

    Music and wine help too.

  6. Great points! I find family and freinds to help the most. Family sometimes, freinds always. Being able to go see someone that doesn’t have any say in the matter and to be able to pour out your feelings is one great way of dealing with dark times. Often times I’ll find the situation not so bad and be able to move forward.

    -Ravi Gupta

    • The problems with the girl that I was dating wasn’t anything that my normal friends experienced. They had no clue… Sometimes rationalizing things in your head helps, at least for me it did. And time, it really does heal all wounds, even if it takes years.