Sometimes life sucks and there is nothing you can do about it. Sounds a bit grim doesn’t it? But if you can accept that fact. Accept that sometimes all you can do is ride it out until it gets better or sucks a bit less. Then you’ll realise that ultimately, your life sucking right now is ok.
Look, life can suck for a number of reasons. It might be because of you. The choices you have made. The life path you have taken. Your actions or inactions.
It also might be because of something that is totally outside of your control. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you will feel that things just suck.
If it has sucked bad enough, and for long enough, you might even begin to question is it worthwhile to endure the suckiness.
As someone who once gave up on life. I can assure you it is. It might not always feel that way. But there are definitely times it will.
There are lots of people who will tell you that you alone are the cause of the feeling that life sucks. There is no one to blame but yourself.
But what if the reason you are feeling like that is because of some deep-rooted mental health problem? What if you have suffered from horrible abuse, physical or mental, and have grown up with a skewed view of yourself and the world? What if you are feeling like life sucks because the life you were living has disappeared into obscurity? What if you’ve lost something fundamental to your life? Your home, your partner, your friends, or even your hope.
The usual solutions that are offered to people who are claiming that life sucks are to think positive, show gratitude for what you have, take action and do something about it.
Ok, I’ve written about this before. How I don’t really believe in positive thinking. How it really isn’t necessary. It’s an idea that hasn’t been around too long but which some people take as gospel truth. Think happy thoughts. Look on the bright side. Say positive affirmations. Change your view by just thinking about it.
But what if I’m thinking that life sucks because I’m an only child and my parents just died. That I’ve no family left. That I’m in this world all alone. Is positive thinking going to change all that? Of course not. Honestly, I can’t imagine anything worse.
Thinking positive is just a means of denial. Of avoiding the reality of your situation. Sometimes you have to just face the fact that something sucks. It takes facing it to be able to do something about it.
Even doing something about it doesn’t change the fact that at the moment you are thinking life sucks. It does. Sometimes there is no silver lining when the clouds are as dark as charcoal.
If gratitude was a dog it would be a bitch. You always hear it. Be thankful for what you have. Others are much worse off than you. You only think you have problems.
I get what people are trying to say with this one. I get we should appreciate the things we have rather than the things we don’t. I also know what it’s like to be in the depths of depression and in such a state where even thinking about trying to be grateful for anything is impossible.
People will say, you’ve got your health. At least your life isn’t as bad as (insert story or picture of someone with a really tough life here). My mum’s favourite was that there are children starving in Africa.
What really annoys me about that is that if you’ve ever read anything about being happy the one thing you are usually told is not to compare yourself to anyone. Just compare yourself to the you of yesterday or last year. Why is that suddenly acceptable when you feel like your life is crap? So don’t compare yourself to those better off than you but do compare yourself to those that you are better off than. Seriously?!
Here’s the thing, as self-absorbed as some people will claim you are when dwelling on your negative, people like to forget that we are all self-absorbed.
Yes, you can be kind, empathetic, help others when you can. But really we all filter things through our mind first. We are all inherently selfish. We think of ourselves first. That’s the nature of being the individual you are.
If your filter is set to one where at that moment, in that time, you can’t even think about the good things in your life, being thankful for anything is going to be a thankless task.
That doesn’t mean you are a bad, or selfish, person. It just means you’ve got stuff to deal with.
Taking action to change your life is something I would agree with. However, taking action isn’t something that can stop you from feeling that sometimes life sucks.
As I said before, sometimes the suckiness is outside of your control. No action will change that.
If taking action can change things and make your life suck less. It’s not something that tends to work right away. It might be a case where you have to take action, and keep taking action for a period of time, before any real change is noticed. Even then life can still suck at certain times.
Take my story for example. I used to be extremely lazy. Smoked a ton of marijuana on a daily basis. My ‘wife’ moved out on our son and I around a year and a half ago. Life has been mostly sucky since then.
I’ve turned things around since that great upset. I exercise regularly. Don’t smoke weed anymore. Do everything in my power to try and create a better life for my son and I.
I take a lot of action. I do at least a few things a day which would contribute to a better possible future while still making sure to take care of the here and now like being present from my son.
At the same time there are still the occasions where I feel that sometimes life sucks. Sometimes I am so low it’s a real struggle to do the things I need to do. Sometimes I don’t even want to get out of bed. Sometimes I question why should I keep fighting the impulse to just go and get stoned again and let my worries drift away for a little while.
Whilst taking action will help to some degree in the long run. It’s not an immediate answer. It’s not even a complete answer. You could take action all day every day. You could end up a very successful person because of that. Achieve a lot of your dreams and ambitions. You could still feel that sometimes life sucks.
What To Do When Life Sucks
The answer to life sucking is best summed up in the Chinese yin yang symbol. There’s the good and bad. The times when life sucks. And the times when it doesn’t.
When life is good it might not be wholly good. And when it’s bad it might not be completely bad. It also takes you to experience one to be able to know the other. What is happiness if you’ve never been sad? What does it mean to have something if you’ve never lost anything?
Because that is the nature of life I don’t think there is actually too much we can really do about it. You might have everything in life you want and still it might suck sometimes. You might have very little and it doesn’t.
Life is like a wave or a rollercoaster. It has ups and downs. Sometimes it will be so good you can’t imagine it any other way. You’ll see joy in everything, feel like you have all the answers, that you are on the right path.
Other times it will suck. You’ll be so low you might even doubt your reason for existence. You’ll see nothing but the bad. Feel empty. Maybe even doubt why it’s worth the effort.
The answer is always the same. It doesn’t change if you are thinking that sometimes life sucks or even if you are thinking the complete opposite. That sometimes it is a wonderful joy.
The answer is to keep going. To keep hanging on for a new day. To persevere. The world, and you, is in a state of constant change and motion. You just have to keep moving with it.
If you are reading this and are in the life sucks stage all I can say is hold tight. Ride that sucker for all it’s worth. Take everything it has got to throw at you. Don’t let it break you. And if it does. Just pick yourself up and put yourself back together again.
It won’t always feel this way. That I am sure about. You might not believe it right now. But it’s true.
There’s a line in a song by British rock band The Verve which has stuck by me in some tough times. It exemplifies the right attitude to take when that suckiness gets too much. When you think it might overwhelm you.
‘You’ve got to tie yourself to the mast my friend and the storm will end’
So brave the storm. Let the suckiness suck. Strap in, hold on tight, you’re alive and in for a ride. The ride of your life.