Editor’s note: Liberty Forrest, author of several self-help books and a certified Law of Attraction Life Coach, offers suggestions for finding moments of joy in our day, in spite of the sociopath. Read more about Liberty.
By Liberty Forrest
The sun is rising, casting a soft, rosy glow across the cool grey sky, gently warming all it surveys as it quietly welcomes us to yet another new day.
Sleepily, we climb out of our comfortable cocoons, yawning and stretching as we shuffle off to the kitchen for that hot cup of tea or that steaming mug of coffee, sliding ourselves into our lives for one more morning, not remotely noticing the glorious New Day that lies before us, brimming over with possibilities and joy just waiting to be discovered.
No, that’s not what we see.
Instead, there’s a sick feeling in the pit of your guts as All Things Sociopath bubble up in your mind, and you’re recalling the toxic words, the crazy-making, the gaslighting and the endless tears and frustration.
Yes, it’s that again. The reality of living with the damage caused by a sociopath. Will it ever just bloody well stop? It feels relentless, a dark, evil presence that hangs over your every moment like a thick, black cloud.
Too Many Responsibilities
You’re aching to sit and enjoy that morning drink, and it would be lovely to notice that glorious New Day, but it’s off to another heavy start. The uncomfortable misery of your situation settles in once again.
There’s no time to deal with it. Or at least, there’s no energy or brain power for it. As the day begins to unfold, thoughts and images of what needs to be done stumble through the fog of semi-consciousness. The job awaits, the children need feeding and dressing. I hope their homework was really all done. The toilets need cleaning. There’s no food in the fridge. My nails are a mess, and so is the house. There are 17 loads of laundry, or at least it feels that way. I need to arrange this appointment or that one. There are all those repairs that need doing.
And on and on it goes…the endless list of Stuff To Do. Before we’re even functional or have had a bit of breakfast, we’re already weighted down by responsibility and have to, ought to, should and must – made much worse by the toxic black cloud that hovers inches above your head.
Plus, The Really Difficult Stuff
And then of course, you still have to face the added Really Difficult Stuff. The relationship that’s on life support and is in the intensive care unit, and you wish you could just pull the damn plug but don’t know how. The same old blazing argument you had last night, and didn’t resolve. Again. You can never resolve it; not with a sociopath. Not unless they fake you out and suck up, making you think they’re sorry but it’s only because they want something from you.
Throw in the teenager who’s rebelling. Or the one who has been missing for months. The job you lost. And your house might be next. The potentially terrifying test results you’re anticipating at the doctor’s office. The best friend who is in crisis. The funeral you have to attend on Thursday. The chemotherapy you’re facing. Your widowed parent who is fragile and ailing. And on and on it goes…
All of this would be enough, but everything feels ten times worse when you’re trying to cope with the resentment, hurt, anger, fear, threat, confusion, and more, thanks to the sociopath who may or may not still be actively involved in your life.
How to Feel Better in Spite of the Sociopath
So just how can days like that be filled with possibilities and joy just waiting to be discovered? How on earth are you supposed to notice that soft, rosy glow outside, that wonderful sense of newness and excitement that it holds as it spreads its smiling warmth across everything in its path?
You just do. It doesn’t discount any of the Stuff that demands your attention or insists upon cramming itself down your throat. It doesn’t mean the painful parts of your life will vanish or that the sociopath and/or resulting issues will suddenly disappear. It just means that you must not forget the blessings, the gifts in every day, because they’re as real a part of your life as the parts that hurt or are an enormous burden, and that will consume you, if you let them.
One of those blessings is the ability to choose what occupies your thoughts and at least some of your time. It is the ability to give yourself permission to have a little fun, to do something that makes you happy, that makes you feel good, or that lets you take some time to be creative and reconnect with yourself.
You can close your eyes for a few moments, at any time in the midst of the most miserable day, and think about someone or something wonderful. And if you stay focused on that image and those feelings, even for just a few moments, you’re bound to find a little respite from your worries, in spite of the sociopath.
Nourish Your Spirit
Your weary spirit needs nourishment. It needs rejuvenation. That steaming, hot bubble bath. Turning off the phone for an hour. Reading a favourite novel – again. Dusting off the deck of cards for a game of rummy with a friend or “Go Fish” with your child. Sitting in your “jams” on the bed with your kids and letting them make up silly jokes or tell you stories. Soaking your feet while sipping on wine. Looking through old photographs. Working on a scrapbook. It doesn’t take much time in a day to give yourself a break from your stresses, even if it’s only as long as it takes to spend a few moments here and there, thinking about what’s important to you, and about the people who matter to you.
Trust me. No matter how dull and laden with responsibility your life is, and no matter how dark and miserable it might be, there are blessings in it, too, and opportunities to make it a better day, in spite of the sociopath. Just pause for a few moments and notice that rosy, glowing sunrise as it gently reminds you that there is another New Day, another chance for you to reconnect with yourself, with the best parts of your life, and with all the blessings the world has to offer. Allow its warmth to fill your soul, awakening beautiful old memories that will nourish you, urging you to create equally beautiful new ones, now. Today. And every day.
This article was originally published at LibertyForrest.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.