How do you cope?

Life is a rollercoaster ride, how do you cope?

Coping is hard. So hard. Especially when you are so attached to the situation, getting over it and getting back on track would be one of the hardest things to do, and the least thing you want to do.

Ironically, our friends or family seem to make coping appear as an easy, and a fast thing to do. When they see you that you are bothered, or when they feel that you are in pain, or simply, when they sense that something is bothering you, I bet the first words that would come out from their mouths would be, “Just move on” or “Just let it be”, or even “That’s life, there’s always a next one” plus those endless cliches like “When the door closes, windows of opportunities open”, or “There’s always a rainbow after a storm”, or “It’s a wide wide world out there with a lot of opportunities”. Oh please, give me a break from those cliches.

It’s true, you just move on. You just cope. But it is not that easy.

I’ve heard many people saying that coping from a situation- either from a loss of someone they love, heartbreak, failed endeavors- is a lengthy and tedious process. Lengthy, because sadly in reality, the process itself is the exact opposite on how fast we could easily tell the person next to us to just move on and cope. Sometimes I wish that it was as easy as that, that all we need is five seconds and then puff, everything’s back to normal. Everything’s the same as before. Everything’s back on track. Oh, what a wishful thinking that is.

It’s hard on purpose, I believe. We’ve heard many times that life is our great teacher, and I would like to believe that life doesn’t want to teach us a mediocre lessons in life. It doesn’t want us to teach us lesson which are not age appropriate, which are not valuable, which doesn’t make sense.

Remember when you were still young, everything happens in just a snap. This time you’re hurt, before you know it, you’re already laughing outside with your playmates. This minute you got into a fight over a candy, the next, you see yourself playing with those kids you had a fight with. So, when we were still young, everything was so easy. Life was so easy on us back then. Lessons were so easy, so easy that it could be capsulated into three words: Enjoy. Forgive. Learn.

But when we started growing up, when we started to have a better idea on what the world is, when we started learning that it’s not really a small world after all, that it’s a big place, with a lot of things interrelated and interdependent to each other, complication grew. Life was becoming harder and harder, but we still manage somehow to get through it.

Unfortunately(?), so does coping. The older we get, the more complicated coping becomes. When we were still young, all we need is another chocolate or a lollipop to replace that other one that was taken from us, or that simple reassurance that our parents would really bring us to the mall or the park next week because it rained so hard today, simple things or acts to forget about the things that hurt us. Now that we’re old, before could really cope, we still need to be haunted by the memories, we still need to be hurt again and again, we still need to go through a roller coaster of emotional trauma before acceptance finally sinks in and coping takes place.

I quote the Chief Justice Aspirant Ronaldo Zamora, “How have I coped? It has not been easy. But you will take one step at a time. You will try to remember to breathe in and out. At the end, you will try to live for the next day and the next week and the next month”.

Indeed take one step at a time. But it doesn’t really guarantee us that the steps towards it would be aligned or wouldn’t be bumpy. But taking it one step at a time would buy us time to look back and assess what our actions toward coping were, whether we did the right thing or not, or whether there was something lacking or not. So we could improve, and we could easily get to the next step.

But is “one step at a time” method a guarantee of liberation from the bondages that have kept us hurting or angry? I can’t tell. It’s up to you for the taking.

What I do know though, it helped me get through the darkest times of my life.

All the best,


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