There’s that feeling… you know… when you’re not really sad, but you’re also not really happy… It’s kind of this in-between state that can’t be defined, or explained, or imagined, unless you’ve experienced it for yourself… And even then, it’s hard to identify, or to notice, and to change.
Let’s call this feeling… limbo.
There are many, many, many times a year, a month… that I slip into limbo. Limbo is a place I really don’t like, but I don’t entirely hate. In fact, sometimes slipping into limbo can be a little bit like a vacation… from life, from everyone, and everything.
While I do suffer from depression and anxiety, and while this limbo place can come from both of these things, I’d rather not explain it with a definitive label. I also think there’s a solid difference between when I am seriously depressed, and when I am in this limbo state of being…. For me, limbo happens much more frequently. Limbo is a warning sign, in which something worse, like a true depressive state, can emerge, if I’m not proactive about reducing it’s effects.
While my limbo is a tip off for other dark experiences I’ve had, limbo can be as far as some people ever get to darkness. I therefore would rather try an explain it as something that is normal, something that is common, and something that you don’t have to be “depressed”, “bipolar”, “anxious”, or whatever label, to feel.
People without mental illnesses can experience limbo too, and no, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. Limbo can form out of receiving a bad grade, not liking the way you look, feeling lonely, feeling rejected, feeling like you’re lost…. and the list goes on…We are all affected by things that don’t go the way we want them to – it’s human nature to care about what we deem a ‘success’.
Limbo is a space in which we all risk ending up in…. it happens when you really just don’t know what to do next…. You’re not sure if you chose the right program at school…You’re not sure if you love your job anymore…You’re not sure if going out will be fun, or if you’ll just be wasting time…. You’re not sure if you’re happy in this town… You’re not sure if you’ll actually end up with the person your dating…. Limbo feeds off of these concerns, fears, and doubts, and tempts you to stay where you are… because taking the next productive step to feeling better, or happier, is scary.
Limbo is confusing because you just don’t know, and you’re just not sure… You’re afraid to take a risk. You’re afraid to seek happiness, because you’re afraid it will hurt if you don’t find it…. and this behavior is toxic.
This behavior is not only toxic for you, but for all of those around you. I know it’s hard to snap out of limbo, I know it’s scary, but I’m giving you no choice – you have to.
You have to because there truly is so much more out there to find, to experience, and to be grateful for. Mix things up. Don’t stay put. Use your head, but also use your heart. Try something new. Apply for your dream job.
You may not succeed at all of these things, but at least you did it. At least you made the courageous attempt to get out of limbo, and did something that pushed your chances of success forward, and not backwards. Hey – at least you moved.
So, please, whenever you feel you are slipping into limbo again… remember that the only way to get out is to take a step… in any direction… as long as it’s stepping out of where you are right now.
It’s about eliminating the excuses that you’ve allowed yourself to think up… eliminating the excuses that allowed you (for far too long) to stay stuck in the spot you know you don’t want to stay in.
I don’t care how big a step… Just get moving.