Picking up the Pieces and Moving Forward

There are so many things in life that have an impact on our perspective. Our experiences change us and although we may not always be ready for change, change still occurs. You know the feeling too well, you feel tired of everything, overwhelmed and helpless. You may be going through such trying times in your life, career or relationships.  You feel blinded, as though you are falling into a deep, dark slippery and bottomless pit with no grip or support. And you thought you were walking on solid ground.  But now the ground is giving way and you are slipping and tumbling and frantically trying to catch your breath! You have had enough of this roller coaster. Now you want to get back on your feet and STAND strong. You are ready to begin picking up the pieces of your life and moving forward.

The question on your mind is how can I get back on my feet?

It’s common for humans to experience life at varying levels during different times in our lives. Sometimes we come out of the dark, cold tunnel feeling empowered or enlightened. While at other times we come out of the dark, cold tunnel feeling even more confused and all alone. Either way, no human will escape feeling as though they are falling apart.

When have you fallen apart in your life? Was it when your dreams failed? Or was it when your divorce happened? Was it a mental health diagnosis? Or was it job loss? Whatever the case, falling apart requires that we eventually learn how to pick up the pieces of our life and start moving forward. Finding the motivation to actually move forward can take a long time. But “moving forward” doesn’t always mean complete healing, success, or victory. That perspective is often false and fantasized. Moving forward may mean taking baby-steps and re-learning how to live life again. We may never move forward in total “healing,” but the right tools can push us in a better direction.

There are things we all will have to come to terms with (within ourselves and possibly within others or the situation itself) in order to begin moving forward.

Acceptance of disappointment or hurt is the first step toward progress. Acceptance doesn’t mean that you are ignoring the issue. It means that you are using the only tools that you have right now. But it is only when you begin to merge the following together with your painful experience will you fully be on your way toward psychological, emotional, and spiritual healing.

Here are a list of strategies and tips to start putting the pieces together and moving forward:

1. Learn from the hurt

It can be so difficult trying to process a painful situation and then learn from it. But learning from the situation has a way of providing closure and helping us to move forward. Learning may take a very long time. Sometimes, it isn’t until we go through the experience, experience all the emotions of the experience, and accept it happened that we begin to learn. Don’t rush this process, but be open to it.

2. Question

A lot of people have a lot of questions. Life is full of confusion. However, the strongest people are those who can move on beyond their questions and find purpose.

3. Process

Processing a circumstance takes time and may take years until you get to a place of inner calm. The human mind and soul are complex, so take notes.

4. Accept

Accept that you may never understand why something bad has happened. We aren’t super-human, neither are we capable of understanding all things that occur among our complex human existence. It’s okay to have questions, but you cannot begin moving forward until you realize you may never have an answer.

5. Self-Care/Treatment

This includes taking care of yourself with things that revive your heart, soul, and mind. You want to refrain from those things that make life worse in the long-term, but “good” in the short-term; like, drugs, alcohol, reckless behavior, etc. Treatment requires self-care, not self-destruction.

6. Move on

Once you process a situation, get through all of your questions (with or without an answer), accept the situation, and treat yourself, you can move on.

7. Wait

Sometimes in life you just have to wait! Waiting means to cease from trying to change things that cannot be changed by You.

8. Envision your future

As difficult as it may be, create a new vision for the future or life you want. Create a mental picture of a brighter, victorious and successful future for yourself. See yourself overcoming the situation that you are facing, and you surely will. So see yourself surviving, and you surely will. See yourself winning the game, and you surely will!

9. Talk to someone

A word of comfort, a reassuring hug or an appropriate piece of advice may be just what you need. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings with the people you trust. People want to help and support you. Reach out to a trustworthy person and talk about your feelings. Don’t keep them all inside. Confide in your therapist, trusted friends or family. Cry over the pain…its okay to cry. Let out your feelings of pain and loss. Release yourself and when you are done, begin to see and live life beyond the tears.

10. Get support

Get support from a family member, counselor or a friend who can help you structure your life. Join a support group, or a church group or any club or association with activities that interest you. People who are committed to your overall well being and progress will boost not only your morale but also restore your confidence and strength for survival.

Try to remember, this may be a difficult thing to do, but the truth is that, whether we want to acknowledge it or not, there is always someone or something we are grateful for. Dwell on those things that make you glad that you are alive and not alone.

~Monretta Vega, LPC

Monretta Vega, LPC

Email: monretta@hsvpcs.com


  1. Lana on August 26, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I needed this. Sounds like it could be written just for me. Some of us feel like we can’t confide in friends or family. It’s so good to know that I have a therapist there that I can confide in with anything. I enjoy our sessions & the depression support group I attend there. The group meetings help to bridge the gap between sessions. We can learn from our experiences & the experience of others. It puts a new perspective on our feelings. Thank you for all the informative articles that you all write and for having such a caring staff.

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