11/11/2013 06:01 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 10:53 GMT

How to Get Back Up When Life Knocks You Flat, Again

Are you having a rough time? Do you wonder if the universe is picking on you? Do you just barely start to sort yourself out from one problem and then you're slammed with another?

Man, I know that story all too well, so if you're there, you have my deepest sympathies. It might not help a whole lot to know this, but rest assured, you're not alone.

There are some people who just seem to sail through life with the odd little glitch. And then there are others who seem to get every rotten awful thing that the universe has to offer. I suppose at the end of the day, it doesn't much matter whether or not anyone else has it better or worse than you do, 'cause you're still stuck in whatever fresh hell you've been served up by Life.

It's okay to have a little pity party now and then. It's all right to stamp your feet and have a little tantrum when everything has gone pear-shaped - yet again. It's unhealthy to bottle up your feelings so get them out, as long as you do it safely and respectfully of yourself and others.

But then what? You've had your little hissy fit. You've thrown a wobbler, chucked your toys out the pram and what are you supposed to do after that?

You take a big, deep breath and you dive back into your life again.

Easier said than done? Perhaps. But you can do it. Yes, you can. Whether or not you will is up to you.

When you've been knocked flat, you've got two choices. You can either lie there on the ground, which might feel like the easiest option, or you can catch your breath and make yourself vertical again.

Let's look at Option One: staying flat out on the ground. Enticing when you first get there. It's like a bit of a rest after a long hard battle that you lost. You haven't got any more energy to spend. You're wrung out. So what the heck, you'll just lie there and do nothing. What a relief. Right?

Wrong. Nobody sees you down there. It's cold, hard, dirty and just plain nasty. People trample all over you. There's litter everywhere. Sure, a moment to catch your breath, but really? Do you think it's easier to stay there, where nothing good happens? Where you have no control over your life or your future because you've given it up? You're gonna lie there and let things happen to you? I can guarantee you will really not like the outcome of that decision.

Imagine this: You're a little kid in the sandbox. Some big bully takes your toys away and you just sit there. He kicks sand in your face and your just sit there. He disappears with your toys. And still, you just sit there.

Those toys are your life. That bully is the rubbish that sometimes happens to you. If you're not fighting for your life, then it will be taken from you, if not literally then certainly figuratively. Yeah, I know it can really suck sometimes. I'm no stranger to tragedy, to crisis, to having your life blow up in your face in every possible way all at once.

But there are still the good bits of it to remember. Whining about how miserable it is might feel good for a while, and that's okay. Go for it! Find a few people who will commiserate with you. But then you've got to take that big breath and dive in again, knowing that every time you do this, you are learning more about your strength.

You know those big vinyl inflatable toys that you can punch so you knock them flat, but then they pop straight back up again? Just see yourself as one of those. Okay, you've been flattened again. But you can bounce right back up again - and if you do it with enough 'bounce', you can smack Life right back in the face.

So go on, have your Pity Party. Give yourself some "Aww, poor baby" and get a bit from your friends, too, if you want. But get off the floor. It's a lot harder to stay down there where everything just gets more miserable than it is to come back swingin'.

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