Last week was rough. I cannot go into descriptive detail about all that I was facing and what was running through my mind, but you can definitely say that my anxiety was rearing its ugly head. And honestly, that made me feel pretty down. My anxiety hadn’t skyrocketed that high in a long time and it bummed me out.
But I was determined to make my new week much better. I started Monday morning with a positive attitude, hoping to make the most of my day. And I did. I worked for a bit, went grocery shopping, and was preparing to return to work when the phone rang.
My work phone rang, and assuming that it was a client, I answered immediately. On the other end of the line, a man who referred to himself as a “detective” at my local police department began speaking at a rapid rate about how I had missed a court date as an expert witness and there were two warrants out for my arrest. Now, if your brain is already beginning to recognize red flags, hold on tight! Because it took me nearly twenty minutes of being on the phone and nearly having a meltdown before I realized what was happening.
This “detective” continued discussing how I had two options. First, spend 72 hours in jail and receive a fine. Or I could pay for my two warrants and then visit the police department to prove that I had never received this mysterious subpoena (which had been supposedly delivered to my work address by the way, which is a location where I have never had any mail delivered). How much would these two warrants cost to pay off? $4,000!
Obviously, I do not have that kind of money just laying around. So I immediately contacted my fiance, who rushed home from work (shout out to you, hun!) to help me. When he began speaking about how some of the things this “detective” was saying seemed strange and that it wasn’t accurate, the person hung up. Turns out, in fact, this was a scam. These people were contacting me, attempting to scare me with jail time, so that they could steal $4,000 from me. And before you think I’m dumb, I had actually filed a police report against a lady who stole money from me, and there was a court date for that so I truly believed that I could have missed the court date!
With all of that said, my first point is to be careful! If someone calls claiming to be a police officer and requesting that you pay money, hang up and call your local police department. It is a scam! If someone calls and asks for any personal information (i.e. social security number, banking information, etc.) at all, hang up.
My second point is more of a question: What do you do when life keeping kicking you down?
Well, luckily in this scenario (despite my brief meltdown), everything ended up being fine and I am not in jail, nor do I have any warrants out for my arrest. Nonetheless, it really brought me down low for a moment. I couldn’t talk about it without tearing up, then I felt angry that people would do that to someone, then I felt sad that the world is full of people who scam others, and then I felt embarrassed for falling for it for as long as I did. Although there are many, many things to be grateful for from that situation, I couldn’t stop the roller coaster of emotion that it spurred.
But when life keeps kicking you down, or when your brain keeps triggering different emotions regarding a situation, continue reminding yourself of the good things!
Sure, I had almost had a heart attack (not really, but it felt like it), but I am sitting here tonight typing this up for you rather than sitting in a jail cell or being completely and utterly broke from paying a $4,000 “fine”. It is upsetting that people do things like that, but the situation reminds me of how blessed I am to have a man in my life who literally leaves his work presentation to be by my side when I need him. And yeah, I feel embarrassed about the situation now, but that situation led to this blog post that wouldn’t have existed otherwise. And this situation broke me out of the purgatory known as writer’s block.
We may endure bad situations or moments in life, but it is important to seek the silver linings.
So, if life keeps kicking you down, keep standing right back up and seeking the good things in your life. Find gratitude in the midst of a rough week. And remember that nothing lasts forever. What you are facing will pass. And even if it feels like it will never pass, it is still helpful to seek the good rather than focusing on the bad. Focusing on the bad things only leads to negative thoughts and behaviors. It is wise to consider the bad that is happening and create plans of action or work through your emotions regarding the situation, but do not allow yourself to ruminate on the bad things for too long or it will begin to take an emotional and mental toll.
Here’s a tip: To help your brain learn to focus on the good, begin gratitude journaling. Each night before you go to sleep, write down five good things that you experienced during the day. Some days this will be an incredibly tough exercise, but it can be done! Even if you need to write down something very simple like, “It was sunny today”, that’s fine! The point of this exercise is to begin teaching your brain to find the good in each day.
So, here’s to finding the good even on super crappy days!