Congresswoman Grace Meng Responds To Jewish Community

You don’t believe that you will ever be okay again. You’re dizzy from the horror of daily world events, never mind juggling work responsibilities, school, or family. And you don’t even have time for the nervous breakdown that you deserve. Sheesh. Well, you know what they say: “The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.” And look at this way, sweet friends: You’re still breathing. That means you’ve already survived all of your past setbacks and stumbling blocks. You obviously have the strength and ability to learn, change, and grow. The trick is to believe it.

Overwhelmed by housework? I once heard: If the item doesn’t multiply, catch fire, smell, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you? Lol. Is your idea of housework to sweep the room with a glance? Uh, oh. Speaking of which: Never wear headphones while vacuuming. I know, you just finished the whole house when you realized the vacuum wasn’t even plugged in. But I digress…

You may have convinced yourself that nobody truly cares about you. But trust me on this one: You matter to someone, even if you may not know it. I guarantee that anyone whom you respect has suffered, struggled, endured losses, but somehow overcame their difficulties and disasters. And don’t worry if you’re having a bad day. Remember there are people who have their ex’s names tattooed on their bodies.

Too much on your plate just now? Or was it placed there long ago? Your life does not have to be figuring out how to cope with an unfair event in your past. There is a difference between being a product of your past or a prisoner of it. Someday you will look back at this time as a memory; and be so utterly proud of yourself for having the strength and courage to survive something that could have destroyed you.

So how do we get through the next minute? Nature is your best friend. Try soaking. Yup. Pick your poison: a hot bath, shower, or hot tub. Speaking of the healing powers of water… Never water yourself down just because someone can’t handle you at 100 proof. And remember: There is no life without water, because water is needed to make coffee. But seriously, waterfalls all started with a small stream. We need to surrender to the river flow of life, even when it feels excruciating.

Another wine bottle with no genie at the bottom? I guess you gotta keep looking. And sometimes we simply need to be stronger than our excuses. Are you letting that speed bump become a roadblock in your life? Differentiate between what may be trivial and what is truly a life-changing event.

Failure is just part of the process, unfortunately. But, for all you huggers out there: Keep it up. A 20-second hug releases the bonding hormone and neurotransmitter oxytocin, which happens to be nature’s antidepressant and anti-anxiety remedy. The truth is that you need to be strong enough to sometimes stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it. Not as easy as it sounds. But you can do it. After you finish testing the waters, g’head and make some waves.

Some days you just can’t “do it.” I know. It’s okay if the only thing you did today was breathe. But try not to fret. A day of worrying is more exhausting than a week of work. It would be dreamy to believe that, whatever we are going through right now, we will come out the other side wiser or even happier. When your heart feels heavy and your spirit is spent, it may take everything you’ve got to simply get through the day, or the next hour, or minute. Trust me; it is all right that you are not up to snuff or A-1 right now. It’s fine not to be fine – for now.

Someone ate your bowl of sunshine this morning? Feel like you seized the wrong day and everyone has it better than you? Know that behind closed doors everyone struggles one way or another.

We all wish to feel content with most aspects of our lives. Try observing yourself and those around you with more compassion, kindness, and a heavy dose of humor. You know what they say: Everything’s funny as long as it’s happening to somebody else. And don’t you just love when someone’s laugh is funnier than the joke? But truthfully, in the end, faith, trust, and love are all we really have, sweet friends. Life does go on… and you truly are going to be okay.

By Caroline Schumsky, LCSW, MS 


Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.