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When Absolutely Everything is Sucking, Just Think “AFGO”

The last few weeks have been emotionally draining.  Stuff like my cell phone and our main car decided to start breaking on me around the same time.  Friend and family stress popped up too.  And somewhere early in there, a general feeling of helplessness and pointlessness starting seeping into my brain, so I haven’t been handling everything as well as I could.  Overall, it’s just been a bad month.

I called a friend, Desiree, for some clarity, and she helped me calm down and even cheered me up.  She also told me about the best term ever for describing times like this…”AFGO”.

Defining AFGO

Clichés like “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and “Every cloud has a silver lining” may be true in the long run, but during the “Whatever doesn’t kill you” stage, you may not give a crap.  And if you feel like that, so do other people when they have those times.  So instead of spouting optimistic messages when they aren’t to that point of happy yet, I’d explain to them that you understand what they are going though and then tell them about this phrase – AFGO – Another Freaking Growth Opportunity.

It perked me up.

So when you feel like everything sucks or at least big stuff sucks, and you know it will get better eventually, but if anyone says that to you, you want to wring their neck…just think “AFGO”.

Times I Should Have Known About “AFGO”

Looking back, I’ve tried to comfort myself and others hundreds of times.  But usually I tried to kill the bad times with optimism or perkiness.  That isn’t always as welcome as you’d think.  No one in the hospital wants to be told that “it could be worse”.  It’s pretty bad to them whether it could be worse or not.  Even if they already know that it will most likely get better or that things will stop sucking soon, they may be more thankful to know that you have been there before…and you even have the perfect phrase to prove it.

Your Problems Are Important Too

Life does generally get better, some things do happen for a reason, and yeah, it could even be worse.  But you don’t ever have to feel that your problems aren’t important just because they aren’t the worst problems ever.  We could all have yet another freaking growth opportunity just around the next corner, and it may be way easier to deal with it when you at least have identified.

As for me, I am reclaiming my general optimism.  I’m going to even shoot for perky soon.  In the meantime, I will hopefully learn a ton of stuff from this AFGO in my life.

I’ve already learned that stuff breaks, and dealing with it piece by piece is just an exhausting but necessary part of life.  Thankfully it isn’t happening continuously.  I am also learning that friends and family are just as imperfect as me, and it’s way easier to just let little stuff go.  I’ll handle big stuff on a case by case basis.  Lastly, I am reminding myself that once again, helping others helps me too.  It’s hard to continue to wallow in my own downer stage when I start helping someone else feel better.  In this past month, helping fellow bloggers and my Little Bro in the Big Brother Big Sister program has helped me keep my smaller problems in perspective without making me dismiss them as unimportant altogether.  That’s a nice balance.

Have you gone through AFGO recently?  What do you think – do you like the phrase and the idea behind it?  Or what helps you the most?

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8 comments to When Absolutely Everything is Sucking, Just Think “AFGO”

  • I’ve been through a bunch of FGOs lately… what gets me through a lot of the “get knocked down” moments is breaking time down into little sprints. So instead of thinking “in three months I’ll have this project done” or whatever. I think “in one week I’ll have the proposal down. Then I can move on to something else.” And then the next week I’ll think “By Friday I’ll have the research done and then I can get to writing.”

    etc. I like a week or two at a time and then put a little bit of a positive spin on the next part of the suck… :)

    Sorry you’re going through a bunch! Keep your chin up!

  • Christie

    Love the AFGO phrase.

  • Hi there Crystal :)

    I am the kind of person that cares and worries too much about everything sometimes… my girlfriend says that I need an IDGAF pill.

    I’ll let you all de-cipher that. ;)

    Thanks for a good read! :)

  • Kim

    December has certainly been an AFGO month. Lost of things that have been circling have come to conclusion, some good, some bad. I was turning into a big Scrooge until we adopted a kid to buy Christmas presents for. You are right that helping someone in need can do wonders for lifting your spirits.

  • You actually nailed it. When I go through these periods I focus on helping someone else out. Not sure why this works? Think of the people that are and have been there for you when you needed it.

    It’s good to go through these phases. We just never see the positive at the moment. It takes many many months to see the bright side.

  • kimberly

    I hate those peppy quotes. I always think “I can survive (fill in the blank).” Always makes me feel strong and capable.

  • Awww, Crystal… hope things get better for you soon. As you know, I went through a similar phase a couple years ago. I can tell you that things do return to normal. Eventually. Hang in there.

  • Well, that’s a brand new acronym for me!
    I hope things turn around for you soon :-)