10 Steps to Recover From a Beat Down

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Beat downs (to harass or crush one’s spirit) come in many forms. I’ve suffered more than I can count in my life and I have some advice I’d like to offer about how to recover from one that seems insurmountable.  Nope, I’m not talking about our recent foray into the world of buying a car from a dealership, which in itself was a beat down of epic proportions. Lawsy.

I’m talking a beat down of a more personal kind: one from a beloved friend or a family member.  The beat downs we receive by the hands of those we love are especially brutal and can leave us bruised and muted, wishing to wash things clean.

10 Steps to Recover From a Beat Down

But, baby, you gotta get up.  You gotta let go.  You gotta let God do his thang.

#10: Take a hot minute to grieve what you need to grieve in the time following the beat down.  Whether it’s a relationship lost, stalled or merely paused.  Live the pain.  It’s real and it’s valid.

#9: Examine your part, if any, in the beat down.  Be honest with yourself and own your end of the melee, if there is any to own.

#8: Apologize.  If you found yourself culpable in #9, get to grovelling.  Beg forgiveness.  Ask to start over.  Be sincere.  Do not place blame. Do not point fingers at anyone but yourself.

#7: If in #9 you find that you have been on the end of the beat down stick by no fault of your own, do not contribute to the pain by continuing the argument.  Back off.  Put space between you and the offender.

#6: Space = no communication except in person or by phone, and only if you feel progress towards reconciliation will occur.  No texting.  No emails.  No facebook (obviously it may be too difficult and add fuel to the flame if you defriend, but you can certainly hide the offender).  No tweeting.  Space is good.

#5: Pray.  My faith sustains me, yet I understand that not all share my belief.  Find something that you can believe in.  Find something that will sustain you.  God has offered me life, comfort and forgiveness when I have failed to understand or comprehend that my very existence is painful to others.

#4: Examine the relationship.  Do the beat downs occur regularly?  Was this an anomaly? Were there extenuating circumstances?  Can you bring forgiveness or understanding to the table?  Do you dread encounters with this person/s?  Is there common ground?  Is the relationship one that is healthy to continue? Is there an option of a sidelines relationship (you show up at required family affairs, stay along the figurative perimeter, don’t poke the bear kinda existence)?

#3: Define the relationship based on #4 and go from there.  No need to announce your findings or conclusions to anyone; this is for your well-being only.

#2: Wish all you want that things were different, but accept the reality of what is.  Other than #1, this may be the hardest step.

#1: Forgive.  To forgive is not to forget.  Many a heinous act has been forgiven (I think of those who survived Auschwitz), but couldn’t be forgotten if we tried.  My well-being has been preserved over the years, my joy intact, because I have forgiven, not only others but myself as well. The act of forgiveness doesn’t come easily; it is hard-won.  Yet, get there if you can.  It will not only open the door to a possible reconciliation, but will also allow you some peace in the situation.

Each time I’ve suffered a beat down, I’ve tried to remember that it is more about them than it is about me (unless I contributed…then I apologized as soon as possible).  Doesn’t make it any easier to be on the receiving end, but it helps speed my recovery.

Many of us will experience this at some point in our lives and it can be a devastating event, but as in all things, remember that you have a choice in how to deal with a beat down.

After you’ve had a good cry, put bandages on your open wounds and wondered what the hell was so wrong with you, it’s time to get up, baby.  It’s time to let go.  It’s time to let God do his thang.

Go recover.  For you.









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  1. Wise advise, Patti. A good post to bookmark for when those beat downs do occur.

  2. Awesome advice, Patti. Especially #9. I tell my guys, “Always ask yourself, ‘What’s my part in it?’ ” And when you get to #5, it’s “Pray for him/her, but only that God bless them, not “fix” them.”

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      Than you, Bob. I also love your advice: Bless them, not fix them. I’ve always thought many times our prayers for specifics limit the greatness of God.

  3. ” Doesn’t make it any easier to be on the receiving end, but it helps speed my recovery.” My favorite part of the entire post. It is our own recovery that is important in a beat-down! We can’t fix anyone but ourselves. And sometimes the best recovery is to just walk away….

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      One of the hardest lessons to learn in this life is that you can’t change others, you can only change yourself. Thanks.

  4. Thank you for this post! I am going through somewhat of a hard time right now so this really spoke to me.

  5. Patti, you know how things are put in front of you at perfect timing.. and for a good reason? My sister and I had just experienced a falling out. (We usually speak a dozen times a day on the phone!) She is going through some really personal issues and has no where to put her blame or guilt, but towards me, the closest person to her. We have no one else, but each other. We have abandoned all of our other family members. Due towards of their heartlessness through the years. I am a positive person and always plan to live positively. When drama arises, I get very hurt. I haven’t spoken to my sister for almost a month. I’ve given her space to deal with her issues and anger. (And, mainly so she can’t bash and hurt me anymore.) I’m a sensitive person as it is. But, I am also a person which wants to make everything better. I realize I can’t ‘fix’ everything. But, I want to have things resolved. (Not with ex-boyfriends, I needed no closure with them… haha)
    Before coming upon your post, I just got off the phone with my sis to tell her we need to meet up and just discuss the misunderstandings. So, of course I have this on my mind waiting to (hopefully) meet with her… and I came over to your post. Thank you for sharing and pointing out all of this. It really makes sense. Actually, makes me feel I am not alone. You’ve lifted my spirits today. xo

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      “Actually, makes me feel I am not alone. You’ve lifted my spirits today. xo” This is one of the best things writers ever hear/read, so thank you for that. I have often wondered if I put too much on the page, but as a writer I feel it’s necessary that we see ourselves and each other in each other. If I can relate an issue or joy so that others might see themselves and not feel alone, I can’t seem to stop from writing about it. We aren’t alone; we’re in this together. I hope the issues with your sister are resolved soon.

  6. Ahh Patti, you are wise! This helps me out a lot; for some reason I always think if I put that space between me and the person giving the beat downs that somehow I am the problem…well I guess I don’t just think that I’m often harangued and things are twisted to make it look like it’s me so I need to get over it and do what I need to do.

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      I think so many of us jump to the conclusion that it’s our fault, but sometimes there is nothing we can do but step back. Allowing space, allows us perspective. I’m glad this has helped you (I’ll even have to come back and read it from time to time as a reminder). Peace, momma.

  7. This is wise and compassionate. Thank you. I’m passing it on to one of my daughter’s who is feeling and has felt “beat down” for a while now.

  8. Very thoughtful advice here, Patti…there are certainly occasions where I need to take this to heart. I would think most of us could benefit from this. Thank you.

  9. Really, really good stuff. Tweeted. ♥ Thank you for sharing at Treasure Box Tuesday.

  10. How timely. I am just on the other side of this situation. Oh, I have been beat down! Thank God for bringing me through it! I realized on Sunday that I have actually been grieving something that won’t happen. This has been a 6 year journey. I had hopes and expectations from someone………you should never have expectations. They lead to disappointment. I had hoped for a real friendship. I don’t know why she doesn’t like me but, I have accepted that she doesn’t and probably won’t. What helped me the most was realizing that outside of the setting that we have to interact in……..we wouldn’t be friends. She is a high maintenance person. She’s a type A personality and I am totally opposite. I agree wholeheartedly with all your points and have traveled through all of them. #4 is the hardest one and #3 is essential. I am in #1 and freedom is at hand. I am so grateful for God leading me to your blog tonight. He knew I needed this. God Bless!

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      Brenda…I love comments like yours. They are brave and open and allow others to see that they are not alone. Thank you for that. I know getting up from a beat down can seem impossible at times, but it sounds like you’re well on your way. So glad to have you here…yay!


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