Ask Abby: Comeback kid

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Full disclosure: I am not a licensed therapist. Honestly, I am not licensed in anything whatsoever. I’m just a gal with lots of opinions who enjoys giving unsolicited advice to almost anyone around me. So, if this is adverse advice, you can’t sue me or my place of work. Sorry!

“It feels like lately one bad thing after another keeps happening. How do I stop the onslaught of negativity and build myself back up?” -Loyal Reader

First thing’s first — before I give my signature stellar advice you must, and I mean must, begin to listen to “Comeback Kid” by Brett Dennen. He begins this musical masterpiece with something we’ve all experienced.

“Well maybe it’s the common curse, maybe things get bad before they get worse,” Dennen states. Or croons. Whichever.

So often it feels that once things start to go bad, all of life begins to turn its back on us. Bad adds itself to bad, and with every addition it gets harder to see any good things that are happening.

When one thing puts us in a negative mindframe, it makes us a bajillion times* more susceptible to noticing other bad things that may have seemed alright in the first place. Maybe we wouldn’t have even noticed them at all.

What you feel about the things that are happening is entirely valid; sometimes a lot of hurtful or negative things can occur right on the tails of one another.

However, sometimes we begin to receive so much negativity that we are unable to see the good things that are happening between those bad things anymore. It can feel like once we pass a threshold for negative emotions, our body inhibits feeling positive ones.**

If you can begin to look for the good in the bad — hey, didn’t someone write an article about this? — you can also begin to accept the bad as a whole. Then, you can begin to move forward.

When staging your comeback, it’s important to never stop looking forward. You can always grow and learn from your past experiences, but you can’t change the past, no matter how hard you try. The only way is forward, onward and upward.

If you truly feel like you can’t move on, there’s nothing wrong with starting from scratch. You are the engineer of your life, and you know yourself better than anyone else. If this is what you need in order to recover — do it and regrow in a way that is best for you.

Along these same lines, your comeback can’t happen unless you get to the bottom of your problems and solve them. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. Things that you cannot control impact you in long-term ways.

When this happens, you have to start healing from the root of the problem. If you stay near the surface, you can’t heal in a way that will be beneficial in the future.

Once you address your problems, heal and move forward with your life, there’s only one thing standing in your way of being a true comeback kid, like Brett Dennen himself: you have to believe that you can make a comeback.

I believe in you, Brett believes in you, and you should too.

You are valuable, valid and loved,


If you have a question that you’d like to see discussed in Ask Abby, feel free to contact me via email, carrier pigeon or telepathy. 

*Not a legitimate statistic, totally made up. No real science or math was used in the making of this article, as usual.

**Also not science, don’t quote this either. 


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