When I was going through my old writing, I came across this blog post. It was a very real reminder to me of how bad it can get for me. I remember that day well – I was not yet aware of my hormonal issues, and the sadness and anxiety came up out of nowhere. I did not know how to deal with it, or even what it was. This is being a human. No one is 100% all the time, and pretending you are never ends well. There is absolutely no shame in being honest with those around you whenever you are not feeling ok. Usually through truthful discussion and openness you can find solace and relief. Because everyone has bad days. You are not alone in this.
Here is mine.
“So today is a fucking awful day. I am having a really really hard time. I woke up feeling ok, but it slowly went downhill. The tough thing is that nothing really happened. If there is a face to this feeling, you can fight it and make solutions. But all that happened is that I am breathing, and that shifty shadow came out and made itself heard in a way that hasn’t happened for a long time.
I woke up, meditated, had my coffee, and studied. I was content. I started reading my book, and the less than voices started up. I looked in the mirror, and decided I was fat. Instead of my usual trained reaction (“hi, you’re wrong and not welcome so get fucked”) my brain went, “yeaaaah girl get it together”. I knew this wasn’t good. I did not engage, but I thought I should probably get out of the house. So I decided to go for a walk. I listened to a lecture by Marion Woodman on holding the opposites of tension (its incredible by the way!). She talks about how in addiction and eating disorders, we are running from the shadow that is within us all. In order to live in the world addiction free, we must hold the tension of the shadow and the light, and acknowledge both.
Over the years of struggling with my demons, this has been my most successful method of handling them. Instead of running away from the shadow, scared part of me that wants me to disappear, I usually look at it in the face, and ask it questions. So I tried that again. I got a resounding “fuck off. You suck and everyone knows it. Everyone hates you, and is just pretending to like you”.
And then it started raining.
And then I started choking back tears on the street.
I knew I had to get it together, so I asked my husband to come and get me. In the four minutes it took for him to drive up and grab me my voices had raged, informing me that he would forget me because I am that worthless, nobody loves me because I am awkward and strange, and that you deserve to be left in the rain, alone. When I got into the car, I burst into tears, and let all the bad feelings out. I cried and cried.
Then I began to feel better.
I’m not quite sure what the point is of this blog post to be honest. I had a bad mental day. Try as I might, I couldn’t understand how or why I felt so bad. But the more I kept the feelings hidden and undercover, the worse I felt. Sometimes it really is essential to just let it all out to someone, and cry for an hour.
It is the struggle with the flaw, the acknowledgement and then the going on anyway that is what I cherish in other people. Not the choking down of feelings, pain and emotion, and placing blame on everyone else for your perceived weakness. The full living of every single breath and feeling. And weakness is a wonderful opportunity.”
And there you have it. I did not finish the post, because I didn’t know how. Now I realize that there is no way to finish it, because there is no ending. We are always going to have ups and downs. Running away from the low points achieves nothing – the only way out is through. It is painful, and hard. Every second when I am mentally down, I do the little things I can count on to make myself happy. The worse I feel, the smaller my actions get. This can be as simple as making myself a cup of coffee, writing, painting or playing with my puppy. Socializing is usually the last thing I want to do when I feel this way, but there are a few individuals who I can be completely undone around.
Recognizing the emotion that lead to the mood is also a powerful tool. Emotions last a few minutes but moods can last for years. If you can get between the transitions from emotion to mood, you can put a face to your feeling. And things tend to become lions when ignored and deliberately misunderstood – but when drawn out into the light of day they become little kittens. Meditation helps with this.
And sometimes you just have to cry it out. Because the only thing in life that is certain is that everything changes. Time marches on, and eventually, moods change. Do not feel weak for feeling.
Sending you all love today, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.