I had a bad day the other day. Some are like that. Some days are coffee and some days are cream. Some days are the dregs at the bottom of the coffee pot. Some days, though, are the left-over scrapings at the bottom of the compost bucket. This was one of them.
Now I’m not going to go into a long story telling you all about what happened and why I was so upset, not the least because it’s boring to anyone not living in my head, and it’s also not what I want to write about. What I want to write about it What I Did.
What do YOU do on those Bad Days?
Well, yes. I thought of that too. Unfortunately I have an intolerance to chocolate (I KNOW! No joke. Small amounts are fine, but regular small amounts give me serious PMT symptoms, which is not pleasant, and–to tell you the truth–possibly contributed to the reason I was feeling so bad the other day in the first place).
So I did the next best thing: I went for a walk in the sunshine and listened to my favourite music. This time it didn’t help. Actually, it made me cry.
Facebook didn’t help, although it gave me another idea. Retail therapy. Six nice bowls, a Dr Pepper, and the dream of fluffy towels later I still didn’t feel any better. Granted though, I had six nice new bowls. And a Dr Pepper (although I didn’t sleep well that night. Has anybody invented caffeine-free Dr Pepper yet? Can I have some please?).
Now you’re probably thinking “D’uh girl. Tackle the source of the problem if it’s that upsetting. Stop trying to bandaid it with fizzy drinks/soda/pop/disgusting sugar-laden cough-syrup-tasting-weirdness (whatever you prefer to call it)”, and normally I would. I’m good at that. Unfortunately I was well aware that the problem this day was basically me.
So the next thing on the list was to start tackling some of the stuff that was getting me down. I cleaned my daughter’s bedroom, and got rid of an insane amount of stuff (she hasn’t commented. Possibly hasn’t noticed), and hung out with a friend for a while during the Great Purge. Both of these helped me feel a little better, but the results were small (in me, not in my daughter’s bedroom) and I needed more than that. I needed serious help.
It took a long, long time to get to this, and I can’t believe it took me this long, but by the end of the day I did the thing I should have done in the morning, and saved myself a few tears and a bunch of heartache: I told a friend.
I don’t know why the right thing to do is often the last thing we think of. I do know that I’ve been well out of practice in letting people in on how I’m feeling, for reasons such as “they’ve got problems of their own, they don’t need mine”, and “it’s not really anything serious, it’s just me having a bad day”, and “there’s nothing anybody can do about it, so why bother sharing it?”.
All of this is, in fact, rubbish.
Yes, my friends all have problems of their own. But they love me. And not only did I not “burden them” (as it’s so easy to think of it as), sharing it lightened my load considerably. Even if it was just dumb stuff in my head. Dumb stuff in heads can cause heads to explode sometimes. That’s why God invented mouths: our release valves.
I feel better now. Much, MUCH better. And I have six new bowls and a clean daughter’s-bedroom as well.
What about you? Do you ever struggle with opening up to people, even trusted friends? What do you do when you’re having a day straight from the compost heap?
Megan. MEGAN! We are so alike – (minus the 25 or 30 year age difference). Thank you for sharing this. The chocolate brownies are making my mouth water, should I report the picture? I am allergic to chocolate. (For what it’s worth, I gave up colas and Dr. Pepper at the same time I gave up chocolate – for the same reasons).
Now for the antidote for that type of bad day: Long journalling (written lament) session; long, long walk; long session at piano; also talking to the right, carefully chosen friend. On days like today it will be a bit tricky for me. I have just finished paying taxes, on top of a huge mechanic bill (and the car didn’t start this morning), so I will have to take my self-perscribed medicines in the proper order. For instance, I dare not try to pound the piano before I have taken the loooooooong walk.
Thank YOU Cherry!
Yeah, there’s nothing quite like journalling to get it all out. I’ve been so time-poor these last few years (small kids at home) that I haven’t done it much at all, but gee it makes a difference to be able to see your thoughts on paper.
I wish I could play the piano.
And…you’re kidding…your car wouldn’t start? After all I read the other day? Oh man! Oh Cherry. I am praying for you this morning.
“Dumb stuff in heads can cause heads to explode sometimes. That’s why God invented mouths: our release valves.” I love this! So well put, Megan. I often find that when I finally do talk about the stuff it really is that dumb and I end up wondering why I was getting so upset about it. But if I can’t talk about it (and chocolate etc hasn’t helped) then prayer is my go-to. I guess that’s the same as talking anyway, just talking to God instead of someone with skin on. 🙂
Amanda I hit “publish” and realised I hadn’t even mentioned prayer, so thank you. Of course. I think for me it’s so natural and part of every day life I don’t even think about it. 🙂
And, as you say, once I talk about it I wonder what it was that upset me so much in the first place too. It’s so real, yet so…dumb…at the same time. This is why God gave us other people.
Good girl! I am a lot like you…always afraid of burdening people with my troubles (that, actually, is one reason I blog…I get to vent but no one is forced to listen against their will!). But you are right — that’s why we have loved ones. To listen when we need it. Glad you figured that out…and keep it up! Hugs, Anna.
Blogs are good like that, aren’t they? I realised a while ago I used Facebook for the same reason – not to put some pity-status up and fish for concern (as so many people accuse others of) but just to say it out there, like talking out loud randomly at a bus stop. Just to say it. I had a funny experience while I was buying my Dr Pepper though, I saw someone I know vaguely. We’re friends on Fb. She asked me how I was. I said “yeah fine thanks”. I thought then “if I can’t say it out loud in person, I really shouldn’t be putting it on Fb”.
I could have. And it may have been a good thing if I did. In hindsight I think it was a BAD thing that seeing that person made me want to not…if that makes sense.
I’m sure you get it 🙂
Great post, Megan. I think we have a shared gene pool somewhere along the way. We did our two-long-day-drive-home Friday and Saturday. For some reason both hubby and I were cranky Saturday so our car just didn’t feel big enough for two people. We solved it by stopping for Dairy Queen – oh the magic of ice cream and chocolate. We made it home without passing through divorce court. When I have blue days usually having a good, HARD cry helps – unless it is something that just can’t be made better no matter what. Then I just need to live through my bad-days time. Life isn’t for the faint of heart or cowards.
Two days drive? THat’s Florida-Michigan? Oh wow. They’d be loooong days too. Glad there was ice-cream, and glad you made it home with your marriage intact.
I love what you say though, “life isn’t for the faint of heart or cowards”. You are so, so right about that!
First – sorry for the bad day. They’re never fun.
The band-aid approach can sometimes be quite effective, as a way to stabilize your emotions. Tackling the source of the problem can make matters much worse – you need distance, and time. I try to keep some Dr. Pepper (yes) and a feel-good book or DVD handy, as a first-aid kit. Knowing it’s there, placed as a premeditated step, makes a diufference
I consider myself extremely lucky. I don’t have many bad days any more. Things have arranged themselves so every day is a physically miserable day (past medical help), so facing this challenge has been something of a transcendental experience – the perspective gained in putting out the effort to achieve a useful level of daily function has made my old ‘bad days’ somewhat obsolete!
What you say is very wise. Very wise. I guess it’s knowing what the source of “the bad” is, and then you know best how to combat it. (Glad to meet another Dr Pepper lover, too!)
I’m so sorry to read about the pain in your days. That’s so, so hard. My husband has lived with chronic (and untreatable) pain for about 12 years, so I have a tiny understanding of the difficulty – but only tiny. Yes, it helps put things in perspective, but still…looking forward to Heaven, I reckon.
I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention…I just saw those bars of chocolate and everything else went right out the window….btw they do make Caffeine Free Dr. Pepper…I’m thinking the company is conspiring and keeping it from you guys in Tasmania…
To answer your question though yeah I do have trouble opening up to people. I have many reasons for not, such as not wanting to be judged because they wouldn’t understand (my own assumption there), they’re apathatic so why waste my breath, or like you said they have they’re own problems so why burden them. A lot of it is in my head…some is not. People (me included) put up so many walls due to pride, selfishness, vanity, apathy that it is hard to reach out at times.. I’ve gotten much better with that on my end so yeah talking with others definitely helps clarify and soothes the soul…no one is an island…
btw it makes feel good to open my cupboard and see my vegemite (and Milo) sitting there …:)…. My vegemite is almost all gone!!! Have a better week. ….cya mate
THEY MAKE CAFFEINE-FREE DR PEPPER???!!! We can’t even buy the bottles of it here, only cans. AND we’ve only been able to buy it again in the last 12 months or so (other than in the import speciality shops). I WANT SOME!!!!!! Do they make an organic version too? Is that even possible!!?? 🙂
By the way, I’ve been meaning to message you and say we FINALLY got around to opening the hot tamales lollies you sent back. They were nice…in a fake kind of way…interesting. The kids thought spicy lollies was a hilarious idea, and they gave one to all our visitors 🙂
So you liked your vegemite then? COOL!! I’ll have to bring some more over for you when I come.
And, on the other stuff…I hear you.
Here’s to blogging when we can’t talk, and to international friendships. Cheers, mate!