Archive of ‘saddies’ category

The blarghs

June 1970

Art by gwendal (inspired by Young Love #80, June 1970)

I’ve got an unfortunate case of the blarghs. You know that feeling – nothing you do feels good enough, you feel like all of your friendships are the built upon pity (for you are a sad, pathetic creature) and you really just don’t amount to much of anything. Why are you here? What’s the point? You just can’t even, and it feels like maybe you never could and never will again.

The blarghs have plagued me for going on a week now. I took ill with a wretched head cold and it all went downhill from there.  When you’ve low energy and feeling unwell I think it’s a lot easier for those fat-dumb-ugly thoughts to start sneaking in, and man, I am afraid they’ve hit me super hard.

I know you are supposed to be kind to yourself during times like these, but I really just feel like slapping myself in the face and maybe lying down in the middle of the road.  I mean I don’t want to get run over or anything – Jesus, calm down, I am not that bad off – but I sort of feel like I just need to lie face down in a muddy puddle or something.  Like, rub my own nose in how bad I am feeling.  Why would I feel like that?  Why would I want to do that? I don’t rightly know.  But I can tell you that I am having a hard time mustering kindness for myself at this moment in time.

It’s funny though…I always think that when I am feeling badly about things and myself and life in general…maybe kindness toward others will help.  Maybe I should be giving away what I need the most?  I don’t know. My brain is fuzzy and dumb today and I can’t think straight or articulate things real good.

What do you do when you’ve got the blarghs and the ughs and the blues and the worst feelings? I could use some suggestions folks, because I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, this is not a nice way to feel.

On thick skin

weirdo

My sisters jest that “Sarah had a feeling once. It made her very uncomfortable.  She didn’t like it.”

I don’t know that I have always been this way.  I recall being very tender-hearted and sensitive at a young age, but somewhere along the way I must have learned that this is a dangerous thing, allowing oneself to feel things too deeply, and worse – letting the world see that you feel things too deeply.

I have known my fair share of people who value cleverness over kindness, those who would pride themselves on their “brutal honesty” and that they “pull no punches”. I believe you can’t have brutal honesty without a brute at the very core and I am no brute; rather than fight like with like, I learned that I must toughen up and develop a thicker skin to deal with these people and deflect their unkind cuts, their churlishness and rancor.

Over the years this thick skin has become an intangible but very organic feeling armor,  calloused in some places, worn through in others. I’ve learned not to cry, or if I must weep, I steel myself against my tears, allowing them to fall and harden and become stiff patches which I will harvest and use to mend those tears in my armor where the chinks are beginning to show. These tears, now fortifications, are protection against the very things that caused them – and those things will not make me cry again.

Later in life I am learning that this thick skin, this armor, does not always serve me well.  It has allowed me to only to half-feel, or not to feel at all…. and this lack of feeling, this numbness, this blocking of emotion and engagement, has stunted some relationships before they had time to flourish. Or perhaps it inhibits me from pursuing the friendship or relationship or opportunity at all.

I am learning that this skin is not one in which I can live in permanently…but nor is it one that I need to shed completely. I think it is something I can don when I know I will be in a situation during which I can become hurt, where there are people whose motivations are suspect, whose words are inconsiderate and thoughtless at best or harsh and hateful at worst. People with personalities that jab and poke and dig, and from whom I need protection

And yet I am realizing that to live fully and immersively, I need to be able to quietly slip this skin off, fold it up and stow it away and allow myself to be unguarded and vulnerable with those whom I feel safe. I do have these people in my life, and they are good people, and they deserve that part of me.  And I know I deserve that experience.  Of being fully loved, of crying if it comes to that, and allowing myself to feel.

Here’s to you, my thick skin. For growing and developing as I needed you, for protecting and preserving me, and for changing and adapting to fit my transformation as I move forward, feeling my way through this world.

 

 

You’re OK, I’m not so great.

Skeletor Is Love image exclusively for unquietthings.com, created by ghoulnextdoor

As I may have alluded to in the past, and well, if you’ve been paying attention or if you know me, like, at all – you know that I’ve got some Issues.  Of course, who doesn’t, right? But your issues aren’t my problem, and I can only work on me.  Sorry about that.

And so the time has come for me to actually put in that work.  I am nearly 40 years old and that’s a long time to be hauling so many hurts and anxieties and problems around. I don’t want to continue into the next decade of my life without at least having tried to address some of these things.

A local therapist was recommended to me by a friend and I have already been to two sessions. Hooray for follow-through! Normally that’s a problem for me, too.  The office is located -literally- about three minutes from my house, in a small plaza with ample parking. She’ll see me after work in the evenings.  So many things that might make me anxious about the act and process of simply being there are already resolved! I feel good about this.

Our first visit was more or less a “getting to know you session”; she asked a lot of questions about the issues I am facing now, my history of certain things, my family and my family’s history. She told me a bit about herself, how she got started, and what she focuses on now; when she mentioned her background in addiction and substance abuse, as well as trauma, I knew this was probably a good fit.

I spent most of my second visit biting my lip and desperately trying not to sob as I found myself going on and on for nearly 40 minutes about my mother.  I couldn’t cry.  I wanted to, but I am not there yet.  And it’s not really a sad cry; it’s more an anger thing.  I can’t seem to properly express my fury, it usually ends in a deluge of tears.  But I am not there yet with this lady, and I don’t cry in front of strangers.  My sister points out that your therapist is the one person you definitely shouldn’t worry about crying in front of.

Maybe I’ll get there in time.

My initial reason for being there was my constant anxiety, however, she believes that I suffer from dysthymia – a low-level, persistent form of depression – and seems to want to focus on that. I’ll go along with that for now.  I don’t think she’s wrong, and who knows, maybe my anxieties are a symptom of that.  Maybe it stems from something else altogether.
I’m open to exploring different possibilities, and I am not so naive as to think that there’s an immediate fix to be found. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

She shared with me this article, written last year by Therese Borchard: 10 Things I Do Everyday To Beat Depression. I expected it to be kind of cheesy, but in attempting to keep an open mind I gave it a read and I think there are some really helpful things to be found in the items that the author lists, and I would definitely recommend this as a worthwhile read.
The first thing Borchard talks about is how she swims early every morning, noting that “exercise is the most powerful weapon [she uses] everyday to beat the demons”, and that all aerobic workouts release endorphins,which,”while helping to block stress hormones and produce serotonin”, also can relieve depression.

I haven’t got a pool and I am not going to schlep down to the Y every morning, but I have begun taking a half hour walk every morning around 5:30am, just after I get out of bed. Once you are actually out of bed, there is something so wonderful about that time of morning. Though people may be just waking up, the world is mostly still and silent.  No cars on the road, no children playing in the yard, and most importantly – no one is ringing me on the phone at that time of day.  It’s glorious.  I wish it could be 5:30am all day long.

I have found, in the past few days I have got much more energy and I am probably twice as productive.  Is this sustainable?  Can I keep it up?  That I don’t know.  But I did it today, so that is what I am trying to focus on for now.

I may slowly begin implementing some other suggestions from that list; for example, I like the idea of taking a minute or two to record the little joys of the day. It is the little things, so often, that provide unsuspecting moments of delight when one is fraught with anxiety and sadness.  Taking time to collect these moments and appreciate them seems like a nice thing to slow your racing heart and still your crazy thoughts for time.

Power smoothies, however, can fuck off.  Not in my house.

*The Skeletor Is Love image has been created exclusively for this post.  We are not making a comeback.