I sat on a bench this afternoon for about fifteen minutes with my eyes closed feeling a little sad and down. I was trying to find that place inside of myself where I could be okay with not being okay*. Sitting there, trying to breathe deeply both emotionally and physically, I noticed as the sun came out from behind a cloud, it’s rays momentarily illuminating my eyelids. The wind blew, chilling my right cheek and lifting my hair so that it brushed my lips. A person walked by in flip flops, smoking a cigarette and my senses were so overwhelmed by the smack of her shoes and the stench of her smoke, that for a moment I got out of my head. I headed back to my desk, feeling just a little bit better about feeling kinda crappy.
*Being okay with not being okay is the state of mind I search out when all the little things I’ve spent a lifetime not liking about myself mount and become nearly overwhelming. When all the shoulds, seemingly missed opportunities and disappointments become almost unbearable. When the life I lead now seems to be, in my own harsh estimation, dull and unsuccessful. In those moments I can’t do anything but slow down the tape that plays in my head, the one that beats me up for feeling bad and judges me for judging myself. I try to give myself a little space to accept the fact that I feel these things, reminding myself all the while that feelings aren’t necessarily reality. They may feel deeply real, but they don’t have to be. That reminder lights a little spark, which enough to guide me back out and onward.
One of my tricks when I get into that mental space (which is too often than I care to admit) is to look at myself as I am today – to not look backwards at the paths not taken or the particular mood I’m in – just neutral snapshot me today and say “Would I like me? Would I want to hang out with me?” Most of us are the people we’d want to hang out with (and there’s so many of us that like to hang out with you, I can’t imagine you’d feel differently).
Most of us are the people who try this hat on for a little, try that one next, maybe leave a good spot a little soon or delay leaving a bad one. And it sounds like you just left a high adrenalin situation w/ the work project. I’ve had some of those crashes too after a big deadline, where you just feel a little like an empty shell, but don’t quite have your bearing enough to fill it yet.
Hope you get your equilibrium back soon (and hope this helps)
You know what peps me up when I’m feeling down?
A little cocaine. It does the trick every time, and I get so much done!
Thank you Scott. A constructive solution, if I’ve ever heard one.
Scott, where do you get your cocaine? I’m not a undercover cop so you can trust me. Really. I swear. Cross my heart. By the way, where do you live?
Sometimes it’s good to wallow in those sad moods. I’m a big fan of occasional wallowing. Did you ever read the book, “Care Of The Soul” by Thomas Moore? He puts forth that very idea in much more beautiful and poetic language than me.
Of course failing that, I’m sure Scott would be happy to cut you a few lines of his stash.
Wow, do I relate! This has been my perpectual struggle. But you’re mindful and that’s a huge step in the right direction.