Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Being Human

You know those days that just absolutely suck? Today was one of those for me. I am not going to go into all of the reasons on here but just take my word for it, today was a bad day.

I spent the first half of the day trying to follow my normal routine and just go through the motions hoping that it would make me feel a little better. Once I got to the point where I started crying in the middle of Publix I decided that I just needed to call it a day. I spent the second half of the day doing a lot of nothing.

We as a culture have a need to try and fix negative emotions. When someone is sad, we want to cheer them up. When they are angry, we offer solutions to fix the problem. When they are anxious, we tell them to calm down. When someone has a bad day, we usually tell them to suck it up. You know, give them some perspective about how it could be so much worse, how they need to look on the bright side or how there are starving kids in Africa. We tend to make ourselves feel bad or minimize these emotions by comparing them to other people’s situations. You don’t need to justify your problems or feelings to anyone. Let me repeat this. YOU DON”T NEED TO JUSTIFY YOUR PROGLEMS OR FEELINGS TO ANYONE. Everyone reacts differently to things. Some thing that may really upset you may not even bother me, but that doesn’t take away your right to be upset about it.

Today I didn’t want to look on the bright side. I didn’t need anyone telling me that tomorrow was a new day or that things would get better. I didn’t need anyone shoving their wise words of optimism down my throat. I needed to allow myself to feel everything that I was feeling. To be pissed, upset, frustrated, scared and anxious and not worry about anyone's judgment. (Including my own)

Feeling these things used to scare the crap out of me. I thought that I needed to remain positive and optimistic all of the damn time. I thought that if I cried I was weak or if I was angry I was a bad person. I thought that by giving into these emotions I was giving up. I thought that I always had to be the strong one and negative emotions were not included in that persona. I thought that if I allowed myself to feel these things they might not ever go away. That maybe I would turn into negative Nancy and just be the pessimist that everyone hates to be around.

Today I didn’t want to be level headed. I was frustrated and I wanted to be that 5 year old that threw the “this isn’t fair” fit and I didn’t want anyone stopping me. I wanted to try my therapist’s favorite phrase and “sit with” the feelings. I didn’t want to try and distract myself or change them. I know that I could have called a friend or watched a happy/funny movie but I didn’t want to do that. I also didn’t even want to use the eating disorder which for me shows a lot.

Feelings are what make us human and unfortunately we don’t get to pick and choose the ones that we want to feel. Wouldn’t we all love to be happy and optimistic and never feel a hint of anything bad? Of course we would but this isn’t realistic. We all have bad days, hard times in our lives and all of the negative emotions that come with them.  

Next time you find yourself feeling a negative emotion or just having a bad day, remember to be kind to yourself. Try and give yourself the time and space to feel and process it. Even though it may not be fun, it’s not going to last forever. Just like positive feelings, negative feelings come in waves and if dealt with properly won’t last for long.

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