I had a bad month. I’ve been saying that a lot over January. It was one thing after another and I was just done. I was depressed and down and generally waiting for it to pass.
My boyfriend pointed out that I was taking things very hard and just not looking at all the good things I had and he was worried about me because it suggested I’d always be like that. Always taking things hard and getting depressed easily. At first I argued that I had a right to be sad and it’s not like I have a history of continuously having funks like this, then I realized he didn’t get it.
Some people feel better by looking on the sunny side of life and staying positive all the time, noticing what they have that’s good and focusing on it. That’s my boyfriend.
Some people need to grieve and be sad. Basically feel it and get it out of their systems. That’s me.
My first year of law school, I was depressed and I didn’t acknowledge it. I wanted so bad to be fine that I tried to be and I focused on the good and I pretended I was fine. And you know what, it didn’t work. I wasn’t getting any better. I didn’t start to feel better until I went into therapy and admitted that I wasn’t happy and talked about why.
My therapist said something that stuck with me since. She said you get to be sad. Yeah, that’s it, so simple but something that I never thought of that way. That there was no shame in it, that I had a right to my feelings.
So I let myself be sad. I didn’t get better right away. Of course not. But it was a step. It was the end of the denial stage of grieving. I stopped pretending I was fine. Since then, I’ve carried that lesson with me. Don’t lie, don’t put up a good face, just allow yourself to feel and get it out.
So last month, with everything that happened, that’s what I did. I let myself wallow. I let myself focus on all the bad and rant about the unfairness of life. And I moved on.
People grieve different ways. Some of them stay in denial for months. That’s me if I allow it, and it always ended with an irrational emotion ball exploding all over the place. Some people need that denial to take the grief a little at a time. Some people feel the grief, but focus on the good to keep from drowning in it. And some people need to drown in it, need to breathe it in and sink until they hit the bottom and push themselves back up.
I’m out of my funk now. And I still say I had a right to it. But there’s the other problem of the people around you. The ones who worry or (even worse) you make feel worse simply by your mere funky presence turning into a black hole for the happy people.
That one I’m still working on. Besides explaining my process to my boy, I’m not sure what else to do to keep it from affecting him besides leaving for a few days and getting a hotel room to go be miserable in. (Which I may do next time just to avoid infecting him.)
So, after the grieving, the sinking into depression, there’s the bounce back up part. And what’s that?
Getting your butt moving. I fixed the things I could, got back on the horse of life, found a new job, cut my hair, and got out to do stuff. That’s it, you go out and you live. If the thing stressing or depressing you is something material, you figure out how to deal with it and pay for it, and that’s it, door closed. If it’s something that can’t be fixed, you keep on living.
For those days, when you’re out of the funk and ready to live again, there are songs. Here’s mine 🙂
Nashville: One Works Better
Rascal Flatts: Stand
Katy Perry: Roar
Wilson Phillips: Hold On
Pink: F**kin’ Perfect
Jimmy Eat World: The Middle
Fun: Some Nights
Fun: Carry On
Nashville: Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet
Foo Fighters: Learn To Fly
Taylor Swift: Change
And of course, Idina Menzel: Let It Go
And step 3, you take the bad things that happened and turn them into fodder for your books. Happy writing 😀