Yesterday I had an inexplicable “ill mental health day”. I have no idea what else to call it. You know what I mean, when you just feel absolutely rubbish for no identifiable reason. I was grumpy, tired, sensitive.
The kids always seem to sniff out weakness and pick these days to push their luck. I tried to breathe through one of them sneezing into my eyeballs whilst the other one ate lip balm. In the end, eldest was mean to youngest, I told off eldest, eldest shouted at me – and I cried. A grown woman, not even master of her own living room.
And man was I hungry. Seriously, I ate southern fried chicken and potato skins for lunch and pizza for dinner, and if someone had stuck a burger down in front of me I can’t deny, I would’ve eaten that too.
These days are hard. When you don’t know why you feel like this, how do you go about changing it? There’s no event you can leave, or person you can stop communicating with, there’s no particular circumstance you can think logically about and rationalise your way out of.
And when you can’t explain it to yourself, how do you go about explaining it to others? At work, even at home – can you, should you, try to share that you’re feeling like this?
So the little anxiety devil leaps on your shoulder – “you best not say anything, they’ll think you’re mad! Moping around and crying for no reason? Pathetic. What anyone sees you in you, I’ll never know”. Your feelings are internalised, compounded with guilt, shame, embarrassment – you keep it all inside.
Except you can’t keep it ALL inside, it’s impossible. Like stuffing an old rag into a hole to fix a leak, that emotion will seep out whether you like it or not. I find myself getting easily frustrated and snappy, upset at the imperfections around me.
This whirlpool of emotion and the inability to figure out how to tackle it means that these days are often repeated… though they really needn’t be, since they weren’t instigated by anything tangible in the first place.
So I guess I should say at this point that, as I still haven’t managed to figure this one out myself, I don’t really have any words of wisdom for you.
Except to TALK.