You Don’t Have To Be Happy All The Time

I’m going to admit that I’m feeling vulnerable right now – I’m feeling very vulnerable and I’m going to share about feeling vulnerable because I know other people feel this way and that they don’t talk about it. For some reason, unless they witness me in one of my lesser fine moments, many people have a hard time believing that I am easily stressed out, have horrible anxiety, and times when I feel really unhappy. Sometimes I can pinpoint the exact reason that I feel unhappy, and sometimes I’m simply floating in my own sea of woe – wondering how I got there.

Sometimes I’m unhappy for a few minutes, sometimes it’s a few days – at the very worst it can lapse into a weeks. I don’t really make it to months anymore which I think is a sign of growth and progress. I guess when people see my crystals, get a whiff of my patchouli, or see me sitting and reading a book called “Your Illustrated Guide To Becoming One With The Universe” – they think I’ve got it all figured out; surely I have followed this guide and am already one with the cosmos. What they don’t realize is that I’m reading that book because I constantly lose touch with my universe and like the rest of the world I have the ability to deconstruct into a Britney Spears hot mess circa 2006. (In her defense, I’d be a hot mess too if I went from Justin Timberlake to Kevin Federline)

I had a rough day yesterday, and it came on top of a few. I looked in the mirror and I had my signature stress hives creeping up my neck – because feeling crazy isn’t bad enough, you should also look it. I mentally high-fived my intuition for choosing to wear a scarf that day. I felt like I was fighting a forest fire and just when I would get one little section out, another would flame up. And it’s not a huge fire, it’s moderate – which I guess makes it less of a forest fire and more like a small scattering of twigs I’m responsible for – but every time I dosed one out another one popped right up. That’s how I felt. And if feeling this wasn’t bad enough, I also felt guilty for feeling it. Surely they are children starving somewhere, or a war being fought – is my speck of a life really that bad in comparison? Maybe not, but there are always going to be things going on that are terrible – and yeah, that’s valid. There’s war and starvation but there is also your world, and as a singular human being that’s all you know, it’s what you live in.  And if everything else fell away one day it would just be you and all that you come with in that space. The secondary world can give us perspective but it’s not some basis of contrast you need to use to undermine your experience.

I try not to worry too much about feeling sad because I know it can leave as quickly as it came and be replaced with moments of joy simple and small. For instance, as I was writing this ‘Pepper’ by the Butthole Surfers came on the radio and it made me so happy – Not only because it’s a great song, but because I still think that a band named “Butthole Surfers” is as awesome and funny as I did when I was 11. It made me think of how back then all I had to worry about was collecting all the Star Wars Pez dispensers, and when Prince was going to come out with a new song. Then I realized I’m still very worried about these things – except now I also have to worry about finding an apartment I can afford, and figuring out when my car insurance payments got delinquent enough for them to terminate my policy. Man, I wish I was 11 – no wonder I get emotional.

When the day had finally passed, I went straight home. I stretched for an hour on a yoga mat in front of a space heater and wondered if that counted as hot yoga. I ate some chicken for dinner and took a bath (I want you to imagine this occurred at the same and I won’t give you the assurance that it didn’t) Sometimes I really feel out of touch with my universe, and that’s okay – to be a little lost for a moment. However, when I find myself off my path it’s important to remember it’s cool to wander off for a little while, but you should make an effort to find the trail again. Otherwise you might end up like Hansel and Gretel and get eaten by a witch.

When I’m feeling low the best thing I can do for myself is simply- to do things. And I know that’s the hardest possible idea when you feel low. I’m pretty melodramatic at my core – after a bad day I just want to flop face first on my bed and whine. I don’t want to go for a walk, or nourish myself, or be around people – but these are the things that are healing for me and it’s just about getting over that uncomfortable hump and forcing yourself to do a little work. I always want to work, sometimes it’s just really hard to metaphorically and physically roll out of bed and get going. That being said my Therapist has recommended I switch from boxes of wine to bottles so I don’t drink “as much” wine and at our last session she was the one who cried, so I think I am winning at therapy.

This doesn’t embarrass me, telling you this – whoever you may be. Maybe we work together, maybe we dated, maybe we went to college together and always thought we’d be best friends but now you just stalk my Facebook (don’t worry I stalk yours too) Whoever you are, my only hope is that somehow -my documentation of my speck of a life gives you something. Whether you’re just into emotional roller coasters, cat memes, or are here for a good time – thanks for being in my universe. I see you there. I’m not embarrassed to tell you I have panic attacks or pay a professional to listen to my woes – in fact, I’m pretty proud. I’m embracing my yin and yang, light and dark, water and fire, I’m wrong and I’m right – it’s black and it’s white, we fight we break up, we kiss and make up. I may be confusing my emotions with a Katy Perry song, but I’m not sure. I’ll bring it up in therapy next week. But it’s important to remember that with the downs come the ups and that with intense vulnerability comes invincibility. Every rut has a bottom be it shallow or deep, and there’s always a way out whether it’s a hand, and olive branch, or you scramble out a muddy mess.

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