I’m sure you’ve heard that saying before, lol. Ha…man, the 80’s were a trip. Anyway, that saying comes to mind because I’ve been enjoying this week’s pity party. That’s right, I’ve been allowing myself to feel pitiful all week. A full on “woe is me – all I want to do is crawl under my bed and hide” type deal. Most of it stems from the not sleeping. I’m bordering on exhaustion and that always muddles the brain, which then makes it so much easier for me to believe my BS.
My Divinity had this to say, “Pity is counterproductive, so stop it.” Then this morning She whispers to me, “I’m not telling you to stop feeling the way you feel, but instead, take your feelings outside.” That rolled into the vision of me as a Life Coach / Psychologist type dealing with a patient who is depressed. I don’t know if we’re talking depressed as in full on, diagnosed, may benefit from meds, depressed or just the drama type depression some folks put on when they’re stressed and want an excuse to not do something they know they want to do (RESISTANCE – read about it in The War of Art, Steven Pressfield). I suggested an activity to my patient / client and they responded with, “I can’t. I just don’t feel like doing…” So I channeled my Divinity and said, “How did you get to today’s appointment?”
Client: I drove.
Me: How’d you do that?
Client: What do you mean? I got up, got in the car and drove it here.
Me: And now that you’re here, you still feel depressed right?
Client: (dramatic sigh) I sure do. I just feel so down…
Me: Okay, so if you can bring your feelings here, you can certainly take them to the beach.
Me: Or to a movie, or out to dinner. Or even to the gym.
Client: But I feel so listless, I have no energy. I just want to lie in bed.
Me: Yes, those are all things you want to do, but you can chose to do something different.
Client: No I can’t. I’m depressed. You don’t understand what it’s like. I just don’t feel…
Me: I’m not asking you to stop feeling depressed. I’m asking you to stop giving in to what you think and start DOING something. Take your feelings with you if you’d like, it’s all the same to me.
You see where I’m going with this right? So often, people tell you to stop feeling how you feel – they tell you to get over it, suck it up, look on the bright side, etc. Well, having been deep in that “i feel like not moving for the rest of my life” type depression, looking on the bright side isn’t something that comes easily. But I notice my ability to make decisions wasn’t gone. Impaired maybe, but not gone. And my body still functioned – I still got hungry, still had to go to the bathroom every once in a while…so it stands to reason that even when you’re in your darkest of dark places, if your body still functions, your brain is still relatively operational, you can function well enough to take you and your mood outside. If only as far as just across the threshold so you’re outside your home, that bit of movement is a (warning, cliché ahead) step in the right direction. At least you get a change of scenery out of it, eh?
Or maybe not. I know for me, the idea that no matter how poorly I “feel” – by feel I mean having those feels that zap my drive or steal my mojo. No matter how bleak my mood, instead of giving myself a pass on DOING anything productive, I’m going to do what needs to be done anyway. I notice I manage to drag myself to work no matter how I feel. So it stands to reason that I can take my feelings where ever I go and still get done what I need to get done. I can just as easily have my pity-party at the gym as I can on my couch. I can feel just as numb sitting outside getting some much-needed sunlight as I can curled up in my bed.
I don’t have to wait to feel “better” before I DO what needs to be done. As long as my body works the way I want it to, I can DO anything.
(oh those 80’s…I’m telling you, good times, good times…)