You may have seen my posts on Facebook, Twitter, or WEGO Health tonight about the fire alarm that was set off in my office building, which ultimately forced me to walk down stairs from the 30th floor nonstop carrying my bag...in heels. Or maybe about how while trying to recoup on the couch tonight, I spilled the milk my helpful husband and gotten me (you know, to go with my cookies...), and soaked not only myself and the seat, but also my BlackBerry (which is now residing in its own biosphere of uncooked rice). Or, perhaps you were my poor best friend who tried to call me in a chipper mood and finally had to give in to my crankiness and let me off the phone. (Yes, this was before the phone got a milk+honey treatment minus the honey.)
Basically, if you had the great good luck tonight of passing me on the street you probably got a shiver and decided to keep moving. I am in. a. mood., as I like to put it. And honestly, I don't think it's altogether unwarranted. That futile trip down 30 floors was not only caused by BS (it wasn't a fire, but a burst water pipe in a separate company on the corner of the first floor of the building), and not only perpetuated by BS (property management was supposed to come on the PA system and tell us either "it's a real problem, get out" or "it's not an emergency, hang out" or "false alarm, have a seat")...but REALLY messed me up. As many of you know, Fibromyalgia does very angry things to tendons and muscles, especially around joints, and walking down all those stairs (again, in HEELS) really messed mine up (knees and hips). I also messed up my back standing in the stairwell for around 20 minutes before we actually started our way down. Last night I was up crying because of unexplained backpain and ended up taking both muscle relaxers and advil I had tried to skip...I really don't know if I stand a chance tonight. And we won't get into details of trying to stop shaking, trying to avoid falling down when my knee went from locked to buckled, and using SEPTA (Philly's mass transit system) in the wake of that fiasco. When I spilled my milk, I had to change out of my favorite warm super-soft fleece pajamas Shawn gave me as a gift, and when I found my BlackBerry suffered more damage than we thought (and WHY do phones insist on seeming ok for the first 10 minutes, THEN get the creepy white striped screen?!), I really got close to panic mode. Rayna (my best friend) and I may be "twins" most of the time...but occassionally when one of us is pissy the other just has to step back and let the crankpot get it out of her system...today was one of my turns.
Thinking about how this day is just not a good one (even Shawn suffered, he had to go out in the single-digit temps at 5:30 this morning to help get the ambulance out when it landed in the mud after a call) reminded me of a thought that occured to me a little while ago. After a somewhat typical round with my family of "you're cranky" "no I'm not, I always get upset about this same thing" "yeah but not this upset" "YES I DO", I pondered how we are told to deal with our emotions.
As teens and young adults under our parents' guidance, we are told to live in the moment and acknowledge or release our feelings. Don't bottle things up. Let it out now when it's a mole hill and it won't become a mountain. Teachers, older coworkers, even friends' parents join in the chorus.
But when I do that - speak up about what's bothering me and acknowledge my feelings in the moment as they happen - d'you know what they call it? Mood swings.
Yep, if I'm chattering along happily and stop to point out that some stupid joke a family member made about me isn't funny and hurts my feelings, my mom pops up with her favorite taunt "heads up, mood swing!". Har, har har. So funny I forgot to laugh. No really, I forgot, Mom. (I love my mom, I really do, and I'd be lost without her...but she has a couple jokes she uses to just get right under my skin faster than a splinter from a chopstick.) And within moments my innocent little "gee this bugs me" release in the moment becomes a hormone-filled water balloon of a mood swing flung at someone's head. I guess you might have figured out by now, I'm not the only one with a penchant for hyperboles in my family, and we frequently use them on each other.
I don't think this is fair. Using tonight as an example, I really could have EASILY blasted everyone who looked my way; bitten off every head I could reach; even spouted off a shocking collection of pungent explicatives in my posts online at the greater world wide web at large. I wasn't a saint - as I said, Rayna had to finally cut her losses with my bad attitude, and Shawn's gotten a couple of terse answers to some ill-timed questions. But I haven't told anyone off, haven't 'quit life', and haven't foul-mouthed my way off of people's follow lists. I've just expressed the facts about why I'm in a sour mood, with a little sarcasm thrown in for my own amusement.
Sometimes we have sucky days. Yes, on occassion it lasts far more than one day, too. I say let's just acknowledge them for what they are. Why pretend EVERYTHING has a silver lining? Why bury my frustration and feelings about the general "unfairness" of life from time to time? As long as I can see it clearly isn't some person's fault and therefore no one deserves to suffer my wrath about it...what's so wrong with saying "holy s*%tfest, Batman, this has been a LOSER day"?
I say 'nothing'! I say 'Carpe Crappium' - seize the bulls*%t - and fling it away! It doesn't mean I've fallen into some deep depression or some dark place mentally - believe me, there are far more tangible and significant changes you'll see if that happens. Maybe if I feel free to verbally cast off the roadkill sludge I feel life has slopped on me today I'll be able to stay on this side of the mental health spectrum. God knows there are enough ways people land in that mess (chemical, genetic, etc) that I don't need to ADD to the problem by stressing about wanting to 'release' my frustration but not wanting to be labelled "moody". And I'll even go you one further...I want to vent it without getting into a competition with you! Tell my why you sympathize, but end with "so I get why you're upset", not "now THAT was a bad day". If you really want to tell me, hold it for tomorrow, when I can get back outside myself and hear it with concern for you instead of just pity for myself.
So, for all the "moody", "emotional", "hormonal", and "hypersensitive" women (and men) of the world, this is for you: MY DAY SUCKED AND I FEEL FREE TO LET YOU KNOW!
Ahhhhh. Yes. That's better. Goodnight, see you in a new light tomorrow! (Hopefully then I'll be back in a frame of mind to tell you the AMAZING things that are happening with the UII+VU Photography project:))