Friday, January 14, 2011

Feeling a Little Gloomy?

Do you ever find your true emotions get buried deep, deep down in lew of the external stresses and symptoms? I actually forget sometimes that I need to allow myself to feel a certain way and not just treat the symptoms. I can be a classic "treat the symptoms" kind of a person. I'm very task oriented and I love to compartmentalize. Therefore if something is going wrong in someway, I make a list and I attack it with ferocity. This list could include phone calls, eating a healthy meal, running, cleaning, or working on craft projects. Basically, anything that keeps me occupied and busy and feeling as if I am doing something productive. I may even be attacking specific tasks that add the stress. But underneath is the real issue and I am a master at burying it deep and cleaning up on the surface. This list keeps me busy and focused and it takes my mind off of the emotional stress. The kind that sometimes takes away our ability to make rational decisions. Lately, I've been miss rational. Miss list maker. Miss task doer. Miss exhausted.

It took a rough night of sleep, (on the couch due to my poor congested husband's loud snores) a really not fulfilling and totally un-zen yoga workout, and getting a whole list of mundane tasks finished to realize that none of these things could possibly satisfy what I need right now. Moral of the story, I'm gloomy.

Gloomy= the feeling you get when you've gone too many days (or weeks or months! but I hope not!) without looking at the really emotional issue deep down inside.

Do you ever feel gloomy? Like there is a murky pond inside you where all those emotions sit waiting to be fished out. No light naturally shines in this pond. We must visit this gloomy place often enough to give it some sunshine! Being gloomy is a heavy feeling. Like sleepy eyelids and tired muscles.

Now, I'm not looking for pity because I am feeling gloomy today. I'm actually glad to be feeling gloomy because it means that I must immediately take action. I have to put down my lists and take the pressure off myself from doing specific tasks. It's time to shed some light in that ark space and figure out what's going on in there!

So what next? Well, I don't like to just accept that I'm gloomy and mope around making everyone else miserable. However, I do like to embrace it a little. This feeling provides me with contrast to the many happy things I have in my life right now and ultimately makes me feel quite thankful. And second, it gives me a true reason to really do something for myself. And I'm not talking about renting a movie and eating an entire tub of ice cream, I'm talking about setting aside time to actually take a look at myself and what I'm feeling emotionally and allowing myself to deal with it.

When I first recognized my gloominess, I made a promise to myself not to transform it into added stress and push it onto my husband or those around me. Instead I decided I would rationally bring up some of the things that could be bringing me down and make it clear to him that I just needed a few minutes of sympathy and to get some weight off my chest. A very successful conversation I might add. And then I decided to let out some tears. And not the "woh is me" "why does everything always happen to me"kind of tears, but the kind that release some tension and actually makes you feel better in the end. Sweet, salty release. ok, feeling a little less murky now! And now I sit here and write to all of you.

(On a side note: My little buddy J (the three year old son of the people I work with) just came into the office to give me a hug before his nap and tell me to have sweet dreams. Things like that make you smile no matter how gloomy you feel. I like to really let those moments penetrate and lift me up. Thanks little J. )

I'm realizing something about this blog. I knew from the beginning that it was good for me to get out my thoughts. I knew that I liked sharing my life stories, my recipes, my projects and experiences with friends and others who could benefit. But it only started occurring to me yesterday while on the phone with my friend K how much this blog does for me, emotionally. How much is pushes the gloomy right out from under my skin.

K was telling me about her job as a nurse and her search for a job that makes her happy. And as hard as it was for her to say out loud, she admitted that playing a traditional role as a nurse may not be what she is meant to do in her life. She cares about people and making them feel better, but the profession might not be her calling. She may never work in a hospital again like she always thought she would. And although nursing seemed to always be in her cards before, she is really starting to come to terms with perhaps a more nontraditional path (Go K!) After many years of studying in school, you can imagine how difficult this realization can be.  I, myself was in her shoes not so long ago.

I was a psychology major in college. I worked in the behavioral health field for a few years and had a promising start. I had Grad school, research, internships, and clinical work in my future. It was appealing at the time. It's fun when you're good at something. Who doesn't want to do what they are best at? Feel accomplished? and be exactly the thing you know how to do best? Well, me apparently. I liked helping people. I still like helping people. I enjoy seeing the weight lifted off a friend's shoulders, or a lightness in someones voice after our conversation. And I realized that I could help people even if I wasn't in the field of psychology, playing the traditional role I once thought was meant for me. And here I sit. Pouring my words out to whoever is listening, knowing that even if one little sentence can help just one person, I've done my job for the day.

And this my friends, is what really attacks my gloomy. Writing has given me a lot of hope and strength over the past couple of months. Every time I create a post, I feel infinitely better than when I started. And I feel privileged to have this medium in which to communicate and blessed to have good listeners in my life.

So if you find yourself feeling gloomy. It's ok. Embrace it. And then dig a little deeper and find a way to release some of that muck. Take the time for yourself to do what is best for your emotions and not just what covers up those deep, down darks. I promise you'll feel better. Right now, I know I do :) Thanks for listening and helping me indulge in what makes my gloominess go away.

Remember to BPositive



  1. I used to find myself in the gloomies years ago, before I knew who I really was. Going to school for Special Ed, having friends that really weren't friends, never feeling like I fit in. What was I suppsed to be doing with my life? I loved Special Education, all of the schools I was placed in felt right, but the school didn't, so I found a job as a preschool teacher and finished my classes at night. My pool of friends changed, I met a wonderful man, now my husband, and have two beautiful, talented, smart daughters ( and a new son-in-law that is just as wonderful).
    I am not a pre school teacher anymore, haven't been for years. What I do now as an event planner is exciting and different all the time. Did I think this is what I would do with my life? Nope, it just happened. I enjoy it, but it's a lot of work, and people take advantage. I go above and beyond the call to make the events feel special and individual to each client. That makes me happy. Do I still get gloomy, oh yeah, but my incredible family and my wonderful friends help with that, and they don't even know it.
    Do I still sometimes think what do I want to do when I grow up? All the time! I sometimes think that I am doing what I do for everyone around me, and it is true in part, I sometimes wonder after meeting clients, going to networking events, trying to get more work... what the HELL am I doing? But, bills need to be paid, and we need to eat, and don't get me wrong I like what I am doing. But as anything else in life, it is stressful!
    What do I do when I feel like this? Sit down with my husband, talk about what needs to be done, and we try to get it done. Does it always work? No, so we will give it a time frame and then decide on the changes that need to be made.
    It may feel better to write it down and talk about it, but if it still all stays the same, it isn't going to get better. There may have to be compromises in your plan to fix things, but if you work at it you will eventually get where you want to be.
    Have a vision of what you want that would be perfect for you. I don't mean winning the lottery, that won't fix anything, but a few bills. Here's my dream:
    We live in an old Inn, with rooms for a B&B, we serve breakfast, and the occasional dinner. Our daughter's mother-in-law lives down the road,( we love her) and does all of our baking.(YUM) This B&B is in the Northern part of the East Coast, and both of our daughters and their families live nearby.
    When we have the address we will send you a post. I'll see you in my dreams!

  2. Visualize your dream everyday. Think about it really strongly. And in anyway that you can chip away small ways that can help you start making your way towards it. It's not a crazy dream and it's not out of the cards. Keep it strong in your mind! I think it's amazing. And I think you're amazing!

  3. Wait, I need to get a tissue! xoxo

  4. I too need to remember to honor my gloominess, although I need to be better able to pull out of it!