Battling the Blues

Yoga stretches.

Deep Breaths.

Jimmy Fallon Clips.

Self Help Books.

Ed Sheeran tracks.

Chocolate chip cookies.

Staring at my dog.

In no particular order, these are the things that have made me feel slightly okay with some of the tough days I’ve been battling. And I’m still looking for other ways to help distract my mind from stress. Overworking and planning for the future has exhausted me. When I first started this blog, I was imagining that I could frequently share with you the grand details of my “quest.” However, the only quest I have been on lately is more so of an internal one. The details of which are not as grand, or picturesque as the ones I am so eager to share usually.

But then I thought…man…if the only time I ever write a post on here is to share some grand adventure, then I would really just be giving you some falsified sweetened version of my life. I love to travel. I love to go on adventures. I love to take pictures. I love to share these happy moments and radiate positivity as much as humanly possible, but sometimes…or rather, most of the time…I definitely am not feeling as joyous as I may portray. I never want to be that negative person who is always complaining, bitching, and whining about life and how shitty my day is. Trust me, I’ve been that person in the past and I cannot go back to her. She’s exhausting, unproductive, and downright unpleasant.

So why am I sharing this with you? Well, part of me is writing for my own benefit of release but I figured there’s probably more than a few of us who battle the blues quite frequently. Those of us, who try so damn hard to crack a smile even when we feel like shit. So what happens when we suck at trying so hard to suppress those crappy feelings we all have from time to time? Well, let me share with you the UNSUCCESSFUL ways of how I’ve been trying to “Keep calm and carry on.”

AUTO PILOT MODE: My 1st line of defense against any negative thoughts or feelings is to simply still my mind. Silence the inner and outer voice in your head. Don’t let your thoughts overpower you. CONTROL YOUR MIND. I’ve gotten so good at this that I could literally sit for several minutes at a time with not a thought on my mind. I could work for hours and drive for miles and not give any REAL attention to what my hands and feet are actually doing. They call it “going through the motions.” I call it auto pilot. And it has worked in the past for battling the blues, aka the shitty times in my life, but the downfall? Nightmares. Yep, I’m damn near 30 and I have horrific acid like dreams that wake me from my sleep either in tears or in sweat. The dreams are so vivid, so real…they are always my greatest fears, concerns, and pains amplified in my subconsciousness. Before I graduated from college,  I had a reoccurring dream that I was forever stuck in high school, glued to a student desk always behind from graduating when I should have. I dreamt some varied version of this dream for years. Failure, death, heartbreak, and deception are all repetitive themes in my most horrific dreams. These are the same things I fear the most in my conscious awakening. Silencing them during the day only has made those feelings 100x more disturbing during my rest. The mind is relentless.

FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT. I’ve always hated that line of advice, but it seems to work really well for some people. Some people are better at masking their true feelings than others. I, however, have never been one of those people. Even when I try my absolute hardest to fake it until I make it, I end up just making it worse. For instance, a few days ago a client of mine came in to see me and she asked the common question “How are you?” Being in the business of beautifying peoples’ hands, I looked down at her hands as I answered her with a simple “I’ve been okay. I’m good.” Right after I answered her, she took her hand and lifted up my chin so that I would be looking straight into her eyes. I was immediately taken back by her abrupt gesture. She wasn’t buying it. “Look at me. How are you REALLY doing, Kimmy?” She asked with her hand still forcing my head forward and my gaze. In that brief moment, all of my “faking it” and my auto-pilot mode abruptly shut off on me and I thought I was going to cry a pool of tears into the hands of this intuitive woman. I teared up, my eyes got blurry and I stopped faking it. I told her what was up with me, and after a good hour or so of back and forth venting…I felt much better. So the lesson here? That whole “faking it until you make it” bullshit doesn’t work for most of us. And if you think it is working, you’re probably only lying to yourself. Not to mention, if you suffer from chronic bitchy resting face…you aren’t going to fake shit to anyone. Know this, the better advice then would be to “Be real and deal.”

TALK IT OUT. Now this has got to be one of the most common ways that anyone who’s battling the blues will try to find comfort. It’s always helpful to talk to someone about your problems, right? WRONG. Why? Because that answer will always depend on WHO you choose to talk to. Of course it feels good to air your problems sometimes, we all need someone to be there for us in times of need and listen. But that same problem can seem even bigger if those people don’t know how to listen. Or maybe they do know how to listen, but they don’t know how to help you. Most people only HEAR what you are saying and they hear only with the intent of offering a response or reaction. The only ones that can really help you are the people who LISTEN with the intent to understand you. Sometimes it’s difficult to differentiate between these types of people, but it’s important to recognize them. They could make your problems seem better or worse. I still battle with this. I’ve always been very expressive of my feelings and thoughts to most of the people in my life, and I have to constantly remind myself who’s worth talking to because it hurts more when the people you love don’t seem to understand you and don’t make the proper efforts to do so. Anyone who has ever been through hard times in their lives know that most people do not know how to cope with someone else’s sadness. Most people can’t even sort through their own feelings, much less help you with yours. That doesn’t mean they don’t care, or that they love you any less. It just means that you need to care who the hell you share your feelings with, because often times, the ones that you want to help you don’t even know how to. We must be selective with who we turn to, don’t go cryin’ on just anyone’s shoulders!

These are just my personal accounts of the unsuccessful ways I’ve tried to help myself when I am feeling down. What hasn’t worked for one, may work for another but it always helps to consider different ways to start feeling better about whatever it is you may be dealing with. I am still always in search of new remedies so that I don’t burden those around me with my stale mood. I’ve learned that giving up on yourself in times of great need is the worst you can do to yourself and everyone around you. Scream out loud. Cry it out. Punch a sack of potatoes. Do whatever it is you need to do to battle the blues that we so commonly deal with in our daily lives. Find what works for you, and be prepared to change it up every now and then. We all deserve to be happy, but let’s be honest, it’s unrealistic and kind of creepy to be happy all the damn time.

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