I’m wrestling with a die-hard demon.
While I’m busy following my bliss (new mom, new house, new friends), turning about face once every four years or so to clear the slate and redefine my new persona, usually to match new surroundings, like a chameleon, I sometimes trip over my own shadow.
That is, my dark half emerges and gets in the way. Normally jovial (though not as jovial as my dependably jovial husband), when I don’t get what I hoped for, or when moment-to-moment circumstances fall short of expectations, my mood can turn sour and I’m no fun to be around.
In 2011 and beyond I’d like to work on being kinder. But I need to know:
How do you pull out of a tailspin?
How do you resist the spiral of negativity once you’re on the downslide?
My husband says, “I just remember I have a great wife; a great daughter; we own a home—we’ve got it good.” Hearing this makes me smile. Getting an eyeball-popping bearhug makes me laugh. Sometimes we catch it in time, and combat irritability or anger by squeezing the air out of each other. We wheeze so hard we laugh, and laugh so hard we wheeze.
The other day I was in such a funk, even the bearhug-a-thon didn’t work on me. Then what?
How long do you sulk until you snap out of it? How well do you communicate when you’re in a bad mood?
Can we be in a bad mood and still communicate with warmth and love?
It’s a challenge, and it takes maturity and presence-of-mind to accomplish (which comes harder to some than it does to others, and which might come harder Friday night after a long week than it does Monday night after a long weekend), but I believe it’s possible.
I believe I can do it.
I believe my husband deserves kindness. He’s the kindest person I’ve met, which is both lucky and not a mistake; I was hoping to marry someone kind, above all else, and it was only when I stoutly decided to avoid jerks that David came into my life.
Maybe I can adopt a “Stop, Drop, and Roll” maneuver.
Stop. Look. Love.
Or, Stop. Breathe. Smile.
I need a technique! I need a mantra!
My sister and I used to say, “Shrug it off. Shrug it off,” twice, and shrug our shoulders. Once she was my funk-angel and helped me out of a funk when she encouraged me to shake it, shake it, shake my body all over in bursts of movement. It worked to exorcise the demon! Whatever tension I was holding was released.
I’m lucky to have a partner who has a winning sense of humor. I won’t tell all his techniques for diffusing me like a bomb, but…
Once I went to the bathroom for relief during a “heated discussion,” and when I came back to continue “discussing,” there were two shots of vodka on the kitchen counter, and he said: “Drink.” (This was funny and a distraction because we seldom drink. Maybe a couple glasses of wine a week.) (That qualifies as seldom, right, people?)
Another time, he said, “You’re cute when you’re mad.”
I mean, come on! That takes compassion—to not put down a rabid bitch, but fit a muzzle on ‘er.
If you’re willing to share, I really want to know,