Weighty Matters

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Some Days Just Suck

on May 22, 2013

Today is one of those days.

I can’t go into vivid detail because a lot of the suckitude involves someone else’s business.  Suffice it to say that this person’s situation has triggered a lot of stuff and it fell like I was mired in it all day long.  Tense to the point where I felt like I’d swallowed steel bolts that were jabbing my stomach, I only wanted to come home and chill out for a little while before going to Tai Chi which would, hopefully, help me relax even more.

I fed the dogs, ate a little dinner and fixed a mug of chai tea.  The porch was lovely in the late afternoon with a cool breeze and fresh ocean air.  I breathed deeply, processing out the stress.  Right up until I knocked over the hot mug of tea and spilled most of it on myself.  Luckily, most of it hit and soaked through my denim shorts with only a few light splashes against my skin.  While it still hurt, I didn’t seriously burn myself.  No so luckily, however, some of the liquid — a spare amount — managed to seep into the wrong parts of my iPhone.  It now acts like it’s stuck on mute.  If I make a call, the other person just hears static.

Everything else appears to be find except, you know, the phone features of the freaking phone.  I’m so annoyed.  I’m going to try burying it in a tub of raw rice overnight and see if absorbing the moisture fixes the problem.  If not then I need to find time tomorrow during the day to replace the phone.  I’m going away this weekend and feel like I need to have my communication connection.   Yeah, yeah, I used to travel all of the time without a mobile phone for most of my life, but now I’m used to it.  When traveling alone, I feel like the phone provides me with added security.  Plus, I’m going somewhere that I’ve never been.  Even with a map I have the sense of direction of a stranded clam.  There are good odds that I will get lost at least once while on the road.  It’s practically impossible to find a pay phone, so I feel like lifestyle and technology have put me into the mindset that I need the phone.  If not, I’ll stress about it the whole weekend.

Tai Chi was a welcome break, although I know that I was decidedly short on patience.  Normally, I enjoy being helpful to others, like the beginning students.  Tonight, I really wanted to not answer peoples’ questions, not see that they got their needs met, and just be left alone to practice my Tai Chi.  A co-worker also takes class and in the first five minutes she started to bring up the other situation.  Right then, I took care of myself.  I explained that I didn’t want to be rude but just didn’t want to bring it into the space at that time.  Fortunately, she got it and backed off.  Either that or what I thought was a calm, practical request really came out as a snarl.  Not sure.

In the interest of complete disclosure, I have spent the day wanting to eat anything and everything in sight.  The situation at work, while it is not focused on me, triggers some flashpoints and memories of similar situations in which I was involved over the decades at other places.  It’s really important for me to stay in the present

I wish I could say that I sailed through the day and remained abstinent from compulsive eating but I didn’t.  I stumbled through the day instead.  I was doing okay on my food until I left Tai Chi.  Although I successfully talked myself out of stopping for ice cream on my way home from class, I dove into some microwave popcorn and ate far more than I should have with some melted butter.  I didn’t even really taste it but just kept eating.  I know that behavior.  When I consume anything that frantically, it means that I’m trying to stuff down and control my emotions, mostly because I’m feeling like I have an emotional pinball game operating inside.

It’s 10 p.m. now and I’m exhausted.  Earlier I thought about taking a bath, but then remembered that I can’t talk on the phone.  Given my topic of a couple days ago,  I started worrying about how I’d get help if I slipped and fell in the bathroom without a fully functional phone.

That’s not good.  It is not healthy to let an outside situation upset me to such a degree anyway, and then to wrap it into the decision to not do something that I know will help me to feel better is ridiculous.

I’ve now changed my mind and am heading for the bathtub.  I’ll be super careful with my footing and still take the phone with me.  If some freak mishap occurs, at least I can text or email for help.

I can’t control the outside forces.  Instead, I need to work with what is within my control — my reaction to the forces and how much I let the reactions impact my self-care and recovery.  Regardless of what’s happened in the last 11 or so hours, for my own well being, I need to finish up this sucky day on a positive note.

7 responses to “Some Days Just Suck

  1. pinkpelican says:

    Sometimes I find it ridiculous how much I *need* the cell phone when for most of my life, there was no such thing. And yet … I caved about 15 years ago when I was living out in the sticks & my car was becoming unreliable. Even when pay phones were plentiful, they weren’t always where I needed them to be. Being able to contact my husband and AAA was a needful thing, & the cell phone made that possible. So, it’s not “silly” to worry about a non-functioning cell phone. It’s a tool that directly contributes to your safety, both at home & on the road. And now that it’s working again, there’s a chunk of stress out of your life.

    I think you were completely justified in asking your coworker to leave work-related stress at work. If you are worried that you over-reacted, ask her. If she says you were snippy, apologize and say you are working on that but you were dealing with a lot of stress & your emotions were a little wonky, and that you appreciate her forbearance. If she says you were fine, then tell her thanks & let it go.

    And while it sucks that you reverted to some uncontrolled behaviors, you caught yourself and are working on fixing it. I’d love to be able to control my emotions (& the resulting behaviors) 100% of the time, but honestly, no matter how hard I work at it, I’ll never achieve perfection. First, because I’m not now & never will be perfect. And second, because I’m not in control of what gets thrown at me, & sometimes no matter how centered & awesome I am, the crap that’s out of my control is bigger than my ability to deal with it at the moment it drops on me. (The corollary to this is, once we start dealing with it, sometimes in little pieces at a time, it usually becomes a lot more manageable.)

    All any of us can do is try to be mindful and strive toward doing our best. Don’t beat yourself up for being human. Celebrate how far you have come, that on this occasion when you had a little slip, you recognized it, caught it, stopped it before it got out of control, & are actively working to address whatever damage might have occurred.

    Hugs to you. You are awesome & you have made & continue to make such amazing progress. It’s incredibly encouraging to see how you deal with the obstacles that land in your path. It gives me ideas about how to handle my own obstacles. Have a great trip this weekend!

  2. So sorry abou the crap day…. I hear you!

    Here’s a tip for the iPhone: pack it in a plastic bag filled with (uncooked) rice. The rice draws the moisture out. Leave it for a few days (I know, I know, it’s your PHONE, but it is also EXPENSIVE) and test it again. With only a few drops, that may be all you need to get it back. (Maybe as a compromise pack it in the bag whenever you are not actively using it — you should still be able to hear it ring…)

    I dropped a Kindle in the bath and nearly killed it. Nothing was really working properly, except that I still had a screen display and could get some reaction from one of the buttons (but the wrong reaction). I left it in a bag of rice for quite some time (several weeks) and most of the function came back. Because I’d gotten a second Kindle, I put it back in the bag and left it for a couple of months — and now it works almost perfectly. Which is good, because I permanently killed the second Kindle (sigh).

    Hope tomorrow is better!

    • Mary Stella says:

      Thank you everyone.

      Soon after the problem occurred I did the rice thing. Shortly after my bath last night, the volume buttons started working again. When they did, I saw the indicator that the phone was locked in headphone mode.

      I tested it and found that I could hear conversation if I plugged in headphones. A little while later, although phone still thought it had headphones in, the speaker at least played ringtones and I could hear the clock alarm. I called my own voicemail and tested whether the mic was working. With those things assured, I knew my phone was useable!

      I left it in rice overnight and this morning the headphone feature is finally unlocked. All systems appear to be a go!

      This is one less stress to deal with today. As for the rest, I am relieved that the pink skin from the tea mishap faded and the area is only slightly sore. No big deal.

      I know I need to protect myself with some emotional boundaries which means nicely explaining to people that I need space from the other situation and won’t discuss it.

      I need a day of abstinence with my food plan. I’ll do my best one choice at a time.

      I’m very grateful for the support. Having this space to share helps so much. Thank you again!

  3. Skye says:

    Well, there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t been said, so good for you for your self-awareness and for overcoming your anxiety and doing things that are good for you and will make you feel better. Sleep well and I hope tomorrow is better.

  4. Susanne says:

    And, to add to Chrissy’s comments, you acknowledged what was going on and recognized the issues for what they were. We are not perfect people — everyone is entitled to sucky days.

    I totally get that you need your cell phone. I don’t have a personal cell phone, but I always take my work phone with me — even when I go for a walk. You never know when you’ll need one.

    So, enjoy your bath and have a sweet dream.

  5. Ouch. so sorry to hear about the sucky day.. and the sucky tea.. and the sucky phone, etc.. But the truly unsucky things are apparent here to me…1) Here you are writing about this.. honestly and openly and constructively.. wow.2)You know it’s just a sucky day.. and tomorrow will be better.. one dayat a time.. for the bad as well as the good! 3)You CAN text or call, and those of us who read this.. and get a message from you will KNOW it means there’s trouble, and you know that. 4)You are SO in tune with the reactions to your feelings.. to how that can drive the bus at times.. so hard for me to see that in myself sometimes.. denial gets to be so strong. 5) You fit in the bathtub. yeah! 6) You inspire me even on a sucky day. Thanks for being you. And may tomorrow be a good one. All the way around. Love and hugs. Chrissy

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