Sunday, 30 November 2014

Bad Days Depend on the Way you See Them.

If you're reading this then the likelihood is that you know all about bad days. You could draw a map of the Slough of Despond, you could describe intimately the fifty shades of grey and darkness that make up the colour of those bad times and you have measured exactly how deep is that pit of despair.

And we have days that start off bad and just get worse; days when we end up thinking that we are a worthless individual, unworthy to even pollute this planet with our presence. Our sins and iniquities weigh us down and we just want to die.

No – that's not an exaggeration, but it is often an exaggerated response to small hurts and minor transgressions. I remember that the last time I felt like that, I was looking at my bank statement which showed I had gone £8 overdrawn.

That £8 might as well have been £8 million judging by the way I felt. I'd been overdrawn before; I've been overdrawn since (admin has never been a strong point), but at that particular time, even a small unplanned negative balance was enough to throw me into the blackest despair.

Even in the midst of that despair however, I could hear distantly the voice of my more sensible self, telling me I was overreacting, and even laughing at all that drama.

I had a bad day recently too. A migraine meant I had to cancel plans and disappoint some clients. In the afternoon I decided, against husbandly advice and still feeling very woozy, to keep my appointment to donate blood, and had the misfortune to suffer a dramatic nosebleed while in the chair so that everything and everybody (all the nice nurses anyway) had to stop to mop me up and disengage me from the equipment. Apparently one is not allowed to donate blood through one's nose. I crept from the local town hall in abject humiliation.

Sensible Mary laughed at that one too – and advised me to write a blog on it! This time she was loud and clear.

That's because I'm well at the moment. Those same events, happening when the Black Dog of Depression was in residence, would have been enough to put me on the floor, to make me feel useless; an unsightly blot on the landscape of our fair land.

So sometimes we need to take a step back and look at things in proportion. We might not be able to feel any differently about the situation, but we need to intellectually know that we are over-reacting to minor events. They feel big and overwhelm us because our view point is from the dark pit of despair (that's something lower than the viewpoint of an ant, by the way). It's OK to feel this way, but we need to think as well.

The bank is used to people going overdrawn. They slap a £35 fine on you and forget it. The nice nurses at the blood donor sessions are used to people fainting, or being sick or having nosebleeds, they've already forgotten about it.

And I got a blog out of it: hey – everybody wins.

Mary
A Moodscope member.