Yesterday was kind of rough for me emotionally. It ended up in a vague tweet:
Since no one in this world is perfectly balanced all the time (and if you say you are then I'm calling you a liar!), I'm sure you'll know this feeling: as soon as one part of your life seems like it's going great, another aspect of your life goes awry and it disrupts your balance so badly that everything comes crashing down. The perspective of the one negative thing (major or minor) is so incredibly strong that no matter how awesome everything else is, you shut down into a mess of a person who tends to have forgotten the good you were cheering five minutes prior.
In the past with a negative event, I would have done exactly what was in my tweet: tell myself how much of a failure I am, crawl into pajamas, grab a large amount of food to comfort me, and eat alone while watching a marathon of a television show, or perhaps a string of movies. I would feel numb and though thousands of calories would be consumed, I would never taste one bite.
This self-destructive behavior always led to awful results: more major swings in my mood (with my depression and anxiety), physical pain from binging and the water retention that follows, shame in my actions, and weeks (if not longer) of shutting myself down from friends, family, and co-workers.
Thankfully I didn't have any ice cream in the house (or any “junk” food for that matter), I had watched all episodes of Drop Dead Diva on my DVR, and I had just done my hair for the day. This gave me a second to stop and recognize that my old ways of coping simply couldn't fly anymore. Instead, I tried to read a book, sit in the sun, and email with friends. Today, I woke up, put on makeup, did my hair, and put on a pretty dress. The actions of just getting ready to face the world made my mindset less extreme – less “woe-is-me.” I worked from Starbucks for a couple of hours, then went to lunch with a friend. I got 4 compliments on my pretty dress from total strangers. I said “thank you” and believed their words.
Tomorrow, I'll get up again, put on my makeup, do my hair, and put on a pretty dress. I might never achieve perfect balance, but it does me no good to give up. Life goes on, and so must we.
PS: The purpose of this post is to share the lesson, not the event – it's irrelevant to the story. I'll be totally fine – so don't worry!