Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday Thoughts on Dealing with Shit

You know those times in life when it's like dog pile on the rabbit? Big things and little things have you spinning like a top and you'd just like the ride to stop. The past two weeks haven't been the best and many of my framily members are going through tough times too. Is it a moon cycle? It has to be.

It brings up something I find intensely interesting: how people deal with shit. Our response to conflict is an intrinsic part of what makes us tick.

Being an adult is hard. As adults, we need to endure disappointments, navigate our children as they grow up in a different world than we grew up in, figure things out, forgive people, ask for forgiveness, do things we don't want to do, take responsibility, get through a divorce, perform well at work, give up things that are bad for us, maintain houses and cars, battle insurance companies, deal with accidents, support loved ones going through shit without being fixers, make hard decisions, keep an eye on our aging bodies, find ways to get over things, cope with illness and death, pay bills, and a host of other very adult tasks that no one wants to do. It's just life, and sometimes due to circumstance it can feel like a lot at once. And you can't tag out when it gets to be too much.
While I prefer spending most of my time excelling at domesticity and painting my nails, life requires us to deal with curve balls. If you can't hit a curve, you lose the game of life. Some people refuse to deal, which astounds me. Ignoring bad shit does not make it go away. Here's my Deal With It pattern:
Day One: A layover in in Fuck Town USA, constantly fretting, nauseous, and on the verge of tears because I'm so frustrated and I feel powerless over the situation. As a rule, I am not a wallower. It's totally foreign to me. Usually I can get shit under control in 12 hours or less unless I've really been thrown for a loop. Edited to add I also have my 30 second bursts of white hot rage that start today and last two or three days. You do not want to be in my path during those bursts.

Day Two: I've moved into Defiantville. I've accepted that this is a hard time. I will get through it, no matter what it is at the moment, because there is no alternative. I'm Stephanie, motherfuckers. I emerge victorious even if I've lost some blood on the battlefield.

Day Three until Shit Gets Better: In Just Keep Going mode. I face shit head on and I'm kind to myself on the side, which includes giving myself permission to focus on other things.

Things I do when dealing with shit:
1. Walk more at lunch
2. Commune with my dogs
3. Eat things I should not be eating
5. Ruthlessly purge closets and clean like one of Miss Hannigan's orphans
5. Perform a sage smudge ceremony to rid my house and its occupants of negative energy
6. Any other activity that can be filed under Soothing Busy Work / Carrying On
7. Actually finish dealing with it - I hate loose ends and unresolved issues.

Things I don't do when dealing with shit:
1. Board the Booze Train - alcohol magnifies emotions and who wants to deal with hangovers in addition to whatever else is going on?
2. Blab about my problems- I very much need to work through things on my own a lot of times.
3. Care about what other people think about what I'm going through (if they know) or the actions I'm taking to deal with it. No one is in my shoes and anyone who thinks they know better can go screw.
4. Post vaguely EMO things on Facebook, instagram, etc. about life sucking. Sometimes sharing is not caring. 
5. Focus only on the shitty things because while shitty things are happening, so is life. You can go through a hard time and still smile at someone, laugh at something, and go about your normal business. For me to function well as me, I need to process and get through anger, hurt, disappointment, etc. quickly. I want to divest myself of the negative emotions and move forward as soon as possible. I don't carry shit around with me and allow it to weigh me down.
Depending on the severity of the situation, at some point I will nearly (nearly being the key word) have a nervous breakdown and may even engage in some whining. But I put a lid on both toot sweet because breakdowns are really unattractive and whining is grating and not constructive.

In times of trouble, the most crucial thing I do is find the silver lining. I will gain something solid from this. Good things always come out of bad things. Even though hard times suck, they are excellent for building character. If that isn't putting a shine on a pimple, I don't know what is.
How do you deal when life takes a shit on your head?
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  1. I hope things get better soon. Thinking of you!

  2. we are kindred spirits, you and i. my question is: WHY HAVEN'T THEY MADE US RULERS OF THE UNIVERSE YET?!

    i'm just like you: i throw myself a pity party for a while so i can wallow in self-pity but then i come up with a plan to kick that shit out of the park and emerge victorious. i think i need the pity party so i can see just how pathetic i can become before i get disgusted with myself and then i give myself a mental bitchslap to pull myself together.

    i don't mind rolling up my sleeves and getting dirty because my eye is on the prize and timelines mean NOTHING to me if it means that i will get to my goal (which is kicking that shit out of the park).

    and it's WAY TOO EASY for some to wallow in their pity and blame everyone else/the world for doing them wrong and NOT take any accountability to clean their mess up but i refuse to be like that.

    if you're not dead, then you can make a change. ("you" meaning general you, not YOU, steph).

  3. I'm like you in that I like to think things through by myself - and only after that talk them over with someone if need be. I kind of get through shit by being angry at it - the rage sort of fuels me to get on with everyday stuff and before I know it, things have improved. Not sure how healthy that is, though... :)

  4. I'm like you in that I like to think things through by myself - and only after that talk them over with someone if need be. I kind of get through shit by being angry at it - the rage sort of fuels me to get on with everyday stuff and before I know it, things have improved. Not sure how healthy that is, though... :)

  5. Mirkka - I use rage for fuel too. Healthy, I'm not sure. But it definitely gets me through.

  6. Such a great post! Very inspiring yet funny about something not so funny. My 3 day pattern looks the same as yours. Definitely reading this again when I find myself in a situation like this <3

  7. I hope things get better for you soon. I read when I need to calm down from something. Usually an old familiar book I've already read 100 times. Also, I drink a lot of tea. I don't know why, but tea helps. Definitely walking too. I get really mad when people post their dirty laundry all over FB. One of the reasons I don't have a FB anymore!

  8. I think I'm on day three right now. Until it gets better...which explains my Chick Fil A chicken biscuit for breakfast. Whoops??!!

  9. The Brown Eyed Sunshine - I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Oh, my beautiful girl. Endlessly proud of you! God grant me the serenity prayer is so true. AND your tremendous gift for touching people with your words is priceless. And you do it every day with these blogs.
    Lights and angels and love and Godspeed to you and to all of us.
    Carpe every diem and noche.

    Love your MOMMA

  11. i wish i could stay calm enough in bad times to not make a pit stop in rageville, but sometimes just a quick stop with time enough to cuss really loud is all I need. This is possibly one of the most creative and truthful posts i have ever read. no joke.

  12. I deal with shit much like you. keep to myself with the problem. Clean the house like it has never been cleaned before, then wallow in self pity, but on a schedule much like the Grinch!

    4:00 wallow in self pity
    4:30, stare into the abyss
    5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one;
    5:30, jazzercise
    6:30, dinner with me - I can't cancel that again
    7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing... I'm booked

  13. #4 on things you don't do- anyone that does that I cannot be friends with. just cannot.

    Im bad at dealing with stress. Personal not like work related. i need to work on that.

  14. Great post...the best thing to do is deal with things head on, which is what I almost always do. I know people though that completely practice 100% avoidance of their issues and it disgusts me. Doesn't seem to work out for them too well in the long run either.


  15. Well said! :) Especially for me the part about focusing on other things. It's easy for me to hop on the crazy train and focus on nothing but the bad. Stopping myself is hard, but oh so worth it!

  16. I try to remember that each day is a gift and a new beginning,a chance to start over. I can listen with an objective ear if you need one. I do care about you and what you are facing. LCD

  17. Yeah I eat like crap, but I also drink because I'm a happy drunk and I'm good at preventing hangovers. Normally I just need to hang out with Hawkeye and all is well with the world!

  18. Totally depends on the shit!

    Sometimes if I just vent it makes things better, but you must watch who you vent too.

    I am in a new phase - If I can fix it - fix it. If not. I just need to let it go, and let it work out. Quit wasting my energy on something I can't do. I don't have energy as it is, why waste it on stupid crap?

  19. I have a day (maybe two, but I try to limit it) of wallowing. I lie on the couch, watch mindless television and eat myself out of house and home. I only allow myself this wallowing indulgence in the case of crazy bad shit hitting the fan.

  20. I always give myself a full hour to go into complete meltdown mode (always in private). Once the meltdown is over, I make myself calmly reassess. The meltdown is inevitable, so as long as I control the time and place, I'm much better off in the end.

  21. What sucks is when the situation doesn't allow for anything but defiance and getting through shit and the rage and tears end up catching up with me later. Ugh.


  22. What, you mean posting vague song lyrics or Facebook messages isn't an ok way to deal with things?!?!?

    I am very private when I deal with shit. I don't like everyone to know about it and I hate when people ask "are you ok?" Ugh. If I want to talk to you about it, I will. Time will usually give me some clarity and calm me the fuck down, but I need to have the meltdown to get it all out. Then I can move forward effectively I think.

  23. I usually give myself some carved out time to just meltdown. After that time, I am usually in a more sane state and can think more clearly. Ugh.

    I hope you feel better soon.

  24. How are you always so real on here? I love you. No homo. Hahaha, amen to all of this

  25. At my core when things go wrong for me I am an over reactor. Not in a sense that my emotions are out of context just that they are too much emotion. I panic. I have been working on that as well as letting things go far sooner than I would usually send them on their way. I have you and Loopy to vent my angst to which helps immensely. I have you to say "enough" which I need & has helped me let things go faster. I won't lie at times when you say enough my inner self screams No, No , No, it isn't time yet but alas it is time. Walks, thinking about how really how seriously this issue is, when it is a serious issue acknowledging just how much I can or can't do about the situation. Then it is all about choosing a path to walk knowing that Robert Frost quote is so true and one I have on my refrigerator because life is going on. Thank you for an insightful post. P.S. people that go into denial and do not face things really piss me off (over reacting lol)

  26. I am not an over-sharer, either. I like to deal with my own shit and move on. I don't see any reason to share all my biz with lots of people. I may share with a few close friends and my family because I need support, but that's it. Cryptic FB messages are for attention whores. Love ya, mean it! Amost had a biz trip to PA this week, but I got bumped for big wigs. If I make it again...I will meet you for coffee, if at all possible. I think I need to smudge this weekend. PS--Mercury is retrograde!!

  27. I always love your more serious posts. It's still got that SMD charm I love so much, but your writing ability really shines through.

    You and I are very much alike when it comes to dealing with shit. You take a few moments, and then grab that shit by the balls.

    And wait, posting a "WHY ME?!?!?!? Facebook status and then saying "I dont want to talk about it" when people comment is not cool?

    Thank goodness for Counting Crows :-)

    Always thinking of ya <3 even if I dont repsond to your texts RIGHTAWAY

  28. I tend to have a very private, personal meltdown for less than 12 hours and then say F'it and get down to business. If it is a loss of a loved one it is more like a few days. I use my time to analyze the hell out of it from every angle and figure out how I can tackle it. I booze, I clean, I weep, I snuggle with the pup but after the 12 hours I pick up my boot straps and kick some ass!!

  29. I've never noticed a specific timeline, but I usually head straight for "Let's fix this and get past it." With the really rough spots, the rage doesn't come until long after it's over, when I think back on how awful it was.

    And the glorious fuel it provides. My house will never be cleaner than when things are at their worst.

  30. I withdraw and hibernate until something snaps me out of it- a forced social situation or something great happening. Hope things get better!

  31. I am having to do this in my present work situation. It all came to a head, and now I'm finally going through the dealing process. One day at a time!


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