I am having a current discourse with myself about "feeling shitty." Mostly because right now, for no actual discernible reason, and for no apparent limited time trajectory, I am feeling shitty.
In the 12 plus years I've been in consistent therapy - basically in service of the condition called Being Alive - I've been able to come up with a few other words to further illustrate this feeling. Words like- Lonely. Purposeless. Lost. Adrift. Empty. Disconnected.
But really nothing suffices quite like "shitty." That's still the best one I've come up with so far to truly describe this state.
And of course when the discourse starts to take shape over the feeling shitty of it all...it inevitably becomes about "un-feeling shitty." Not feeling "un-shitty," which will ostensibly occur if I do it right, but about "un-feeling shitty." Which is more of an action. Or an attempt at an action. I feel this way. I would like to feel un-this way, so I'm going to figure out how to un-feel this way.
And therein lies the rub.
Because, I can take any sort of action to try to achieve the un-shitty state. Say:
1. Drink more coffee
2. Go for a run
3. Stand on my head
4. Sing something
5. Write something
6. Find someone in my neighborhood and talk to them
7. Eat something sweet
8. Eat another piece of that sweet thing
10. Watch TV
11. Facebook. Twitter. TEXT. CALL SOMEONE -
CONNECT! TURN IT AROUND!
But those things don't necessarily make me un-feel this way. They just sort of put it off for awhile. The process of un-feeling something is sort of a losing proposition, I've found. I cannot truly escape the feeling states, I can only manage them. So- enough of the conversation about "unfeeling."
So then I go- the conversation needs to switch. To the feeling- and not to the attempted distraction. But the feeling. It looks like this- it smells like this. If it were a food it would taste like this. It does this to me. It makes the world look like this. Dive deep into the feeling. Which is risky. Risky because I worry that by diving in, I'll never get out, and then where would I be? Who would make the crabmeat dip for this evening's pot luck dinner? Who's going to the grocery store to take the household fruit stock from one brown, slightly dehydrated banana to the horn of plenty my upper middle class children need and deserve? Who's gonna ride the bike at the gym for 30 minutes? This fat is not going to burn ITSELF off.
I mean, who's going to power through that mundane moment to moment living existence that I am so grateful and lucky to inhabit? You know- the one that is also frequently the catalyst for the whole "feeling of shitty" in the first place. (ie- what has my life become? Where did my dreams go to die? How can I recapture that feeling of being needed and useful?)
It's also risky because- let's face it- I don't see a whole heck of a lot of company in that world. The world of those Not Running From The Feeling Shitty. Misery loves company supposedly, but we 21st Century humans apparently prefer company in the prolonged attempt to never ever ever feel miserable. Because when you feel miserable- that seems to be the wrong state of being. Well, that's not right. That's not good. Here- take a pill, get a massage, go talk to someone, be sure you do everything you possibly can not to feel that way. Because feeling that way sucks and is uncomfortable and obviously means you've failed at the proposed goals here. Which is that Life is Awesome. So stop that. Don't feel shitty. You're wrong.
I know there's at least one guy who's on my side here. And that would be the man I've been creating a deeply connected relationship with in one tiny small earthly space at roughly the same time every week. The man I happily pay to spend this small amount of time dedicated just to me and my shitty human condition. And that would be my shrink. (You were kinda thinking gigolo for a second though, weren't you? I entertained that notion for about 6.7 seconds...)
My shrink believes in the just feel shitty of it all, right along with me. I'd go so far as to say there's probably many in his profession who come down on that side too. Not every moment of every second of every day- not that the goal of human existence is to feel like crap, but it also certainly isn't to un-feel like crap either. And maybe in fact, the less we focused on "goals" in general, possibly the more peaceable we'd be. Alone and together.
So I've spent many expensive minutes in his office feeling shitty with him. I'm telling you- it's been kinda great. I am getting some bang for my buck in there, turns out. Diving into the shitty in a safe environment, for a specified amount of time-- I highly recommend.
The trick is - like yoga - how to install this program into my everyday life whereby when the shitty comes, I can do it. I can connect through it - into it- with others- so that it becomes a workable part of my existence as opposed to something that makes me want to hide. To crawl under the covers and cower until the fog lifts for a bit.
So here I am writing the shitty. Thanks for reading. If you are reading, I suppose I actually posted this piece. Which, as I type these final words, I am entertaining crippling moments of ambivalence about. On the one hand- you're crafting this blog, Miss Holly, in an attempt to be as authentic and real as you possibly can. To not hide from the warts. Post the Feeling Shitty blog. Post it! On the other hand- Who wants to read about your vague depressive feelings of shitty which are hopefully soon to shift anyway? As they always do because nothing lasts, not even the truly great stuff?
Well, I hope you've gotten something out of this.
I still feel a bit shitty.
Though perhaps a little less so.
Same time next week?