Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Tuesday Tip Day: Surviving The Suck Cluster
Julia's been there. We've ALL been there.
Sometimes life is pretty good. You like your job, you make good money, you have fun with your friends and stay healthy and happy.
But, you know, every now and then (or maybe more frequently than that) you feel fortunes turning against you. Everything seems off, wrong or downright bad and sad and hard to get through.
You know it when it happens.
You can tell it's coming.
You've hit what I like to call The Suck Cluster.
Unfortunately, I'm in one of these right now, and really? I've been in it since 2009. Sure, I've got a job that's going well now, so some of the pressure is off. But life has felt like a long bout of one-step-forward-two-steps-back for years.
Most recently? HUBS and I realized that our house is falling apart around us (rotten bathroom floor, rotten sill plate, flooding basement, screwed up kitchen...) and can no longer wait to be fixed. I'm having some mental issues that are affecting normal...marital functioning. My mom called me crying last week because her aunt (who she'd gotten very close to since my grandmother passed) is dying. And, on Friday, I fell down my basement stairs and needed x-rays and a few days of recovery to feel just somewhat back to normal.
Yeah, welcome to my Suck Cluster.
As with most things in life, what really matters is how you handle stuff when your own personal Suck Cluster comes calling. Here are some things that can help you navigate the tough times.
Surviving The Suck Cluster
1) Rest: You might be sad or depressed a lot from feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders. The best thing to do? NOTHING. Sleep later, nap when you need to, lay around and read, watch a funny movie...Do whatever you need to in order to relieve the pressure. If you're a control freak or simply like making plans and getting things done it'll probably be hard but you'll need to reign those tendencies in a bit to get through without wearing yourself out.
2) Do A Little Something: Whatever the issue (dying relative, illness, injury, house foundation that's rotting away under your feet...) you'll need to get something done or decided on a regular basis so you feel like you're taking care of things. For me that means seeing my therapist every two or three weeks, taking my meds, checking up on my mom and slowly re-tiling my new bathroom floor, among other things.
3) Talk: If you keep the suckiness bottled up inside it'll fester, I honestly believe that. This is what friends, therapists, spouses, parents and journals (no, those don't involve talking, but they work all the same) are for. Get all the crap that's happening and your feelings about it out so you can get on with your life. Ruminating does no one any good; it will stop numbers 1 & 2 in their tracks so that you simply can't make progress or relax. The last thing you need added to your Suck Cluster is a panic attack or worry-related sleep deprivation.
4) Release: Prepare yourself. There is no anger like the anger of a Suck Cluster. With every disappointment and bad thing that comes your way in quick succession, you WILL feel like the universe is piling on for no good reason. You're being punished. You've been forsaken. Whatever sentiment the anger is related to, you need to get that aggressive energy out before you explode all over someone who doesn't deserve it. Exercise, watch violent movies, cheer audibly as terrorists die...figure out what works and do it as often as possible.
5) Remember: If you're online a lot, and most of us are now, it can seem like you're the only one having any problems. Well, you're not. Never have been and never will be. Simply keeping that in mind can help with number 4.
YOU'RE NOT BEING PUNISHED OR TARGETED, YOU'RE JUST ALIVE. AND, WHEN YOU'RE ALIVE SHIT HAPPENS. SOMETIMES, ALL AT ONCE.
You'll deal. Because you can. Because you have to. Because, even if you don't know it, you WANT to.
What do you do when everything seems to go wrong at once?