Thinking Out Loud…
Sometimes, you have to say the bad stuff. The depressing stuff. I hit that point this week.
A growing edginess, slightly short of grumpy, fiercely pressed to smooth out the wrinkles of negative thoughts, finally, finally got to me. I know how fortunate I am to be in a safe place and with my life partner and love, Jim. But pressing in, intruding, is the passage of time—time out, yes, but time gone by too.
So last night we settled in the rain room, our quiet, peaceful place with comfy chairs, and talked about the stuff we have been tip-toeing around. I hadn’t wanted to bum Jim out when I grieved over our canceled road trips, so I had been dismissing those thoughts when they showed up. I hadn’t wanted to admit to the sadness I was feeling over life on hold, so I made myself look “on the bright side” until I could not stand it any more.
It reminds me of a thing I often told my students about the effect of repeatedly saying “no” to myself when I was having a bad day in the studio—depression. When all my ideas were being shot down by my own inner critic, I taught myself to say “yes” and “yes” to every idea I had. It worked me out of the slump every time. Yes.
And here I am doing the same sort of thing, different context, yes, but the same negative spiral—telling myself not to feel the way I feel is the same denial, the same, the same, the same. And it doesn’t work.
What a relief to know that Jim had been feeling the same way! What a relief to admit it to each other, and to stop worrying about worrying—even if it’s just until the next unwelcome thought barges in.
Well, we both felt better, relieved, and encouraged by telling ourselves and each other the truth. Simple idea, not always easy to do.
A chat in the rain room helps.