I’ve kinda been a curmudgeon recently. Yeah, yeah I know my blog says that I write “inspirational musings” but trust me, that takes a lot of effort when the going gets tough. Have you ever had those low days when you just want to marinade yourself in self-pity and then stick your head in the oven? My girlfriend Mazz says that riding the (emotional) rollercoaster is always preferable to the boring merry-go-round. However, roller coaster riders must still understand how go back up, preferably without alienating all your friends and family along the journey. You can only play the “I’m a miserable schmuck” card so often before no one wants to hang out with you EVER AGAIN.
To add to my self-pity list, I recently had to have a “procedure” on my foot that put me on crutches. (Basically it was a surf injury that needed medical attention). It’s a small thing really, but when an injury happens to your walking appendage and leaves you stranded in your apartment, you do feel rather pathetic.
Since running has been my go-to cure for depressive thoughts I was at a loss. All I could do is lay in bed and count cobwebs on my ceiling or cruise my iphone for new facebook updates (of people clearly having a better time than me) or Words with Friends strategic moves. But alas, even Words with Friends was against me-the game kept giving my impossible consonant tiles. X-V-R-P-C-R? Sigh. You can’t even cheat with those tiles. #Fail.
There has to be a way to get out of a fail funk. Since I couldn’t run and lethargy left me with little appetite for an uplifting cheese plate, I decided I needed to get creative. So here we go:
“Top Ways to Get Out of a Funk…(for Invalids)”
1. Accept your state as temporary
As long as you aren’t terminally ill than you probably know things are going to get better. Whatever the reason for your woe, make the most of it. If you’re sad, write poetry. If you are a cripple-participate in a crutch race with another invalid. Much better way to keep upper body strength than raising the whiskey glass. (although I may do both to work every muscle group).
2. Take responsibility
Happiness is a choice. You know, the whiskey half full glass verses half empty type thing. So I could sit still and play Celine Dion’s “All By Myself” or I could do something with my time. After all, compared to refugees in Sudan, our life is pretty awesome, so let’s do something with it.
3. Find an activity
Once I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I suddenly realized that I was supposed to be working on a book this summer. Perfect invalid activity! If you are not a writer, you can finish the pileup of Economist magazines, watch the movie everyone been talking about, or simply download music. (just not “All By Myself….”). And if you are able to use your legs, then for heaven’s sake-get outside.
4. Remember your friends
I know that most independent people hate to do this when feeling grumpy, but it really does feel good when your friends stop by and hang out…especially if they goodies with them. With your friends beside you, even hangin’ on the couch is fun.
5. Make goals to get you to the future
Lao Tzu once said,
“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
Not to disagree with the founder of Taoism, but staying in the present meant I was staying in my crippled state. Somewhat depressing. Therefore I decided to shun Master Lao Tzu and focus on transforming the present to the future when I would be back to normal. I set goals- In one week I would have drafted 50 pages of my book. In one week I would also be on a flight to NYC, which required friend and restaurant planning. By focusing on my upcoming trips I realized that that I could use my present to plan for my (brighter) future.
Sometimes self pity is fun; who doesn’t like a little violin playing over their shoulder on occasion? However, long-term pity parties are a self-indulgent waste of time. I realized that my ability to access the Internet even to write this blog put me ahead of half of the world population. It was time to be grateful.
The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.