No More Medicating?

Sometimes, things just don’t go our way. It’s a hard fact that we all accept, because that’s the way things are, and that’s not gonna change.

Oftentimes, when it rains, it pours. Unpleasantness, happenstance, and bad beats come in waves. That first thing doesn’t work as it should, and undoubtedly the second, wholly-unrelated, thing fails just the same. And a third thing that wasn’t even on your radar—-well, that went wrong, too.

That was my day: my first day back to work after a month of Family Bonding Leave.  The tasks awaiting at my desk were not bad, but ancillary matters here and there just went awry. I won’t throw specific persons under the bus, I’ll simply say that a variety of calls and conversations ended in ways I neither wanted nor expected, and I just happened to lose my ID badge along the way. When I was walking home from the bus stop, re-assessing the day, I couldn’t believe it; I don’t know how all that stuff could happen in one day.

I was going into my office with a fair amount of optimism this morning, which for me is saying something. I was determined to go put in eight hours of decent work, come home, and hold my son. And I did. But in the midst of it, I arrived at a place where all these things went wrong, and I have to get up and deal with them all again tomorrow.

At one time in my life I would’ve used a day like today as an excuse to do whatever I wanted to cope with the stress and frustration.

If I wanted to make myself feel better, I would just shop.

If I wanted to escape reality, I would just get lost in online smut.

And if I just wanted to be lazy, well, sometimes I would just flop on the couch and watch whatever show or DVD would casual entertain me until bed.

But as I looked back on what went wrong and looked forward to the night to come, I had the faintest feeling of satisfaction, because I don’t want to do any of those things. I do not want to buy myself something to “feel better” for a few minutes; I definitely don’t want to look at smut to escape reality; and I don’t want to spend my evening just being lazy.

I have a life to live and things to do.

In the strangest way, all these mishaps have provided me a sort of emotional validation about the way I approach things these days: I handle them better than I might have ten years ago, maybe even five or three years ago. I’m actually growing as a human being. That ultimately makes today a #WIN.

At one point in life, everything seemed to be going really well, but internally I was a mess; and when my comfy external circumstances changed, I had to medicate with novelty or apathy. Today, when external circumstances are not what I would like them to be, when I have every right to be frustrated with them, I have internal tools to keep moving forward, to remember that we’re gonna be alright, and to ensure that negative things don’t get to ruin an otherwise good day.

Sure, stuff went sour, yet I am content. I figure I’ll just crush things tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,

About C.J.:
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