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Advocate for Indulging In Your ONE Bad Day

I’d been feeling like crap lately. Mentally. Which manifests itself in the physical making you feel drained, achy and just tired.

I feel much better now, thanks.

I spent my entire day off Friday, someplace between my bed and my couch. Unshowered, I went in and out of sleep, occasionally peering at the ratchet daytime television.

When the voices of angry babies mothers and fathers awaiting DNA tests grew too loud and way too chaotic, I turned it off and returned to my own thoughts.

I wanted my mother. Her mental illness often prevents us from having a real conversation for any long period of time and so I cried for myself and the helplessness surrounding me and that situation, that I normally do a great job of ignoring and pushing past.

I could not stop the tears, nor did I stop myself. I heaved. I coughed. I cried til headache. Til emotional muscle failure. I needed that cleanse. I needed to stare down that monster.

It was ok that I missed my mother. It was ok to allow myself to miss my mother and mourn the more mentally stable mother I lost at the age of 16.It was ok that I missed her nurturing. It was ok that I was angry that while as thankful as I was for the mother figures in my life who saved me, nurtured me and helped me along my journey to and through womanhood, I still desired and needed the woman who gave me life, was still yet living, but at the same time a flesh and blood ghost.

So I cried.

I gathered up enough strength to put on a ratty sweater, some fake uggs and a hat and go to the grocery store to pick up a large slice of cake and some ice cream. I looked a mess and dared someone to even look at me sideways.

I returned to quarantine.

The next day, I stayed in the house for a great while, but I was determined to finally get out. I’m glad I did, because the weather was gorgeous. I really let one beautiful day just pass me by. The previous night after compulsively buying Hip Hop Abs, and patiently, slowly giving my information to the chipper customer service person determined to read all of the add ons verbatim, I added yet another fitness DVD my growing collection of workout DVDs that went ignored for the last week. I also purchased a cheap ticket to attend a theatrical performance of Howard drama students at the old alma mater.

Not sure how Hip Hop Abs will work out, they will be express mailed thanks to my friend, but the cheap theater ticket, certainly was the best impulse buy of Friday night.

Little did I know how watching those students and remembering my own dreams while at HU, and listening to the words of Langston Hughes be so well performed with such passion and pride would help to knock me out of my funk on Saturday night.

I thought about my dreams and hopes. I thought about the things I loved and still love.

And on Sunday, while I didn’t make it to church (darn daylight savings), I wrote three poems and I delved into a book I had stopped reading, Makeda, by Randall Robinson.

I hadn’t been this enthralled since reading “The Human Stain” and “The Warmth of Other Suns.” Those are among my absolute favorites.

The timing and my mind was right to finally get into the book. And I think it’s quite brilliant. When I first started reading it, unfocused and too busy, I thought the prose was lofty and hard to relate to. I had to adjust my antenna. I’m glad I picked it back up. There were moments I just wanted to highlight passages and print them out as reminders. It spoke to me in a new way, loud and clear.

I found myself nodding. The main character wants to be a writer. He has a sense of justice.  He feels like an outsider. He’s filled with imagination and spirit. He’s drawn to “strange” people– the kind of folks most people have difficulty understanding, but he gets them. He doesn’t judge. He leans on the intuitive other worldly wisdom of his blind grandmother, who has a gift to see more than most. He went to a Historically Black College.

I exchanged messages with a dear friend nearly all day, with all of my random rants and all. I felt love and acceptance.

The crazy thing about feeling so much over this entire weekend was while I spent all of Friday in serious, debilitating emotional pain, I felt it, and I did the things I needed to do to pull myself out.

I prayed. I wrote. I read and saw something inspiring. I did talk to friends, even when I didn’t feel like it.

I took a shower. (That helps a lot)

It’s odd when your hurt or feelings of pain are familiar, like menstrual cramps. Like cramps, you know what remedies you need to make the pain subside. You know the kind of cramps you can keep doing your daily tasks to, and you know the kind where you need to be drugged up and home in the fetal position.

I actually needed an entire day to be catatonic, wallow in my pain, live with it, stare it down, cry and let it out. If it went into a second, and third and fourth day, then that’s another matter altogether. One friend asked if I needed to go back to therapy. I don’t think I need to at this time, but if my state didn’t improve, I knew I wouldn’t be against it.

Today’s song. “Get it Together,” by the prolific India.Arie

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2 thoughts on “Advocate for Indulging In Your ONE Bad Day

  1. “You know the kind of cramps you can keep doing your daily tasks to, and you know the kind where you need to be drugged up and home in the fetal position.”

    That really struck me. Sometimes psychic pain can be just as debilitating as physical, yet we so rarely allow ourselves the time to heal adequately.

    I’m sorry for your mom pain. I understand the feeling, those of us without or with distant moms share. It’s a unique experience to explain to those who don’t understand.

    This post was beautiful and raw and powerful. Thanks for sharing. Peace to you.

    • Thank you for your kind words of support. Sometimes we need to listen to ourselves. Like for real. We have to pay attention to our emotional pain and address it just as we would a toothache or anything else. For some reason our society, pooh poohs about feelings. We are not robots. We feel. We have to ease up on these expectations that we have to be “on” all of the time. My mom’s issues make me even more sensitive to when I’m feeling really down or upset. I have to pay attention to them. I want to be emotionally heatlhy. Thanks so much again for your beautiful comments! I am reaffirmed.

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