Blues and Reds

Do you ever have those self-realization moments that hit you like a truck, right in the heart?

I’m there: I have a pretty potent combination of the Blues and the Mean Reds.

I am both sad and lonely and hurting and frustrated and scared; I’ve been doing that body-shaking ugly cry at my desk for the last 10 minutes because I don’t want to be blue or red, I just want to be me. I feel like I’m angry and on-edge and heart-broken and completely alone, all the time. It’s emotionally and physically exhausting and probably makes me a not very fun person to hang out with. I’m having a hard time finding and focusing on the good things in my life, even though I intellectually KNOW there are many of them. I’m having a hard time finding me, and that is a terrifying place to be. Where am I? Am I hiding? Lost? Have I jumped ship? Or am I so altered that the Me From Before doesn’t exist anymore and I’m stuck with this messed-up version of Blue and Red Harriet?

I know moving is hard. I know uprooting your whole life and trying to make it grow 700 miles away is hard. I know finding new friends is hard. I know figuring out how to live with a boy (for, basically, the first time) is hard. I KNOW all that, but I’m still a sobbing, blubbering mess. Is moving one of the most stressful things an adult can do? Yes, yes it is. Do I give myself much allowance for that? No, because I’m Super Woman, dammit, and Super Woman is not to be defeated by something as mundane as moving. Small pox, maybe. Or a nuclear holocaust. Or maybe the destruction of humanity and unicorns in one swift blow from an intergalactic army. But moving? Psssht, like it’s supposed to be hard? (And also? That other stuff is horrible too, but part of me still says “Just rub some dirt on it and get back up and DO something! You’re freaking Super Woman!”)

Yeah, I probably have somewhat unhealthy and wildly unrealistic personal expectations in times of crisis.

Can you do me a favor? Can you tell me two things you love? Two things that bring you joy? And while I know that “family” and “my kids” and stuff are probably near the top of your list, can you give me something to DO that brings you joy? I’m crowd-sourcing here; help a girl out.

Harriet sig

Advertisements

43 thoughts on “Blues and Reds

  1. Two things: getting outside (bike rides, walking the dog, walking myself, meandering, hiking, coffee at an outdoor location). Something that requires creativity (either passive or active: writing, reading, taking pictures). Both take me out of my own environment and get me out of my own head.

    Bonus third thing: something challenging and physical. A blogger I read wrote about how she struggles with generalized anxiety and depression, and setting training goals, working hard, and nailing them helps her hold it all at bay. I’ve been doing a three-month HIIT/strength training program and although I don’t necessarily like doing push ups and lunges and deadlifts, the sense of accomplishment that comes with exercising every day and seeing myself get stronger (and leaner) helps a lot. I signed up for the century because I’ve wanted to do one for a while, but also because it would give me a tangible goal to work towards when I don’t have that much else going on. I only rode 11 miles yesterday but I felt energized the rest of the night and we spent two hours unpacking stuff instead of watching tv on the couch.

    Like

    1. I like the idea of getting out of “my own environment” and my own head, like, a lot. Whatever that looks like (and I think it can look like a thousand different things), it is the opposite of moping and wallowing. Thanks, my dear friend.

      xox

      Like

  2. Oh, oh. I’m so sorry this is hard. It makes perfect sense, and it will pass, but that doesn’t make it any easier now.

    Two things: one is riding my bike. I love it. LOVE. It takes me out of my head and it makes me feel good about my body and I can explore new places and and and. It’s just great. Another: my book club. I was invited to mine by a mom of one of Callum’s classmates, but maybe a coworker or a friend of a friend or something, anything, or even a virtual one. I love the meetings and the chatting but I also love that it gets me to read more–not just those books but others too–not that you need help with that!

    Like

  3. I would echo the previous commenter that talked about getting outside and doing something physical. You are now in AZ right? Well, especially with your nicer winter weather now is the time to get out and do some hiking. Love it.

    Like

    1. I’ve been working to get our backyard in some sort of order…because, apparently, in Arizona January and February are Yard Work! season followed immediately by planting season, harvest season, and then 6 months of hell-ishly hot temperatures. Enjoy it now, right?

      xox

      Like

  4. I like planning trips. Short weekend ones as well as big ones. The planning, even if you don’t actually go, is still pretty damn fun. I like the researching side of it.

    And another vote for the outdoors. Hiking, walking, biking is best balm for my hurts. Outside is my happy place.

    And looking at pics of V.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I forgot how much I liked sketching, it’s easier to start/stop than oil painting (which I also truly love), but I can sketch for 15 minutes and not have to wash brushes, and that’s a win, I think.

      xox

      Like

  5. I’m sorry the transition is hard! Your question of things I do that bring me joy is harder than I thought it would be. But I’ll go with 1)taking a super hot bath and 2) reading a book, especially if done simultaneously.

    Like

    1. We have a big tub in our master bathroom, it is full of dust bunnies right now, but I do love a lengthy relaxing soak. That shall be first on my agenda after the Great Tub Clean of 2016. 😉

      xox

      Like

  6. Dancing. Maybe a zumba or some other form of dance fitness. Running. A long conversation with your best friend, someone who really, really knows you.

    I also have this to say: Not the same thing, but six months after I quit my job last year, I was literally curled up in the fetal position at my mom’s house hysterical that I had made all the wrong choices, basically, in life. Long story short, it all turned out OK, but you have to go through it, you can’t just skip past it.

    Adulting… not for the faint of heart.

    Like

  7. Oh I have those moments often. When I’m in that funk, I say do something just for YOU. Whether its laying on the couch with a good movie and a bucket of popcorn, or taking a bath with a good book and a glass of wine, or even just getting out for a walk in the mall – do what YOU need. I love that. Loving coloring right now, and writing my The Grass is Green Enough journal.

    Like

    1. I have started writing in a journal again, and right now much of it is sad and angry, but I can also feel myself shifting away from that and into a lighter space with every page I fill.

      Hugs!
      xox

      Like

  8. I agree with the getting outside/being active advice, but I’m a super social creature so for me, doing something like joining a frisbee league (or kickball.. or bocce… whatever!) is up my alley. Gives me a reason to meet people, forces me to be social, I still get some exercise (well.. maybe not with bocce 😉 ) and I spend time outside.

    Practicing piano brings me joy, and as I write this I’m berating myself because I almost NEVER do it anymore. Note to self.

    Like

  9. 2 things: running. And driving around, running errands by myself. Especially if a celebratory soda is a part of the errand.

    Big hugs. It is sooo hard to move. Adjusting to a new normal takes time. Be patient with yourself. Xoxo

    Like

  10. I wanted to say, I love shoveling snow. And then I thought…but maybe Heidi is also missing snow, so maybe I shouldn’t write that. But then, maybe you’re not missing snow. Maybe you are loving the warmth?

    So what I’m going to write instead is, I love going outside. Whatever season. If I’m in a funk, going outside makes it better. And you have all that new outside to discover!

    Another thing that I love is being creative. Whatever form. Just sitting down and making something (scrapbook layout, a part of whatever quilt I’m currently working on, a draft of an essay or even a blog post).

    I sure hope you are able to find your new normal quickly!

    Like

  11. I wanted to say, I love shoveling snow. And then I thought…but maybe Heidi is also missing snow, so maybe I shouldn’t write that. But then, maybe you’re not missing snow. Maybe you are loving the warmth?

    So what I’m going to write instead is, I love going outside. Whatever season. If I’m in a funk, going outside makes it better. And you have all that new outside to discover!

    Another thing that I love is being creative. Whatever form. Just sitting down and making something (scrapbook layout, a part of whatever quilt I’m currently working on, a draft of an essay or even a blog post).

    I sure hope you are able to find your new normal quickly! You are brave & amazing!

    Like

  12. Oh man, that really stinks. Going outside always helps me, even just a walk around the block. I have also recently discovered the joy of getting a pedicure (I know, I’m a little slow).

    Like

    1. I need to find a rejuvenating outside space (not just a suburban neighborhood full of gravel and cactus). There is a significant “mountain” really close, but it is apparently blocked from all non-tribal visitors, and for good reason, but I still wish I could explore it!

      xox

      Like

  13. My first thing… competition. I think it’s why I have my unhealthy board game obsession and not often enough exercised fondness for disc golf comes from but I love to pit my skill against others. When I’m engaged in a game, feelings both red and blue often fade.

    The second for me won’t apply to you barring years of hormone treatment (shaving using vintage razors and a badger or boar brush and a hot towel). Tried it once on my legs (hey, boredom calls for desperate measures sometimes) but it wasn’t the same.

    So, I guess a third option is putting things in order. Bookshelves used to be a big thing for me until I moved in with my now-wife, who has her own idea on how to organize (she won that battle early), so I usually fall back on cataloguing them or organizing my MP3 collection. Wow, now that I write that, it seems borderline unhealthy.

    Like

    1. Well, I didn’t do a fancy vintage-y shave, but I did treat myself to a little self-care, and that was delightful.

      I’m still organizing the last parts of unpacked moving boxes, and at this point it’s less therapeutic and a little more driving me batty. WHY IS THERE SO MUCH STUFF! (Minimalism is only sort of on the horizon for me. For some things, maybe. For books? Never!)

      xox

      Like

  14. When I start feeling down (which as you know, is quite frequent these days), I do these two things:
    1) Cook and/or eat: Usually I cook rather than eat, which speaks volumes as to why I’m not fat, but my hubby is constantly complaining of kilos…hehehe. I particularly enjoy making things that take time, focus, and energy…like bread, pasta, etc. There’s nothing like beating the hell out of some undeserving dough to make the stress flow out of you.
    2) Artistic release: Whether I work on my comic, draw something completely unrelated, or write a rant on my blog- I find that using a creative outlet to vent my frustrations helps me release the aggression through my pencil/pen rather than letting it bounce around inside me.
    Which reminds me…I need to stock up on colored pencils and stuff.

    Like

    1. The creativity thing has definitely helped. I’ve been painting (canvas, not walls) and that has made my heart happy.

      Currently Mr. Blue Eyes and I are not eating carbs, sugar, or fruit…which means a LOT of roasted veggies and lean protein…and a lot less fun in the kitchen. Challenges, yes, and some creative problem solving, but there is no cheese-y or chocolate-y souffle at the end. (Sad panda.)

      xox

      Like

  15. Aw, love. I wish I was close enough to swing by and take you out for some girl time.

    I go outside to break the blues, whether it’s running or walking or hiking, but you know that.

    I have no idea what the weather is like where you moved to, but could that be another think turning you blue and red? When the weather gets to me, I look for sunshine and sometimes…spend a few minutes in a tanning booth. Shhhh….

    Like

    1. I’ve been researching some outside options, something other than walking around a suburban block. We are close to “mountains” and a state park (cactus and desert)….hoping to get a little exploring in this weekend.

      (ALSO? Summer 2016 for A + H girl time!?)

      xox

      Like

  16. Running. Always helps to clear the head (and run off the frustration). Also: sweet black tea and a book. Close the door and go to a different world for a while.

    Like

  17. I wish I would have seen this a few days ago, as my advice is not so timely now, but then I’m just a weird guy randomly rambling at the best of times, so in lieu of my thoughts I will simply answer the question you posed.

    Note: I’m not close to my family and I probably don’t have any kids, so you don’t have to suffer those answers from me. 🙂

    1. I absolutely love the intellectual tingles one gets in the afterglow of a great book or movie. Something that is immensely profound and gut-kicks you into a state of thoughtful clarity that’s better than any other sensation. I strive for that rare feeling constantly.

    2. I absolutely love when I say something that makes someone else laugh. For a single instant, that person is so happy that emotion overrides their physical control. That is the essence of nirvana.

    Like

    1. Oh, I might add that my answers aren’t precisely the “do” kind of things you were looking for. It’s just that I don’t really do anything. I guess hiking always makes me happy though, and wandering about techie places like Fry’s and Best Buy pretending like I can afford to buy something makes me happy, but those are boring answers.

      Feel better. You have an awesome life. 😀

      Like

  18. I’m so sorry you’re feeling that way. I move around a lot, and definitely feel like this a LOT, so I know what you’re going through… I’m just starting to work through some of my sobbing world ending feelings, I hope you work through yours quickly too!! It will get better! I’ll mention two things I love about being somewhere new- 1) When I find a new cute/cozy coffee shop that makes me feel warm and happy and then go there a lot with a good book. 2) When I discover a park that I like and go walking there whenever I can (maybe not as helpful during the winter!)

    Like

Say what you've gotta say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s