The comfort of being unhappy

Life has ups and downs. We’ve seen enough Pinterest-worthy metaphors to know we need the downs to give the ups significance.Well that’s fucking wonderful, but it doesn’t help when you’re having a crummy day.

Truth is, I’m happy being unhappy.

You don’t start unhappy, just a little bitter. Something didn’t go your way at work, finances have your head in a spin, someone was rude to you, you didn’t get the outcome you wanted. You’re just a little frazzled, right?

So your brain tries to fix the problem, churns out those inspirational quotes you’ve stored away. But you’re not having a bar of it.

You, in all your shitty-mood glory read those wanky quotes in the whiniest, most sarcastic voice possible. (Which, tbh is actually pretty satisfying.)

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By now you’re stuffing your face with Doritos while mentally excusing yourself from exercising for the next week. “You’re not feeling well, so it’s better just to rest and then see how you’re feeling”.

Maybe wine will help. Lots of wine.

Surprisingly after a week and a half of junk food and couch potato-ing, you don’t feel motivated to do anything remotely close to exercise.

When you’re in your bubble of ‘meh’, social activities also sound too hard. You’re going to be in a shoddy mood anyway, so best to stay home (and eat Doritos).

And now because you’re not feeling healthy, suddenly you’re not sleeping well. Well, there’s a good excuse not to get up in the morning if I ever saw one.

Definitely need to do more sleeping. But, not sleeping at normal times, pssh.  Bed time is falling asleep at 3am in front of Netflix after forcing yourself to watch one more episode.

It’s your favourite show after all… TREAT YO SELF. You will enjoy this dammit.

Then work is shitty the next day because you’re SO DAMN TIRED. And you’re feeling guilty because you were up so late. And the cycle starts again.

This sounds terrible, right?

Ah, but that is where you are wrong.

You see, there’s power in feeling crap. You can make yourself feel like this. Self sabotage is a wonderful way to control the situation.

Eat shitty food and don’t sleep properly? You wake up feeling crap. Ah, I KNEW I’d feel like that. Just knew it.

It’s such an easy trap to fall into. It’s comfortable and it’s familiar. There’s no responsibility to make the day anything more than survivable.

No incentive to make it a fantastic day because after the immature way you’ve been acting, you don’t deserve a good day. You stayed up late so you should feel bad.

Snap out of it.

Totally that easy. Lol jks.

It’s okay to wallow. We all need that. But at some point the wallowing needs to stop and you need to get back to being you.

It’s not about being 100% fabulous all the time, but you should want to be 100% fab.

Because no matter how many Doritos you’ve stuffed into your face, how many episodes you binge watched just to keep yourself awake, how many empty Maccas bags are in your car, or how badly you need to do a load of washing, you deserve to be your very best.

I don’t really know how to snap out of it. I just try to take it one step at a time.

  1. Drink more water.
  2. Go to bed before 2am.
  3. Wash my hair.
  4. Think about going for a walk.
  5. End up drinking a bottle of wine on a Monday.
  6. Drink more water.
  7. Eventually go for that damn walk.

Though it’s common sense, it always amazes me how connected our bodies and minds are. A simple hot shower and cup of tea can turn a mood around. Fresh air and a walk do wonders for the soul. It’s not rocket science, but it sure can be hard to do.

At the end of the day, the real truth is you’re happy being happy.

Look after you ❤

PS. I want to be clear that I’m talking about the every day ups and downs, mental health and wellbeing – not mental illness. If you’re facing depression, anxiety or any other form of mental illness, then you’re braver than I am and I hope you’re getting the help & support you need ❤

Author: Alana James

Passionate about social justice, communications, politics, news, leadership & finding the beauty in everyday moments. Youth & Community Programs Coordinator at YMCA SA, board member at Youth Affairs Council of SA.

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