What have YOU earned?
Had a rough go of it one day last week. Between packing and unpacking to go to the Chicago clinic, jet lag, Bill’s non-existent sleep schedule, and overall fatigue, we both had meltdowns. We are getting treatment-weary, that is for sure. Bill is bearing the brunt of it but funnily enough he thinks I am!
The strange thing to contemplate post-meltdown is my internal dialogue in the midst of it: “I have the right,” and “Anyone would melt down under these circumstances.” Both are true. The one that truly fascinated me was: “I’ve earned this!” Fully played out that particular conversation would be,” I’ve earned the right to be in a bad mood and to feel horrible and to be mad at the world!”
Who in their right mind would even want any of that? And to say I’ve earned it?
All of the internal dialogue I’ve catalogued here falls under the category of “justification.” I was looking for justification for being in a bad mood—AS IF BEING IN A BAD MOOD WERE SOME KIND OF REWARD!
I understand that everyone needs to blow off steam from time to time and I certainly don’t believe in ignoring one’s feelings. But what I do believe (and what is sometimes difficult to remember and put into practice) is that feelings are a barometer of where you are versus where you want to be. At the most basic level, negative feelings tell us, “I want to be happy and I am definitely not.” The next step would be to do something to reverse the spiral so you are moving toward feeling better, not worse.
Have I earned a bad mood? Of course not. What I’ve earned is a good mood and that is a gift only I can give myself. Fortunately, my tolerance for being in a bad mood has decreased over the years. Where once I was in a bad mood for 30+ years (i.e., clinical depression), I can now tolerate it for maybe a day. The day after my meltdown was a much better day and they’ve been getting better ever since.
Dialogue matters, whether it is internal or external. Whether you say, “I’ve earned the right to be in a really bad mood,” OR “I’m feeling great and I deserve it!” you will be right.
What have you earned?