Turns out Really Bad Days come in different flavors. The flavor of the July 17 post was of the “Hanging On” type. The analogy of downward slides, uphill climbs, and the doodle about hanging on over the abyss suited its energy.
Today’s Really Bad Day discussion centers on the “Turtle” variation of a Really Bad Day. It doesn’t overwhelm you like a tsunami. It creeps up on you, from your blind slide.
With the “Turtle,” there you are, going about your day, feeling fine, when suddenly you notice you’re not. You stop for a moment and realize there’s nothing you can point to as having brought this on. The transition between the two having been quiet and subtle, as if a switch went from “fine,” to “not.”
This particular “not” is almost melancholy. A sadness of sorts. A “something is not quite right.” Yet there’s nothing overtly wrong.
You will probably find yourself craving the comfort foods of your youth — noodles and cheese, mashed potatoes, tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches are the ones that call to me.
Like the turtle, you want to hide inside your shell. You want to be home with the drapes drawn, curtains closed, and blinds shut. You find yourself rooting around in the back of your closet or the bottom of your drawers for those items you keep for just these occasions. Your favorite shirt you’ve salvaged from the rag bag many times over the years, the sweats which would be passed over by a dumpster diver, and the slippers even your dog won’t chew on. Yet in your turtle mode, they feel like home. They feel like they are embracing you and holding you in a way you need, when you need it most.
You crave comfort to sooth your spirit.
If you have the luxury of indulging in your turtle mood, you’ll find yourself watching sappy movies, eating junk food, and maybe reading a few lightweight romance novels.
Maybe you decide to take a stand, to fight the Turtle-ness of it all. To rise above giving into a malaise for which there’s no apparent reason.
Maybe you want to cry your way through. I’ve often thought a good long snot-nosed cry would do wonders for my soul. I image after such a cry I’d be tired, in a good way. A relieved tired since I’d have exorcized all the demons and sorrow inside. However, as I’ve never experienced that, and I’ve never cried more than a few seconds, snot-nose or otherwise, I can’t say. I just know that when I fight the Turtle, I’m in a sad place for much longer than when I simply shut everything down and go inside for a while.
As with the “Hanging on” Really Bad Day, at some point in your “Turtling” you will feel a shift. You’ll know the worst is behind and whatever your psyche or soul needed to go through, it did. You’re free to move on.
Rather than beat yourself up for “giving in” to such episodes, view them not as indulgence, but contained acceptance. Accept this too is a part of yourself, whether you like it or not, and give it the time in the sun it craves. Or, in the case of the Turtle, give it the time it needs in the shade.
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