Forget the weight loss yo-yo that so many of us often experience, especially us women. To me it’s the emotional yo-yo that I have the most struggles with. With no offense to men intended, as we already know, in general woman typically are more emotional than men. The hormonal changes our bodies go through from birth to death seem to be much more…well…more.
Sure, we all go through puberty (although truthfully I think girls get it worse with dealings with menstruation) and even that can vary greatly between the sexes, but I don’t know about anyone else’s feelings on this matter, but I feel like I’m more of an emotional blob, now more than ever. Through teenage angst, to first loves, to the trials and tribulations of marriage (and its failure) all the way to past the child-bearing stage into menopause, my emotions seem to be more raw, far more prolific and at times, just down-right nasty.
So this emotional yo-yo to which I’m referring is the struggle I face to keep positive – about myself, about life, about just about anything that touches my life – when something unpleasant happens, without feeling like I’m sinking into an abyss. How do people do it? How do they always seem to remember the positive sides of things? How do they manage to push all that negativity, hurt and pain down? And that also begs the question of – should they?
I, for one, don’t think that holding in negative emotions is necessarily a good thing. I need to vent. I need to let off that excess steam. Or I might implode. I always have said that I never understood people who constantly seem to always be happy. I still don’t understand it. How can anyone be that happy all the time? Surely they have faced issues in their lives, so can they be so seemingly happy all the time? Honestly, I’m sure that there are some people that no matter what happens they just seem to let it run off them like water off of ducks and they just are happy, not necessarily choosing to be so. They just are. But I have looked at people like that and thought they were faking it. That it seemed so unreal. So false.
Now that very well could just be my grumpy-pants attitude that doesn’t believe in such a thing, but I still have to wonder how much people really fake regarding their emotions. I know I do it all the time. For a long stretch of a period in the not-too-distant past I was so miserable and felt so ugly that I pretended to be otherwise – to everyone. I was great at it. Academy Award winning performance great. But eventually that sort of stuff just has to come out. And it did. And it wasn’t pretty. Enough so that Dr. S told me, “I think you should start coming back in every week again.”
I’ve come some distance since that time. I don’t look at myself in the mirror or at my reflection in a window and automatically think, “God, you’re ugly. You’re so disgusting!” I’m working on trying to save my life with lifestyle changes. I started writing this blog. Overall, I am now moving in the right direction.
But I realize now that I will never become one of those perpetually happy people. I just don’t see it. And that’s okay. Because I know that overall I will be happy, healthy and can overcome any obstacles I encounter. I’ve done it my entire life – that won’t change. But I will be happier than I am today. And tomorrow I will be happier than I am today. The progression is there and I don’t believe I will ever get back to that other “God, you’re ugly” person again.
At least I pray that I don’t.
So all this rambling leads me to the topic I actually wanted to touch upon today. That Emotional Yo-Yo I was talking about. Well, for those that know me well enough, they know that I get motion-sickness. And this Emotional Yo-Yo for all intents and purposes is my Demon Drop (old roller coaster at Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio). It terrifies me how one minute I can be so happy and the next – not. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not on this Emotional Yo-Yo all day long, every day. I’m talking about just how I am with the extremes on specific occasions.
Case in point: This past Friday I was very happy to have heard the news that after many long years of dealing with an intense legal situation to which I was dragged into by my ex-husband, was finally over. My last tie to him was now severed and I was free. No longer did I have the threat of foreclosure for property I hadn’t lived on since 2006 over my head but more so, I didn’t have to continue to deal with the mortgage company threatening to come after only me because I have good credit (save for that foreclosure), pay my bills on time and my ex has so many judgments against him (including 2 from me) they deemed him to be noncollectable. I was ecstatic. I was thrilled that I could move on with my life and not have those worries and all the unknowns of what might happen from it sitting on my shoulders.
Then my New York Mets won the National League East Division and would be going to the playoffs for the first time in 9 years.
Of course we’re talking about two very different life experiences – both of which I had nothing to do with and had no real say in the outcome. But things were looking up and I was feeling good. I was happy. Except for the part where I felt alone and didn’t have anyone to really celebrate (in person) with. But I’m used to that and it was okay.
Then yesterday (Sunday), I went to my car that was parked in my usual parking spot in the driveway. I was heading out to the grocery store for a few things and while the car was warming up (re: battery – really long story I won’t get into), I was watching my neighbor jet around on his riding lawnmower with his earbuds in. I even chuckled at how animated he looked as he drove between the two houses and kicked up the dirt – oblivious to everything and anything he was running over – twigs, rocks etc.
It suddenly occurred to me when he turned around and was coming back that 1) he was too close to my car at about 5 feet away, and 2) the hole from which all the crap he was mowing over comes out was aimed directly for my car. Before I could react, I heard, “Pop! Pop! Pop!” and then something hitting the glass of one of my passenger doors. Throwing the car in reverse, I backed onto my front lawn as far away from him as I could get. Meanwhile, off he goes across his lawn. Oblivious.
I got out to check my car and you know that Emotional Yo-Yo I was just referring to? Well it hit me. Full frontal! I went from being happy and content to sickened at what this guy had done to my only 6=month old car. I was pissed off and livid that he could be so careless and inconsiderate and I was also so sad and upset. It slapped me into defeatist mode so far, I should have taken some Dramamine. When at last the guy looked over at me, I waved him over. I was so emotional that I couldn’t have expressed any one feeling coherently. But perhaps what really sent me down the Emotional Yo-Yo was his indifference to what he’d just done.
“Oh sorry about that.”
“I didn’t notice.”
“Get an estimate and bring it over.”
“I thought you must have gotten a new car.”
Then he walked away, kicked up some of the dirt near where I was parked unable to find what he possible could have kicked up with the mower that would do that. And we all know that if I hadn’t been sitting in the car at that point, I would have never known it was him and what he’d done. And he hadn’t even noticed. No real emotion or sincerity in his apology. No nothing. Except that indifference. And that pissed me off even more. And saddened me even more than that.
Now, one thing I want to make sure is said before I continue. Yes, it’s “just a car.” A material thing. No one was hurt. No one died. It wasn’t done intentionally. It wasn’t done with malice or forethought. It was just an accident (albeit preventable).
But what many don’t understand is while yes, it is just a car, it’s my car. One that I worked hard to get; to save up five thousand dollars to put as a down-payment on it. To deal with the then still-looming foreclosure over my head and on my credit report. It was the first thing in a very long time that I finally felt I deserved it; deserved something nice that was all mine. Because I worked hard for it, sure. But also because of all of the emotional pain and suffering I’d gone through at the hands of someone else, it was something that was mine and mine alone.
I deserved something nice.
You see, I likened my neighbor’s indifference and his entire demeanor but also just the incident in itself to a slap in the face like it was dealing with my ex all over again. That because of someone else’s carelessness and their not giving any thought to their actions, I was again experiencing the Emotional Yo-Yo through no fault of my own.
Again, it’s not the same instance but you get the similarities in my feelings on it. More disappointment at the actions of someone else. But more so, the immense feelings of “why me?”
But that also brings me to my other point. The more important point.
Make no bones about it. I know I’m blessed and I am in no way denying it with the words written further above. I am blessed throughout every aspect in my life. I have a loving and wonderful mother who has done everything she can throughout my life, especially after my Dad died, to take care of me, shelter me from harm and just be there for me. I have a large wonderfully goofy family that I adore. I have some cousins who are like brothers or sisters to me. And my friends? I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people in my life. From those that I have known for over 30 years – those I’ve known since Kindergarten or high school – to those who’ve only recently entered my life but have already left an indelible impression – on my heart and soul. There are people out there – strangers really since I haven’t met them in person – that have entered my life in one way or another but have gone out of their way to help support me. To give me strength. In some cases, to give me peace. And I think God put them in my path – or me in theirs – to do all of those things. Because He knows, no matter how strong I have been throughout my life, sometimes along the way I need help. His help. Their help. YOUR help.
Even from my ex have I learned things – about myself and about others – but in the end, those things make up who I am today and are yet another reason why I feel so blessed. That’s certainly not to say that I wish things had turned out differently but along this path I’ve come to realize that looking back does me no good at all. And while it’s been suggested to me to “forgive” him – I’m not at a point I can do that and may never be. I certainly will never forget. But I no longer dwell on the “what ifs” and the “what this person or that person has done to me”. I’m moving on. Stronger.
So while I have my moments of Emotional Yo-Yo or rage on with pity parties for one, I know deep down that I am so blessed that I’m sure there might even be people out there who are jealous of that. I’m sure there are people out there who aren’t as lucky as me. I’m sure that they would give anything for even a tiny portion of the blessings that I have. And for that reason alone, I am all the more aware that I need to try to do whatever I can to stop the Emotional Yo-Yo as much as I can and try to remember all of these blessings that I have in my life.
So I hope you’ll forgive me for my occasional “slip” into self-pitydom (new word, Dr. S!) and I hope eventually they will be further and farther between, with a heavy concentration of self-love (oh that sounds funny) and immense and continued gratefulness.
So to end this on a great note. Weigh in day today and I am happy to report I am down another pound! Can I get a “Woot”?
So since July 7th (at which I was my highest in several years), I am down 11 pounds. I’m very pleased with this and know not only can I keep going but I can do better! I still have lots of changes to make but baby steps.
Which brings me to, “Hello, my name is Dani and I’m a Pepsi addict”
Everyone else: “Hello Dani”
Sending many blessings, love and prayers to everyone. Thank you for ALL that you do for me.