Even I have days like this.
I'm in the grocery store at 10 o'clock at night, staring into the frozen food cases. My shoulders are slouched. My hair is pulled back in a low ponytail. I don't have on any socks or makeup and I'm wearing pajama pants. Through the frost-coated glass doors, I'm trying to figure out what flavor of ice cream contains the secret to getting my happy back.
I know this won't work, but everything else I've tried has failed.
It's snowing out. There are clouds from horizon to horizon, so there's no sun to bathe in. When I get home, I know that hubby and the kids have bathed, so sitting down in the shower and letting hot water run over me? Not going to happen.
Cookie Dough? Pistachio? Strawberry? Super-Fudgy-Chunk?
I stare at the rainbow of little pint containers. Finally, I select one I haven't tried before. "Maybe it's just that I've not tried ALL the flavors, yet," I think to myself.
Again, I know this isn't true, but I'm grasping at straws.
As I'm walking to the checkout line, it hits me. Potato chips. I want salt. I bypass the checkout line and stroll down the aisle with different colored mylar bags just winking at me in the florescent light. "Why do stores keep putting florescent lights in? Don't they know that it just makes people feel worse?" I think.
I select a bag of popcorn instead of the chips and I think, "These are healthier . . . I think." The bag is black and I remember how a cashier once, about 4 months ago, who told me that she didn't feel any smarter after eating the bag of corn, despite what the company who made it was called. Some cynical remark about the cashier's intelligence that I don't mean skitters across my brain like a beetle.
Then a song so depressing comes on the PA that it feels like the world is just conspiring with my funk to keep my shoulders slouched.
At home, I sit with a spoon, watching some comedian's special on my television for the 20th time. I know the jokes. I'm not laughing, anymore. But, somehow, the familiar voice cadence of a routine that I know by heart makes me less agitated. I love the lilts of the comedian's voice. I love the little laughs and sidetracks that happen in the moment.
I spoon the ice cream in my mouth. Then, when I'm done, I mute the television. I pull out my laptop and I write, "Today, I'm in a funk."
I can't change the fact that I'm in this strange funk that nothing seems to be able to penetrate, so I try to do something with it. I put it down on the page. In words or art, I put it down. I try to get it out of me so that it doesn't stay and wreck the next couple of days.
I think back to what may be the root of my malaise. Is it the fact that there hasn't been sun in a couple of days 'cause it's winter in Indiana? Did I do too much at that television interview and now, with my Lupus, I'm paying the price for it? Did I miscalculate my spoons? Did the nightmares that I woke screaming from cause me not to get enough good sleep, again?
It's pointless to try and figure it out. It may be one, all, or none of those reasons and knowing doesn't help me, at all. So I write. And I write. And I write some more. I pour it out on the page.
That's what I do when things are crap and nothing seems to make them better. I watch television. I eat ice cream. I take my pills and I type on my computer. I read books. I play with Pookie while sitting in bed. Maybe it's just my body trying to tell me that I need this cave time - that I need to hunker down and just not be as many things to people as I usually am. Or maybe this is just another one of those things that come with having Lupus.
So I try to get by with my ice cream and comedy specials. And maybe tomorrow I'll feel better. Maybe tomorrow the clouds will break and the wind will quit blowing stinging snow in my face and I can get out and take a walk. Maybe I'll go into a store and not hear depressing songs in minor chords. And maybe there could be Alfredo for dinner. Tomorrow. All tomorrow.
Today, it's time to be honest. It's time to write. Today, there's the truth of everything and the power of being authentic - of not pretending that everything is okay.
Today, I'm in a bad funk and I can't figure a way out.