A good cry does a body good

Today, I am considerably better. This is an inordinate relief. Especially in light of my most recent low, half an hour spent sobbing in the bathtub last night.

Whence this lightening of spirit? What on earth engendered this most welcome change?

Two things, I think.

1) I’ve decided (thirty minutes curled into a fetal position under scalding water is quite the opportunity for reflection) to from here-on apply one question, one fundamental question, to all my decisions. From the mundane to the profound, from monumental to miniscule. “Will this make me feel good?” Not will it make me happy. Not will it be the best decision given the circumstances. But will it make me feel good. Because if it will, then it will be good – it will be the healthy decision, the right one. Similarly to using my economic power to choose to support companies whose policies I agree with, I will use my willpower strategically, to support choices that will result in a healthier me. This means being smart about what movies I choose to watch, what news I choose to expose myself to, what books I choose to read, what clothes I wear, how I spend my time, what people I choose to be with. I am too fragile, too easily burdened by woe and empathy. I simply cannot afford to be cavalier with my emotions – my skin is too thin. Only health, wellness and goodness will do.

2) I’m discovering the power of my voice. I’ve been posting online comments at work for a while, usually on the topic of our workplace culture (which needs a heck of a lot of widely acknowledged improvement). Today, I posted about standards for expected behaviour, and about how sometimes seeing how some people treat each other at work makes me feel ill. I was polite, but firm. I didn’t pull any punches. It is dawning on me that if I don’t say anything – me, with a literature degree and a lifetime of scribbles – no one will. I have the words. Others might not. But that doesn’t make the bad behaviour OK – it just makes it that much more sinister. “Use your words!” we keep telling Bonhomme. He’s at that total three-year-old attitude stage, exploring the powers of intonation, volume, repetition and emotional manipulation. “I didn’t understand that because you were speaking in Whine,” I tell him. I wish I could have said the same to a certain executive of mine, who wanted to clear the air with me today over the completely unprofessional way she treated me during a moment of stress a few weeks back. I understood her point of view today, and I understood it at the time – but that doesn’t mean that she was right. Nor was the way she addressed me – either time. Using your position to bully and intimidate simply doesn’t fly with me. And when I witnessed that kind of intimidation today between colleagues (when it rains, it pours), I was just fuming. And so I wrote that post, and I did not mince words. Because so doing just encourages others to put up and shut up too. So, like my son, I’m learning to use my words. Because they matter. And my words are one thing my depression has never been able to stifle. If anything, the perspective depression gives me makes my words even that much more powerful –  and more important.

So, I am better today. Not perfect – there was another half-hour bathtub experience tonight, minus the tears and the fetal position – but better. I hope the betterness will continue. But I know that if it doesn’t, it won’t silence me. I’m done being silent. And that post about unacceptable behaviour in the workplace? It made me feel damn good.

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1 comment so far

  1. Moosilaneous on

    I’m very pleased that you’ve reached and surpassed the crescendo of miserable, though sorry it had to get that bad.

    And I love your new mantras. Excellent paradigm for decisions – considering the net impact on you. As for using your words, you have to admit you are good at it. I only wish you could cross post, so I could read that little use of your words.
    Life affirming choices!


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