One message I got over and over while I was going through my divorce was, “You’ve got this!” Which really fucking irritates me to hear — especially when I don’t, in fact, “have it.” It’s easy to stand outside of someone else’s life while you aren’t going through anything they are going through, or feeling anything they are feeling, and tell them they can handle it.
You know, the whole Put-Your-Hair-Up-And-Get-Shit-Done mentality? Snap the pic and let everyone know how great you are doing. Keep it together for the kids. Go find a new man!
I think most of us know we will survive hard things. We will eventually work it out, come to terms with the life change. We know time helps heal wounds, but what about the waiting for the time to pass so it doesn’t hurt so much?
That’s the hard part.
We live in a “walk it off” society where people write entire books about getting up and washing your face to make yourself feel better.
What this does is make us feel like we have to send the sad and anxious feelings deeper into our soul. They twist and turn, screaming to be let out because we keep telling them to be quiet. Lying to ourselves, saying, “we’ve got this.” That a new outfit will make us feel better. That if we just get up and move, those feelings will move on out with the new mindset which is supposed to come with doing “hot girl” shit.
I fell for that for a while. I figured if I acted like things were going great and didn’t sit with my feelings that they’d eventually get washed down the drain with my face scrub.
But that’s not how it works, and we know it.
There are times I go for a drive and listen to sad songs and cry.
There are times I go to bed at seven just because I can’t handle another second of the day.
There are times texts go unanswered, legs go unshaved, laundry goes unfolded, and I stare out the window instead.
I refuse to spend the rest of my days pushing ahead and not taking the time to nurture all my emotions.
When we are feeling hot, we act on that, don’t we? We do our nails, lift weights, dance to music, buy a push-up bra, get our creative ideas out and share them, rearrange our bedroom and clean out closets.
We don’t stomp over them and sit in the pantry eating a bag of Combos when we actually feel like taking the dog for a walk or starting a home project we’ve been wanting to do.
So, why is it when we are feeling sad — and the only thing we can think about is being slumped in a corner with the salty, cheesy, carbs — that we feel the need to push ourselves into a more energized version, someone who’s ready to rearrange the furniture or start writing a book?
I’m telling you, doing sad girl shit has changed my life. You want to know why? When I let myself be sad, anxious, frustrated, run down, or any of the other feelings that still aren’t normalized and looked at as lazy or weak, I feel better a hell of a lot faster than I do if I push myself to be someone I don’t feel like being.
My energy comes back faster.
I sleep better.
I forgive myself faster, which means I forgive other people faster.
I start to feel the old me creeping back in when I give myself the time and space to be sad, and do sad girl shit.
The other day, I cried all the way to the grocery store. When I got there, I didn’t have it in me to get out of the car. I had no reason to feel this way; nothing had happened. I was simply in a really low mood.
So, instead of pushing myself to get out of the car, I went to my favorite fast food place, got a soda and called my best friend and talked with her for over an hour.
Then I had it in me to get out of the car and pick up the things I needed.
It wasn’t that long ago when I would have marched into the store, told myself to ignore my feelings because I was just being ridiculous, and I would have been irritated and edgy the whole time. Then I would have come home and it would have flooded onto my kids. But because I stopped myself from just going with the flow and doing the hot girl thing — which would have run me into the ground that day — I decided to talk to my friend in the car that I couldn’t get out of instead of doing my makeup and taking selfies to trick myself into thinking all was well.
I’m not saying we should always give into ourselves when we feel unmotivated — when we know that getting some fresh air or brushing on some mascara will lift us up. But we also know when that isn’t going to work and all it’s going to do is exhaust us even more.
Let’s normalize that hot girl shit is just a small section of our lives. Everyone I know does sad girl shit too, whether they try to hide it or not. Let’s remember we all have sad days. Take it from someone who used to push through them: I’m a much happier person now that I let myself feel those feelings instead of trying to smile through them.
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