nothing feels good being under the gun

“Well, crap.”

When everything goes to hell, that is usually the first thing my inner monologue can come up with. Helpful, right? (Not, not really.)

But when everything starts tanking, I usually retreat to one of two responses: Curse a lot, feel overwhelmed, whine, cry, complain, et cetera or step into a pencil skirt and a sassy top, put on my biggest statement necklace, curl my hair, pop on some red lipstick and a pair of fierce high heels, put on my best “Mean Girls” stare and, hand on hip, cut that beyotch down to size.

When I start feeling overwhelmed, it helps me to at least look put together. When my life seems to be spinning out of control, when work deadlines pile on top of housework and the dog decides to eat something that doesn’t agree with him and so has it shooting out both ends, when I’m flaring, it seems the only thing I can control is my appearance, the face I present to the world. And so that face seems so much more important than it does when I’m feeling well (or well-ish).

Subsequently, if I look like I’ve got it all together, I start feeling like I do, too. And then that mountain I feel like I’ve got to conquer starts looking more like a pile of beans.

But the thing I’ve found helps me best is to be really organized. This is not, unfortunately, my nature, but I’ve learned I function best when I write everything down (especially when the brain fog starts rolling in) and when everything has a place. It took me a long time to organize my office (cubicle) the way IĀ  need it to be; now that it is, though, it helps when I feel like everything is crashing down around me.

Of course, sometimes I still need a good cry or a good yell or a good cuddle or to just sit in my pajamas the whole day eating frozen yogurt and crossing absolutely nothing off my to-do list. The thing is, most of the time, I just don’t have the energy to start freaking out over whatever this week’s big crisis is. Most of the time, I put my head down and muddle through. But every now and then, with all those plates up in the air, one of them will fall. If you’re lucky, someone else will be there to catch it before it hits the ground. If not, you’ve just got to dust yourself off and try again. (And maybe invest is some Corelle dishware, next time.)

(PS- I took that photo when I was at university, after a hurricane blew through. I had never had school canceled because of rain before. Snow, yes. Rain, no. I can’t say that anymore.)


12 thoughts on “nothing feels good being under the gun

  1. i absolutely love this post. i feel the exact same way. i always feel like my days go better when i actually wake up in time to shower, dry and straighten my hairm, and put on mascara. when things get crazy, the only way i can stay sane is by looking sane (i admit, most of the time this doesn’t happen). staying organized helps me a lot too. and, like you said, realizing that sometimes you drop a plate. it happens to everyone. lately i’ve been asking myself, is this going to matter a year from now? most of the time the answer is no. it’s a lot easier to let things go, if i know that in the grand scheme of my life they are simply just a fleeting moment, a blink of the eye. oh and i could not make it without that days of sitting at home in my yoga pants, watching the real housewives ALL day and eating fudgerounds.

  2. I really understand where you are coming from. But instead of how put together I look, when I get overwhelmed I tend to want my environment more put together. If I have the energy, I will sort through the piles building up on my desk or put away the laundry that I avoided. I feel a little bit calmer when things around me are not such a mess and it also helps me feel more in control.

    • Hi Morgan,
      That helps me, too. My desk at worse used to be a pig sty, and as we progress toward production day ā€” the busiest day of the week ā€” it gets progressively messier. But, that’s why I love Wednesday; it’s a chance to set things to rights again.

  3. I know exactly what you mean…when you look good, you feel so much better! The only problem is when you don’t feel well enough to put your clothes on or take a shower šŸ˜¦ any tips?

    I hope you’re doing well šŸ™‚
    take care, robin

    • Hi Robin:
      It’s so true, and I hate those days when I don’t really feel well enough to put myself together the way in a way I would like. For showering, I sometimes take a sit-down shower. I know there are real, actual shower seats, but using one would be admitting that I need one, so I usually just sit on the edge of the tub closest to the wall (so I don’t get water all over the floor) and shower that way. Shaving sitting down is much easier, too. For clothes, my entire wardrobe is pretty mix and match. I can usually just grab whatever skirt/pants and whatever top and call it a day. Still, my favourite is dresses. It’s an entire outfit in one article of clothing. That helps, too. Cute, stylish and comfy flats are awesome as well, though my collection of heels taunts me every day I can wear any of them. :-/

      I hope that helps!

  4. Organization, YES, and especially getting to dress up and see how beautiful each of us really is, two definite things to helping us deal better with stress, pain, and whatever else we all deal with. Thanks for the reminder. Maybe I’ll put the Old Navy yoga-capris in the drawer today and go out tonight in some heels. šŸ™‚ {hugs}

  5. Swearing helps! LOL. Getting all decked out is tough for me, but I can see how sometimes that would help, might have to make the effort….

    • Hey Amanda and KD:
      Exactly! And, on days heels aren’t an option for me, stellar flats are good, too. Thank God we have more than just Keds as options! It’s definitely worth the effort, some days. But, for me, the worse I feel on the inside, the better I want to look on the outside, just to help me deal. Vain, maybe, but it works for me.

  6. Well, I do like to swear, but I think I do that on a good day too! LOL! It’s funny, but my counselor/therapist just told me yesterday, “Ya know if I didn’t know you, or know any better, I’d wouldn’t think that you were going thru all you’re going thru right now or that you are even the least bit sick! You look so put together!” So, yes, when you make yourself look good, and others believe you’re feeling good, you actually start to believe it yourself!


    • Hey Dana:

      Exactly! Part of the double edged sword of invisible illness: No one knows unless I tell him/her. But, like you said, if you look good, it helps you feel good! And I’ll take feeling good (almost) any way I can get it.

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