Yesterday I was at a memorial service for one of my clients. It is so wonderfully amazing how multi-faceted we as people are, how immensely complex and varied our lives are. When you only know a piece of someone (or even when you know much more than that) a memorial service is a beautiful way of bringing all those pieces together -from different friend groups, or work places, or family connections -and sharing this picture of the person we all knew in different ways.
On an only slightly related note, I was noting that there are always sweets at funerals and memorial services. This is because sugar makes you feel better. Actually, there are sweets at most social functions . . . Obviously this is because most kind of people-interacting requires some sort of anesthetic. 😉 We do tend to provide people with means to self-medicate in either new or uncomfortable situations though: work parties need food and booze, funerals and weddings often have both as well. Anything ever that has “networking” in its title, comes with alcohol. PTA meetings have cookies.
It turns out that I am extraordinarily bad at coping without the aid of some physical substance.
While I was buzzing around my work building, my co-worker said to me, “have a cookie, you look like you need a cookie.” To which I said, “I need ten cookies,” and then I ate an apple.
I am generally a little bit of an anxious person. In my relentless pursuit of becoming a person who can effectively stuff all her emotions somewhere deep and far away, I am, naturally, not good at either identifying or dealing with my emotions.
My large and full multi-family house has felt especially chaotic lately. I have been particularly grumpy about this, and my anxiety levels have shot through the roof -but I can’t quite say why I am so anxious. Identifying the root of emotions can be key to managing them; self awareness is a hugely important life skill.
When my anxiety, or depression, or pent-up anger, starts exhibiting physical symptoms, that really gets me contemplating my need for some better coping skills. Sometimes I am good at being intentional about processing, at making myself think through my thoughts and feelings (instead of running completely in the opposite direction, and hiding in a dark corner somewhere). Mostly though, I see a desperate need to learn how to cope better. My tired and cranky body that woke me up at 3am says so anyway.
If any of you have some good thoughts on coping, I’d love some advice.