Time for another Reverb post!
April Showers | April is a fickle month. Potential for snow (at least in some places!), lots of rain, and sunny days in the near 80s and windy days in the 40s. April is temperamental, for sure. Are you a fickle person? How so? Or do you sometimes feel moody? How do you deal with moodiness.
Let’s see…am I a fickle person. This is where we need to go into dictionary mode, because so often I think of “fickle” as being unpredictable in a way that makes little sense. The dictionary definition says 1) “likely to change…casually changeable” and 2) not constant or loyal in affections. If we’re talking about my feelings for people, the answer is just a straight no. I tend to feel a way strongly about someone, and that feeling may change over time. If I’m spending hours and hours on end with someone, chances are that I will get annoyed with them eventually, even those that I love dearly (don’t tell my Mom – but this happened with her one time when we were on a trip just the two of us). I think it’s the close and constant proximity that can make for a “sudden change” in feelings, but when things go back to their normal style…I’m usually back to feeling better about myself and the other person.
I suppose if we think about being fickle with feelings, in those cases my feelings can change casually. Not always, but when they do, it’s a sudden shift towards annoyance. And it’s obviously not unusual.
If we’re talking about mood…I’m not sure fickle is the right word. My moods do not change back and forth frequently, and if I’m in a good mood I’m likely to be in a good mood for quite a while. The main problem is that my mood can darken and change at the drop of a hat, and it’s likely to color the rest of the day (or days) to follow. For example – I was coordinating to help someone at work, and forwarded their email to someone who would be able to help them do what they wanted to do. It all went smoothly in my head, and I was pleased. Soon after I received an email that complained I had used in the incorrect (but more common) spelling of this person’s name, and it was very frustrating for Person because there were two other Personnes in her building, and she did not appreciate it. All this while addressing the email to Margaret…when I’d obviously signed the previous letters in our correspondence as Maggie. The hypocrisy and inconsiderance of this message floored me. For the rest of the day I wondered what I could have done better beyond spelling their name correctly to make the interaction better. I never figured it out, and while I could have and should have brushed this off as a rude person not knowing better…I let it affect my day going forward. I had been so pleased to put the right people in contact, and that one email shattered everything that followed, leaving me feeling sort of meh and unsure of myself long after.
My default setting is to be in at least a decent, if not cheerful and happy mood. There are a few things that can affect that. A series of poor interpersonal interactions with someone close to me has a similar affect as a single interaction with a stranger, but has a tendency to last longer, and dig my mood deeper. If the Boy and I are in a fight over something stupid, and it’s lasting longer than just the time of the fight, it’s going to drag me down for days. If it’s a fight that has caused the bad mood, the solution is to talk it out, and find a solution that works – something to look forward to and which gives me hope. But sometimes…sometimes I’m just down. I’ll have a headache. Or be on my period. Have done something stupid at work. Not accomplished something that is dragging down my to-do list. Or it’s raining. These times are not frequent, but they pop up just enough of the time where the Boy will occasionally ask me “What’s wrong?” or “Are you ok?”
In these times, you do what you have to do to power through. If it’s the kind of thing you know is temporary…you take an Excedrin, eat some chocolate. Wallow while watching the millionth episode of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Hide under a blanket for an hour, or force-snuggle the cat. I get myself into a place where the world feels possible and manageable again, and then I get back out there. I’m really lucky that I haven’t had to deal with longer bouts of depression, but I know how important it can be to reach out to someone when you are feeling low. If depression is a regular part of your life, then you should talk to a professional about it. I have many friends who see a therapist, and while it’s not an easy choice to make, it’s one that has helped many of them find ways to handle the fickle moods in their lives.
The tempestuous days of spring are coming to an end – more quickly in the DC area than we would like to admit. Sooner than we hope, things will be hot, and the world outside will feel oppressive (especially to those of us who daren’t venture outside without a layer of SPF 50), and all of us will be wishing for the days when it was possible to have some changeability in our lives.
So how about you? How do you deal with your changing moods? Do you self-medicate with cat cuddles and chocolate? Do you make the productive choice (that I should do myself) of going out and exercising? Do you wallow? Do you see a professional? And if so…how has that helped you to address your changing moods in the times between sessions?