Why it’s Bad to Hold It

After hanging out last night, I woke up feeling a little down in the dumps. Had one margarita too many and revealed something I should’ve kept to myself.  So all day, I did what I often do when something plagues me–I wallowed. I slept off and on through a Rockefeller documentary, ate a bunch of junk food and scrolled my Twitter timeline. Just as the sun set, I left the house to drive around the lake in an effort to clear my mind.

Back at home, I still hadn’t showered, an act that serves as a personal signal that I’m ready to shake my slump. I sat down at the piano and began practicing. Suddenly, I had an epiphany. I wanted to feel better. However, I didn’t want to do what it took to get there. But why not?


In my mind, I likened my depressed state to a young child not wanting to do #2. Nature alerts them that they really need to go, but they stubbornly resist. Their refusal shields them from the ickiness that accompanies the act of letting go, much like my refusal to face the mess I’d made (pun intended). When you insist on holding on to the toxicity, it only makes matters worse. I realized that the longer I clung to the bad feelings, the harder it would be for, er, movement to occur.

Well, I was halfway convinced to feel better. Still, I dragged myself in the bedroom, prepared to mope and watch more TV. Then something weird happened. Positive momentum seemed to arise out of thin air. I had fallen a day behind on the 30-day squat challenge I started a couple weeks ago. Then almost like magic , I completed the daily goal of 130.  Next, like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, I found myself taking a long, hot shower. My emotional rut was performing a slow disappearing act. I emerged feeling lighter and with the urge to do more.

Shortly afterwards, à la Copperfield, my laptop opened and I typed this blog in one sitting, solid evidence that the thought process drives the mind and body. I was actively pulling myself out of a slump, and in record time! Though the struggle was coming to a close, I still had one final step to complete. I needed to flush. Fact is, once you’ve gone, there’s no use in staring at it. My slump received its official send-off when I forgave myself for the slip of the tongue.

My inspiration came by way of a little self-analysis and self-compassion, coupled with deciding that it was better to go than to remain on the pot like a pigheaded tot, miserably swinging my legs.  Making that choice enabled me to salvage the remainder of my day and start tomorrow off on the right foot.  I can rest well with the knowledge that going may be tough, but the ability to flush makes it worth the fight.

How do you recover from being in a funk? Do you have a hard time showing yourself compassion? Feel free to leave comments.

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