That title is from Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart, from the scene where Meg pulls Babe’s head out of the oven when she’s trying to kill herself. Meg asks why, and Babe says something like “It was a very bad day,” which is the reason they’d all given for their mother hanging herself in the basement. And Meg says, “We just have to learn how to get through these very bad days.”
This is a skill I must master.
How bad did it get? I was bringing Lani home after dropping her car off at the repair shop again–that car must be completely rebuilt by now–and we were both depressed as hell, but as she got out, she turned to me and said, “It’s all going to be all right.”
And I looked at her and said with absolute sincerity, “No, it’s not.”
Yeah, ol’ Nothing-But-Good-Times-Ahead finally hit bottom.
I think it was just a perfect storm of things and it knocked me off my game. I know how lucky I am–hell, I have a JOB–but there are so many uncertainties that I’m having a hard time finding a safe place to stand. Sometimes you just need to hold onto one thing that’s sure and safe, and if you can’t find one thing that’s not up in the air with the potential for disaster, well, that makes it hard to breathe. Add to personal stress the knuckle-draggers in Congress who have managed to trash the US credit-rating while protecting the rich, and the general ass-hattery of politics in general, mixed with the horrible jobs and real estate markets, and I needed a cookie badly.
Of course I could have come back here and posted about how depressed and anxious I was, but really, who the hell needs that? I’m one of the luckiest people I know, who am I to bitch about a few setbacks? If I don’t have anything to contribute, I should just shut the fuck up. So I shut the fuck up. Hence the long silence.
Now things have shaken out a little and I’m coming up for air. I’ve hung on using my general coping tactics–music, crochet, chocolate, dogs–and I’ve got some good stuff to look forward to now–you need some good future coming up even if it’s little stuff–but I’m not out of the woods yet, and neither, I’m betting, is most of the country.
So here’s what I want to know: When you start going down for the third time, not just “I’ve had a bad day” but “No, it’s not going to be all right,” what do you do? Drugs are out, addictive and expensive, and probably shopping, too, for the same reasons. What’s a cheap, easy, effective coping tactic for getting through the very bad days (weeks/months . . .)?
Because my oven is electric, so that’s not a solution.