It’s so amazing to me sometimes how quickly my moods can shift. Usually the shift is from good to bad, but I suppose it does go the other way sometimes. I can be having a great day, feeling so awesome and seeing all sunshine and rainbows…and all it takes is one person saying something or the wrong person crossing my path or hearing the wrong song and I’m in a place that is hard to get back out of.
Yesterday, I had a great day at the gym. That probably sounds weird, but for me, the gym is a dangerous place. I have a lot of issues with my own self-image and body type, to the point where I focus almost entirely on those people that I wished I looked like to the near-exclusion of everyone else. It’s an obsession and one that I have been working hard on getting rid of. The gym is like torture for me – forcing myself to be at my least attractive (sweaty, goofy, awkward) in front of the people that I want to like me the most. But yesterday was a GOOD day. I felt both accomplished and tired, in that way that a good workout can make you feel. What’s more, at least one guy that I had assumed would never look at me…did; another guy that I had probably been ignoring because he didn’t fit the mold looked at me…and I saw him in a new light. I was feeling really good about myself. Things were looking up.
When I got home, something shifted. I honestly don’t remember what the exact trigger was, but if I had to guess, it was probably the one-two punch of seeing a picture or social media post by someone I’m trying to forget combined with the fact that I was once again immersed in my regular (what I see as “pathetic”) routine of sitting in my apartment alone, playing video games. My mood dropped right out of my body. I can almost literally feel that happening when it does – this sinking feeling that just drains that good mood right out.
I didn’t shake it. I’ve been in a way all day today. Meetings where I should’ve been more on-point, I felt unprepared and stupid. I was stressed and unfocused. I put on happy faces for those who mattered, but I’m an expert at that by now. In fact, there might be some people reading this now who might be a little offended by the fact that they didn’t know that I was feeling this way. It’s just what I do. But I digress – the point is that I let some of the littlest things completely tank my mood.
And I completely ignore or minimize the things that I do have going for me. A new friend asked me to join him and some friends for drinks tomorrow. I got a couple new messages on Tinder (that’s an entirely separate blog post, trust me). I have projects that I’m excited to be involved in. And yet, I sit here, in the dark, moping and feeling sorry for myself.
How are things ever supposed to get better for me if I can’t find a more positive mindset to adopt? I’m not saying that I’m in these dark moods all of the time, but it sure does feel like a setback every time it happens. It feels like I’m running a race and just when I start to build some momentum, I stop to sit down, letting everyone else pass me by. And yes, I’m aware that there’s a lot to unpack there – it’s not a competition, everyone needs a break every now and then, blah blah blah. I get it. But I’m writing this now so that I can look back at it later with a clearer mind to see the truth.
I do think that my mood shifts have gotten better over time. I have gotten a lot better at looking at things differently than I used to and using that new perspective to guide me in new directions. But sometimes it just feels like there is so much that is slipping right out of my grasp because I get into these moods and for someone like me who loves control, that is really freakin’ annoying.
Hmph. Where are my oatmeal creme pies?