Crankiness... I has it...
K. I'm going to post another completely open and honest snapshot of a less than perfect moment along the healing journey.
I'm in a foul mood. And crankiness isn't really sufficient to explain the full import of what I'm feeling. I share this in the spirit of other posts I've made over the past few months in hopes that being open about these things can help other people, and other men especially, feel empowered to be open when they're not feeling at their best either.
As humans we simply have to accept that we're not able to always be everything we want (and sometimes what the world wants us) to be.
I just returned from an otherwise successful trip to deliver a few talks at the Dallas Crimes Against Children Conference. However while there I came down with a stomach bug. While my body has been fighting off this infection my digestion has been messed up, I've had some plumbing problems (won't go into more detail than that), and still facing some stomach pain. My appetite is almost non-existent and I've really not eaten all that much the past few days (which is a real sign that I'm not feeling right).
Yesterday as I was coming home from Dallas I really started feeling the crankiness come on. I almost lost it at LaGuardia when asked to produce my baggage claim ticket in order to with my bags. All I had the energy to do was to force myself to keep my mouth shut while I pouted and petulantly tore through my backpack looking for the baggage claim ticket I couldn't find. I knew on some level I was acting like a 5 year old who needed a nap, but I simply didn't have the ability in that moment to fully control my behavior. In hindsight I'm sure I looked like a jerk, and thinking about it I couldn't help but wonder how often other men act like a jerk when feeling similarly overwhelmed and exhausted.
More of a problem however is how this is impacting my mental functioning. As a result of the bug I went off my meds for a few days (back on now). And currently I'm so worn out from both the travel and the recuperating that my cognitive functioning and my mood have noth nosedived. I'm only firing on one cylinder at the moment and with that limited amount of horsepower I simply don't have the ability to get my work done. Maybe worst of all, I'm seeing everything in extremely negative ways, to the point where I snapped at Jane a few times when she literally did nothing more than be who she always is - my loving, supportive, and often sarcastic wife.
Feeling like this is just a normal part of the human experience. I'm an adult who is sick and who is not able to really be fully myself for a lot of reasons. All of this gets somewhat compounded because of my trauma history. A few months back, I had an insight that "how I feel is not who I am." That's helped me a lot recently.
If you're in this kind of a place - know that it's not an indication that you are broken or flawed. As humans we simply have to accept that we're not able to always be everything we want (and sometimes what the world wants us) to be. Self-care is critical for all of us, and I'm looking forward to continuing to rest up this weekend and get some more self-care in.
When we're in these places, it's also extremely helpful to remember that sometimes not trying to get work done and actually stepping back from engaging is oftentimes the best possible solution. The poor choices we make under these conditions can often undermine the great work we do at other times. I have found myself deleting a number of crank filled emails these past 3 days. There's no need to undermine really good professional and personal relationships all because in a moment of crankiness we find our deepest fears, anxieties, and frustrations rising to the surface.
I have a great weekend with Jane and other friends planned that I'm really looking forward to. And I am hopeful that I will be in a much better place come Monday morning. But... for the time being if you come across me on FB or in real life the next 2 days, please be patient with me - but don't be afraid to call me out on my crankiness. Chances are I'll likely agree and back down.