Falling Into the Hole
My story begins last week at the Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida. My husband and I went to Disneyworld following his business seminar. I felt a headache coming on fast as we approached the France exhibit. I slumped against the wall onto the carpeted floor and told him to go ahead without me. I nursed my head while he was gone for a 20 minute presentation in the next room. During his absence I got some Excedrin and a coke, and then took my glasses off to rub my eyes. When Dan returned I was ready to take his hand and he helped me up. We walked and I felt thankful that my head was better but when I reached up to adjust my new $250.00 glasses I discovered they had disappeared.
“Oh no” I groaned,” I took them off to rub my eyes. “
While Dan ran back to the France exhibit, guilt began playing its well-rehearsed dance on the stage of my mind. After an hour of fruitless search and inquiries Dan returned to report that the glasses were gone. Ugh.
The last two hours at Disneyland were subdued for me. “If only” and “What if” swarmed in my head, threatening to resurrect my headache. Not even Disney’s fireworks blasted the fog from my mind. Dan tried to help by saying “Honey, these things happen. If they are lost, they are lost; we’ll just have to order new ones.”
But his words fell on deaf ears as my own self-talk shouted, “You are so stupid; you wasted all his time, now we’ll have to spend the money, make the time to get new ones.”
That night we got to bed past midnight and we had to get up at 4 AM to catch a plane home.
We managed to return the rental car and get in line for a security check in plenty of time, but when my backpack went through the scanner I was pulled aside. The officer found two unopened cans of pop. Double Ugh. When she rescanned the bag she also found suntan lotion. Triple ugh. In my frustration I also left my laptop and jacket on the ramp. Dan had to bring me my lap top and another woman asked if the sweater was mine. Quadruple ugh!
By now tears were forming, threatening to erupt right in front of the security officer. I felt as though I had fallen into my own private hole of stupidity lined with “ughs.” All I wanted to do was disappear before one more ugh landed on me. I plopped onto a chair beside Dan with my offending backpack. I dared anyone to look at me or say anything to me as hot tears finely escaped and fell from my unshielded eyes down reddened cheeks.
“Are you all right?” Dan asked
Without even bothering to look at him I responded through gritted teeth, “I will be!”
As we waited for our flight I put my head in my hands and wondered how long it would take to climb out of the hole this time. It felt five feet deep and very confining.
Climbing out of the Hole
There are many ideas that help me pull out of negative emotional holes. They are often as varied as the problem itself, but here are some ideas that helped this time around.
Prayer. Always needed
Sleep. if needed. I was able to get a few hours of sleep on the plane. Three more when we arrived home.
Friends. During part of the time Dan was looking for my glasses I used my cell phone to call friends and daughters so they could help me begin to put perspective on the situation. I was also blessed to meet a new friend on the plane.
Temporary Solutions. Pulling out a pair of old glasses once we got home allowed me to get back to semi-normal life instead of squinting until I could get new ones.
Recovery Meetings. I went to an LDS Recovery Support group. It helped me so much to be around people who are letting-go-and-letting-God
Music. I enjoy listening to Pandora. I choose my favorite inspirational artists and songs.
Exercise. A simple walk helped get the endorphins going.
CTR instead of CTW. It took little effort to count the wrong about myself but counting the right helped me climb out. It can be as simple as giving myself credit for having a driver’s license!
Cognitive Therapy. Paper and pencil can do wonders. A more thorough explanation can be found in my article: “Leafing Your negative Feelings Behind,” in Latter-Day Woman Magazine as well as my website: patriciapott.com.
Stress reducing supplements. I took Be Calm and Neurozone
Do something. Running to the store was helpful because it put my mind on something else
Laughter. Dan was laughing about the airport event within hours. It took me days before I could even smile about any of it, but when I did, a smile, laughter, and writing this blog helped.
Whether you have lost your keys or your glasses or done something else that doesn’t exactly qualify as a brilliant move, I hope that along with prayer these simple ideas will help you as much as they helped me. Life at the top of the hole is much more pleasant.
By Guest Blogger – Patricia Potts