Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Deep thoughts about the dark place...

So.
 
Yeah.
 
Thank you for the kind comments and e-mails.
 
I've been thinking about this whole dark place thing all day.
 
And in the thinking, I realized something.
 
I've been here before.
 
A lot.
 
Some recently with family and health issues...
 
Some over the past few years when we lost our business and our much loved house...
 
Death, betrayal, loss, grief...
 
You know...
 
The usual.
 
But really...
 
Years and years ago the dark place almost consumed me...
 
Fueled by low self-esteem, a horrible and abusive marriage, health issues, no money, and encounters with ugly people creating ugly uncontrollable things in my life...
 
I can remember feeling totally and completely in a place so immensely dark that I prayed to die.
 
I can't really say I was suicidal because, to be honest, suicide would have taken too much effort.
 
Sigh.
 
But it was in those horrible years that I came up with a plan.
 
I made little coupons for myself very similar to this one.
They weren't nearly as cute...
 
But I told myself that I could use two coupons each month and for that 24 hour time period I would allow myself to totally wallow in my misery.
 
I told myself that I would find positive and happy as much as possible every day...
 
...but when I really needed it, I could let myself use a coupon.
 
I put them in my underwear drawer.
 
After all, is there anything more miserable than five year old underwear when you can't afford to buy any new ones? 
 
I think not.
 
And please.   Don't get me started on the whole subject of duct-taped together bras.
 
Sigh.
 
Anyway.
 
I knew those coupons were there.
 
I looked at them every morning while rummaging for a pair of undies that were more whole than holes.
 
And thought about those coupons often during the day.
 
And you know what?
 
When I went to get one out to use it, it made me think.
 
"Okay.  I only have two of these to use for the whooooole month.   What if things get worse?"
 
And I would put the coupon back.
 
On really, really bad days I would cut the coupon in quarters.
 
"Okay, Jenny.   Today you can feel miserable for six hours."
 
I would shove that partial coupon down in my pocket and somehow it made me feel better.
 
Sometimes I would cut my coupons into eight or ten pieces for 2 or 3 hours of a personal pity party.
 
But I never, ever, ever let myself feel miserable for more than 48 hours each month.
 
Some months really tested that time period.
 
Some time when we are drinking margaritas I shall tell you tales.
 
But that's not right now.
 
Right now I am writing this stone, cold un-tequila'd up.
 
In all seriousness, though...
 
I used those coupons for a lot of years.
 
Things got better, eventually and I found a new life.
 
And I felt more in control of the fear and the gloom and doom.
 
Life's funny like that, isn't it?
 
Up and down...black and white...give and take.
 
But over time, I think I allowed myself to become complacent about focusing misery.
 
I've allowed the darkness to creep back so incrementally that I haven't really noticed.
 
But now.
 
Now, I think I need to remind myself where I've been so I can survive where I am now.
 
There's always going to be issues in life.
 
No-one has a golden ticket through the worries and woes.
 
No-one is exempt from the dark places.
 
These silly coupons helped me in even darker times.
 
So I'm printing up a new batch.
 
And focusing being miserable into 48 hours each month.
 
I think I'm going to stash my coupons in my underwear drawer.
 
And.
 
Good news.
 
At least now my underwear are entirely whole and almost brand new...
 
...and the only duct tape in my house is in my tool chest.
 
And...
 
Huh?
 
Oh.
 
Oh, sorry.
 
That was probably way TOO MUCH INFORMATION.
 
About the underwear, I mean.
 
But I really did want to tell you about the coupons.
 
Maybe that little idea will help you with your dark place, too.
 
post signature 

24 comments:

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I'm glad you're feeling better. That's what the blogging community is about, you can be down or happy or excited or confused and there's lots of friends that help to boost your spirits and make you know you are not alone. Be strong!

noexcuses said...

Wow! Kathy is absolutely right! There are many of us out there who are pulling for you. My life is lived, literally, one day at a time. It does make a difference. Writing has been a blessing to me in the dark hours, as well. I love your "easy to read" style of writing. You could simply write "hi, how are you?" and my day is better because of making a connection with you. There's a lot of love for you out here, Miss Jenny! Hang in there!

Theresa said...

Yeah for underwear without holes and coupons to help you thru the day! Lots of love coming your way, I'll be praying for you and cheering you on! HUGS!

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

You're the best!!!
((((Cyber hugs))))

Viki said...
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Viki said...
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Viki said...
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Viki said...

Coupons are a great idea. Sorry about all the deleted comments, ha!

Amy said...

You are an inspiration, my friend. Pity parties can be addictive and all consuming. How clever of you to limit yourself. I hope you can quickly emerge from this dark place of yours. Prayers and hugs sent your way.

ImagiMeri said...

When I'm in a dark place I think of all my friends and loved ones. To be honest, I could usually talk myself into a dark corner in a matter of minutes and frequently. I don't want to waste my time there anymore.....I think about you, about all my friends, my children (even when they mess up) and my beloved husband who has given me a second chance at happiness. I know you have the same blessings girlfriend, so I'm just gonna trust that you'll think of the positives more often and hopefully we can get together again soon so I can see your beautiful smile and sunshine soul.

Love ya'
Meri

RNSANE said...

Hello from India, dearest Jenny, where I've been in a pretty dark place with almost two months of monsoon rain. It is so badly needed here but makes Mumbai, with its 20 million people, quite a mess.

Now, however, we are having some sunny days and I leave Friday for five days in Jaipur where I lived five months last year. I love it there.

This post of yours was wonderful...just like you.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I try to focus on the good things in my life! I also get a Tiger hug and boy that helps more then anything. I like the coupon idea for letting myself 'wallow' but not too much! Hang in there Jenny.

Linda

"Alone again.... naturally!" said...

Keep positive Jenny and I hope you don't have to use too many coupons (which was genius by the way!) Cathy

Sue said...

I love your unique combination of wisdom and genius. Who else would think of coupons? Your creativity goes far beyond painting signs, my friend.

Hugs.

=)

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I do know how you feel. ((HUGS)) I am working on pulling myself out of a deep place.

I have new bras coming in the mail right now! The coupon idea is very interesting. Take care.....

Sue (Someones Mom) said...

I just read your last post and this one...I think I will email you but for now just know that I care.

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

So glad to hear you're feeling better!

acreativeharbor.com said...

Oh, yes the yin and yang of life ~ Glad you utilize your coupons ~ dwelling just digs 'deeper darker holes' ~ sending you lots of loving hugs to enjoy the 'now'. You are a gift! ~ carol, xo

acreativeharbor.com said...

Oh, yes the yin and yang of life ~ Glad you utilize your coupons ~ dwelling just digs 'deeper darker holes' ~ sending you lots of loving hugs to enjoy the 'now'. You are a gift! ~ carol, xo

Cathy Kennedy said...

It's hard to imagine you as a miserable person. You're always so positive and inspiring. But, I do sense in your writing that you been dished your share of pain. I'm just happy that you finally found the other side of the rainbow and that your life is happier now. And, what a cool idea with the coupons! Thanks for sharing of yourself. You're truly a special lady! ;)

Splendid Little Stars said...

The coupons are a great idea!
Yes, we ALL have dark times. Life is not pain free and is not particularly easy. But it's possible for joy to reside in our hearts even in the dark times, even for just moments.
HUGS!

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Debra at HOMESPUN: http://www.thehomespun.com said...

I think the coupon idea is brilliant! :) How can you be dark when you are so BRILLIANT like a shiny light bulb! :) XXOO :)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Jenny, I think this is such a wonderful idea. We should allow ourselves time to be down when needed....but at some point we've got to snap out of it. THIS is perfect!
Thank you for sharing. I'm also so happy about your unholy undies.
XOXO