Bad days happen

Well, I’ve reviewed and rewritten this post a number of times. Instead of a February favorite, I wanted to share my bad day on Sunday. I’m not sure that I wrote what I wanted to communicate; it feels a bit scattered. I hope that you find something useful in here to get you thru your next bad day.

Feb 2, 2022

I just realized that today is:

2/22/22 or 2/22/2022 – Two, twenty-two, twenty-two. OR Two, twenty-two, twenty-twenty-two. That’s a lot of twos. And it’s also Twos-day. Cool!

Sobriety

I have 14 months sober now. AWESOME! I’ve stayed clean by replacing old habits with new habits. There are certain things that I relied on alcohol for in the past and that includes:

  1. Escaping emotions.
  2. Getting thru tough days.
  3. Escaping boredom.
  4. Pain management.

Without alcohol, I have to face a bad day head on. And Sunday was a bad day…

Preamble

Things just added up on Sunday. Any one or two or three of these things over a week would be fine. But they all happened in one day. And I had trouble managing it. Sunday was supposed to be a catch up day…a relaxing day for me. Me time. Instead I had a bad day on Sunday.

I know this stuff happens to everyone. Well, at least that’s what my therapist tells me. On the outside, a lot of people look like they have it altogether, but on the inside, we all face our demons. We all struggle in our own ways. And we all deal with it in our own way. We all have bad days.

Frankly, it’s easier to post that I got Wordle in 2 rows in consecutive days than talk about the day I had on Sunday.

Wordle 248 2/6

⬜🟨🟩🟨⬜
🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

It’s not always easy sharing the real me. I struggle with small things hitting me all in a row especially if something else is going on. It feels stupid. Why let these things get to me?

The family is going thru some life or death stuff right now. Little things add up faster when you are dealing with real things in life. My stuff…is not life or death. Just annoying little things going wrong. And I can laugh at most of this now. But in the moment, I was going thru the worst day this year!

Sunday

  1. My fun video game this weekend became work. When that happens, the game sucks energy out of you rather than providing entertainment. I really should’ve stopped playing and moved onto something else. But there is a weekend event that requires 25 games to win prizes and the “finisher” in me had to get it done. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have started my Sunday morning this way; but instead of running I grinded some games first. First mistake.
  2. I compounded the issue further by delaying my Sunday run and contacting Shaw support. My cable box where I work out (in the basement) has been on the fritz. Every 4 days, I lose the cable signal and have to reboot the device. It’s a minor inconvenience, but it really sucks at the start of a run. I moved the cable box upstairs to make sure that it wasn’t my tv and it did the same thing. Definitely a short in the box. I decided that I would contact Shaw and get a new box “on order”. I thought this would be a 5 minute conversation. I could quickly confirm a swap of the box at their retail center in the mall. Is that what happened? NO! I spent over 2 hours in chat with Shaw doing a factory reset of the cable box and trying to get the remote working again with my tv and receiver. This likely would have been easier on the original tv since it’s a simpler setup in the basement. This is 2 hours I’ll never get back and I was pretty much fuming the entire time. Why did I decide to do this instead of my run?
  3. Long run Sunday is about the only thing I got right. I headed downstairs and put in 10 miles. A long and hard run on a tough day. I needed it. I felt better. I worked hard.
  4. But I kept doing little things that would add up. After setting up my tv remote upstairs, I thought it would be easy to setup the remote downstairs to control my tv and sound bar. WRONG! I screwed up the remote and had to reset the remote to work properly. Why would I do this today?
  5. After my run, I’m drenched in sweat, and I let the dogs outside. Whooooosh! The cold hits me. It’s freezing outside. My clothes freeze to me and everything “shrinks”. I’m immediately more grumpy. I’m already having a day, and now the extreme cold hits me like a ton of bricks. I’m not ready for this. Ok, but this is the last thing today, right?
  6. Sunday is the day that I manage the hot tub chemicals. So I shower up, get dressed and pop the lid to test the chemicals. For the 2nd week in a row the alkalinity is high. I know what that means; likely a full water replacement is needed. I do a little google and call my shop. They suggest bringing in a water sample. So I’m off to run errands. So much for my quiet and relaxing day. It’s already 1pm and I’ve barely relaxed.
  7. I jumped into my car and notice my car cam is dangling. Dammit! There’s another thing. I disconnect the camera, since I don’t want to deal with anything else today. The connection point is no longer tight and the cam keeps falling off the mount. I’m going to have to give up on it or rig something so the cam stays on the mount. But not today.
  8. Then I look down and see blood. I cut myself at some point this morning and my right ring finger is bleeding. I have no idea of how I did this. *Groan*. There’s another thing. So I have to run into the house for a band-aid before I leave.
  9. I’m off to the hot tub place. I get cut off in traffic at least 3 or 4 times. Every time a car cuts me off, it’s just one more thing that adds up.
  10. Sure enough, my suspicions are confirmed at Beachcombers. Too many issues with the water quality means it’s time for a water drain and refill. It’s too soon! Ugh! And with the weather freezing for the next few days, I’ll need to wait for warmer weather. Not really what I wanted to hear today. Draining, cleaning and refilling the hot tub is a 24-hour process with 3-4 hours of effort.
  11. I get home after all of that to finish my day, with more grindy video gaming. Why?!? Why do I torture myself? I should’ve just dropped it, but I have to get my 25 games in. And finish up with a big losing streak. Not fun.
  • My wife gets home from taking care of family stuff. We quickly have to get ready for a night out with friends which is the two best things that happen for me.
    • My wife is home and I get to finally vent and laugh a little about my day. She saw the Shaw rage but missed the rest.
    • A night out with a best bud for dinner and great conversation. I’m tired but this is just what the doctor ordered.
  • That was one day! The day is over…thank goodness. I made it out with my sobriety and have a couple of funny stories to tell.

The curse

I think I’m cursed. It’s a negative thought in my head that I struggle to control. In my head, days like this build up on me; bad things come in bunches. My therapist says if you look for the bad, you’ll see it. Sometimes, I think the bad comes looking for me. I feel tested. My calm, my patience and my anger (or my resolve to control these) is tested.

I let the day control me. I let these things control me. In hindsight, it’s easy to see. I forgot to breathe. I forgot to ground myself in the moment. I forgot my coping mechanisms. I let the little things overwhelm me. I made bad decisions.

To drink or not to drink

Twice this week, I “wanted” to just sit down and have a drink. It’s not the alcohol but the sense of calm that comes with it. If you are a drinker, you know the feeling of dropping down into your favorite chair and just sipping on your favorite drink. Nothing could have felt better on Sunday than sitting down in my favorite chain and having a drink. But I know that I’m better sober. I know that having a drink would only be one more bad decision in an already bad day.

Meditation

In hindsight, I realized, for various reasons, that my schedule is off this week. I noted early Monday that my meditation schedule was off. I didn’t meditate once last week. Not once. I hit 17/31 days in January. That’s more than every other day.

I need that 10 minutes a day; 3-4 times a week. It calms me. It keeps me grounded. It lets me deal with inner negative thoughts. It puts me in control. Such a little amount of time to commit. I missed it last week. And Sunday hit. I let life control me.

Real life or death

I’m also dealing with other stuff. My mother-in-law is in the hospital right now and it is life or death. Talk about perspective. It’s tough and my heart goes out to her family and our family. It’s a sad and tough time.

Monday

On Monday morning, we took dad to see her and we stepped in for a visit. We had a very nice visit. She is strong but very sick. There is nothing in this world that puts things into perspective better than “real” life or death. At this point, I had calmed down from my bad day, but it was a good reminder.

We stopped at Boston Pizza on the way home from the hospital. I can’t remember the last time we actually went in to a restaurant and sat down for a meal. They were short staffed but not too busy. It was nice…normal.

After lunch, I played the video game I wanted to play and should’ve played all weekend and had fun. I watched some tv; did some laundry; and most importantly, I finished the day with 10 minutes of meditation before bed. Monday was a good day!

Learning from a bad day

I can laugh about Sunday now. Most of my problem is letting each item get to me progressively. Each item became a curse. Each item became “one more thing”. Each item became the worst day of my life instead of just something that happens. I was lacking perspective. I was lacking the power of control.

In golf, I try to think about the next shot. Stay in the moment. Don’t worry about the holes before. They are done. Don’t worry about the holes after, you haven’t got there yet. All you can do is focus on your current shot. Why can’t I apply this to life? Each item on Sunday individually was nothing, but I let them accumulate. I forgot about next shot! I forgot to stay in the moment.

We’re all going to have bad days. With 14 months sober, I can’t turn to alcohol to get thru a bad day. I need to rely upon my coping mechanisms, breathing techniques, and healthy activities. I didn’t do that Sunday.

Life happens; it doesn’t stop. It’s still cold out…it’s still a pandemic…I still need to replace the water in my hot tub and the family is going thru a tough life or death situation. Little things are going to happen. I need to cope better when they add up.

Make your day great

One of my favorite quotes is:

  • Make your day great!

I don’t remember where I read this quote so I apologize that I cannot cite anyone for this. We’re in control. We can have a great day, even if crappy stuff happens. It’s all about perspective. Is it cold and you’re locked up inside? What can you do to make your day great? If life throws you a curveball, hit it out of the park for a homerun!

The last two years have been tough. But we can all decide to have a great day. How was your day? And if it wasn’t great, why not? Is there anything you could have done to make it great? Make your day great!

Stay true to yourself! Don’t’ sweat the small stuff! Remember what really matters in life. Take care of yourself and make good decisions. It’s not life and death unless it’s really life and death.

There is a lot I could have done differently on Sunday. Instead I let it get to me. Hopefully I’ll remember this post the next time a bad day comes my way, and remember, it’s ok. I can still have a great day!

3 Responses

  1. I read parts of this one through tears. <3 I too am trying to find the small moments of joy in these days of heartache. I just found this quote and it truly fits for you! β€˜One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went though and it will be someone else’s survival guide.’ – Brene Brown

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