A thing happened. I'm wallowing. Please help me pull out of it.
May 10, 2019 2:33 PM   Subscribe

It's unfair and that's life. I try not to indulge in a long wallow and in this case my anger will be actively harmful to a person who is partly responsible but innocent. Feed me cute or funny things maybe? I don't know. I'm trying to flip back to a healthier perspective, so anything that helps with that will be most appreciated.

I'm having a hard time feeling compassion for the person and their less-than-stellar reaction to the event, and 1000% they deserve and need my compassion.

Please no messages of hope for better days/circumstances. That's a painful roller-coaster ride I'm trying to be done with. (Not in the sunk-into-despair sense, more in the Buddhist accept-what-is sense. Which would be really helpful right about now.)
posted by Eolienne to Human Relations (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Bob Mortimer’s stories on WILTY always cheer me up when I’m having a sad.
posted by myotahapea at 2:38 PM on May 10, 2019 [6 favorites]

For me, an important step on the path to acceptance is being ready to feel what I feel.

You say that your anger will be actively harmful to the person responsible, but I don't think that is necessarily the case. You can be angry - angry at them, angry at the world - without acting upon it. I think it's healthy to feel that anger and acknowledge that the thing that happened is unfair. I don't really think of that as wallowing.

YMMV, but for myself once I have allowed my feeling to run its course, *then* I am ready to move on and be compassionate toward the other person. If I try to skip the part where I am honest with myself about my feeling, then it tends to linger and turn into resentment, guilt, anxiety, or confusion.
posted by mai at 2:47 PM on May 10, 2019 [11 favorites]

Whatever this person is doing, it’s ok to Let Them Do It Wrong. You can just let them do what they’re doing the wrong way, however obnoxious or self-defeating it is, and be there for them completely without having to guide them in the right direction. Someone else, maybe at some other time, will help them get to a place where they can react in a better way. It doesn’t have to be you and it doesn’t have to be now. It’s not your burden to help them in that way, it’s your burden to help them in the other way for now.
posted by sallybrown at 2:51 PM on May 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

How am I not myself?
posted by SaltySalticid at 3:08 PM on May 10, 2019

I really, really like the "Publizity" sketches from the Kroll Show for this. I've never seen the show in its entirety but these sketches, each only a few minutes long and very loosely connected, have me crying with laughter. It's Jenny Slate and Nick Kroll as a pair of women named Liz who run a PR business, poorly, and have some sort of reality show about it. I also like Drunk History when I need something distracting to laugh at. Hope things get easier soon.
posted by SeedStitch at 5:16 PM on May 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

It's okay to feel angry at the other person, even if their actions were understandable. And expressing that anger may be healthy for you too.

This is why "write a long nasty letter that you then burn so no one ever reads it" is a thing. Or why angry rock is a thing (one reason why my brother is alive today is because I retreated to my room and blasted Phil Collins and played air drums when we were teenagers instead of my getting medieval on his ass; I especially recommend "I Don't Care Anymore" for such uses).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:48 PM on May 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

It's unclear where the official credit should go for this statement, but I often think about something I read from Pema Chodron: "There is no cure for hot or cold."

Also, some advice I read on this site that I think of often, where someone found it helpful to deal with a frustrating young cat by reminding themselves "she's just a little kitty." And thinking about how that covers a lot--we are all just little beings doing our best with the knowledge we have.
posted by witchen at 8:47 PM on May 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Some funny videos are linked here. Also here.

Also, this transition from a super-serious comment to baby talk makes me smile.
posted by salvia at 9:46 PM on May 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

eyebleach me
posted by Lynsey at 1:28 PM on May 11, 2019

I like to give myself a time limit for wallowing. Like, if I'm having a rough day, maybe I'm allowed to just live in my feelings about it for the rest of the evening with no attempts to rationalize or contextualize any of it. Just like mai mentioned, having some space to just accept what's happening and give yourself permission to fully feel bad can be healthier and way less stressful than trying to talk yourself out of your feelings.

If it's still giving me grief the next day, THEN I can roll out the healthier options for dealing with it. Journaling or writing and burning an angry letter are usually pretty effective. Some people swear by scheduling any additional wallowing, like "Okay, I'm busy now, I'll be mad about this from 2-3pm today." Maybe you could apply the Ring Theory method to this situation and vent about it to a therapist or neutral friend who doesn't mind being a sounding board for a bit so you can get it off your chest.
posted by helloimjennsco at 9:01 AM on May 15, 2019

My tween daughter unintentionally did me a serious injury; I am still recovering. I can't express how grateful I am for your deeply perceptive and helpful answers. It flipped me right to where I needed to be. Laughter helped take the edge off.
posted by Eolienne at 7:39 PM on July 20, 2019

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