Blog #6. Feeling Salty, or “Self Care”.

I have teenagers, so I have learnt the new expression of inner rage, “feeling salty”. And I am so salty right now I have a list. I call it the Salty List, and I wanted to put my husband on it today, but I was kidding. Just. I am now making jokes about expressing my inner rage every time I start to go on about traffic, the receptionist, the fire company, road crews.

Apparently when there is a stressful time in your life, emotions come to the surface that need to be expressed. Also apparently, most adults spend their time suppressing those emotions in a variety of successful and unsuccessful ways:

  • Drinking (not successful, but a top contender)
  • Humour: A particular favourite of mine, making jokes to hide the pain. Keeps folks coming back for more. Doh!
  • Keeping busy: Do more, take on more. Avoid feeling by doing. Handy at work.
  • I call this one “always look on the bright side of life”: perennially finding the good, the positive. Yep, it’s there, but let’s not plaster on a plastic smile and refer to life lessons, ok?
  • Hypochondria: The day after my Dad died, I spent eight hours in emergency convinced I had a stomach disorder. I actually bonded with three other women sitting there, but never mentioned my Dad once. I look on it as time well spent. Oh, and of course I was fine.
  • Rage! We will talk more about this, but you know the guy who loses it on the road when someone cuts him off? Suppressed emotions, all the way! Works well every time….

There are more, but these are my particular favourites, and I want to go. back to the rage. The inner seething anger with nowhere to go….

I used to do martial arts. Now would be a good time to go back to it, because in our society there is little acceptable way to express all that anger. Why her? Why me? Why now? Why everything at once?? What more can happen? Doesn’t anyone get it? Oh my god, does that really matter?

My latest rant ( ie. an hour ago), was about the innocent question “How is your mother doing?” I spent an entire drive home on an inner monologue about why that is so offensive to me. Do you really want to know how she is doing? Really, or are you just curious? Oh, and how is asking in any way supportive of me? You didn’t ask how I was doing, and now I’m trapped in coming up with a socially acceptable reply. Oh, but wait, there isn’t one!

What I want to say:

Deteriorating rapidly, thanks for reminding me.

Plateaued at a shitty stage and likely to remain there for months, thanks.

A shade from death. How are you?

Not eating, not drinking, want to meet me at the care home 8AM tomorrow and help with breakfast?

Or the bitchiest and least amusing: Why don’t you visit and see for yourself?

To those of you out there I make a solemn pledge. When you are going through this, I will ask “wanna go shoot some guns with me?” Instead of “how is she doing”. I promise….

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