Letting the cup drain…

As I sipped my wine at 4:30 on a Monday night, digesting the horrific meal that I nuked for myself (did I mention I’m a terrible cook? Because I am. The. Worst.) Sipping, I contemplated my upcoming 44th birthday. One I will celebrate alone. I have no plans. No kids that day. No parties have been planned. Which is as it should be. I’m a single introvert. I’m not going to go out to a bar to celebrate on my own (gasp!) I’ll likely spend the day doing housework or catching up on administrative tasks…or, more realistically, surfing Netflix and making swag.

Another sip. A much too big sip. But I could feel it brewing. That feeling of sinking. Of feeling stuck.

Now, it doesn’t happen often, and I’m guessing happens to quite a few single people out there who are normally, quite content in their singlehood, like myself. Hell, it may even happen to those in happy, healthy relationships. On occasion…usually on days when social media has gone quiet, when the kids are with their father, and the house you live in feels so unbelievably quiet that you have to run an empty dishwasher just to drown out the silence, you can feel the loneliness creep in.

Now, I can do one of two things when I feel this. Suppress it, or let it flow. Usually, I suppress, choosing to do something productive instead. Then again, some of my best book ideas come from these downslopes. What’s a girl to do? Sink or swim?

You can do either, just be prepared. Be ready for when those times come, so you’ll know it’s temporary, like the perfect temp days in Maine, this too, shall pass. But if you find yourself sinking, here a few tips that I use to keep from drowning in self-pity.

  1. Stay off Social Media. It will only make things worse. Put on Friends or Gilmore Girls or even Outlander, anything to keep your thoughts away from imploding on themselves.
  2. Drink some water. Seriously. Wine, while tasty, when drunk too quickly, is nothing but a bad idea.
  3. Step away from the Charleston Chews, or the chips, or ice cream…all of the comfort foods really.
  4. No, do NOT re-consider dating apps. Need I remind you of what a bad idea that was?
  5. Wallow. Seriously. Sometimes we just need to. Emotions are like a cup, and when it gets too full? Wallowing/tears/mental breakdown ensues. Let it overflow, let it spill out. When it’s over, the cup is empty, so you’ll have plenty of time to fill it back up again! Win!
  6. Danielle, put that candy DOWN!
  7. Yes, pick up the keyboard instead. Type it out. It will only mean a million edits in the morning, but go ahead, let those words flow.
  8. No, no one has messaged you so don’t even check. Leave the phone where it is.
  9. Oh look…the show you’re watching on TV has a lovely kissing couple. Ain’t that grand? Turn that off.
  10. Ah, yes, listen to Spotify and make a list of all the song that are resonating within your poor broken soul. (insert melodramatic tiny violin here.)
Seriously? How pathetic can one be? But these are GREAT songs! And yes, I’m still adding to it. It will be a book playlist one of these days. Mark me!

And when all of that fails? Go to bed. All will be right as rain in the morning.

And you know what? It was.

I woke in the morning and had recharged. Felt fine. I was ready to sit down at the keyboard and write. I was okay with being alone on my Birthday. I’m actually looking forward to it, because I get CHEESECAKE!

The point is, it’s okay to wallow. To feel. It’s part of being human. We just have to remember to get back up and, to quote P!nk, Try. (Do yourself a favor and watch her perform that live in that linkypoo. Signing AND dancing like that? She is amazing.)

Danielle Bannister, author and expert-level wallower


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