Of all the hundreds of awesome suggestions last Friday for future columns, the topic of joy stood out. Enough with the gloom and anger, Chump Lady, tell me how I get up again. When am I going to laugh? More connect-the-dots on this Gain a Life thing. More happy. Less stabby.
I hear you. In my potty-mouthed Gorgon defense, the thing with running a blog this size, is that people are at different stages. Most who write in are newbies. And, because they’re chumps, they aren’t as mad as they ought to be. They’re sad and damp and drooped over the furniture, immobilized.
Instead of coming out swinging, they’re all: “I wonder if he’s posting pictures of her on Instagram?” “Would it antagonize him if I suggested a boundary?” “Why doesn’t she love me?”
That’s where I swoop in…
JESUS CHRIST PEOPLE, FREEZE YOUR CREDIT! CALL A LAWYER! STOP DECODING FUCKWITS!
Now, if you have the clarity of a Cool-Hand Luke and can motivate toward losing a loser without anger, God bless you. Most of us start out sloppy and confused. This community is here to give you a swift kick. But also a hug. And perhaps a laugh.
Which brings us to today’s topic: joy. How do you go through cataclysmic shit shows and still manage happiness?
Or, once you find your anger — how do you turn it off? No one wants to be that harridan, twigs in her hair muttering curses at departed exes.
Some thoughts on this:
1.) Anger and happiness aren’t mutually exclusive. You can channel anger to fuel you toward self-protection and still experience joy. The whole point of this Leave a Cheater exercise is to not make fuckwits central in your life. To dispel them.
Can break-ups be demoralizing, frustrating, and (especially if you bred with them) perpetually distressing? Sure. It’s also not the sum total of your life. You are more than what you invested in a fuckwit.
This is why you’ve got to lock down the no contact/grey rock. More margin for you, less time for drama.
2.) Newbies, it’s okay to not be happy right now. But know that it’s out there. And it might sneak up on you at odd moments. Cultivate that. Freebase a hundred puppy videos.
It’s okay to be pissed at the dominant societal narrative that thinks your trauma is a trifle. It’s okay to be pissed at your ex who wants to dump the kids with you so she can swan off to Cancun. Just expect it. If you’re constantly getting broadsided, and mad, readjust your thinking. Stop being surprised. I’m not saying accept it, yum yum shit sandwiches! I’m saying work around it. Change the narrative. Enjoy the kids that weekend.
“The thing is this: You got to have fun while you’re fightin’ for freedom, ’cause you don’t always win.” – Molly Ivins.
3.) You’re taking your life BACK — so what kind of life do you want? Not dwelling or untangling the skein, is a mental discipline. It’s going to be a slog some days. But who do you want to be? Loving, present for your children, an asset to your kickball team, a rapier wit, a good fishing buddy? Is misery your best look? Is it working for you?
If you’re stuck in a rut, consider it may not just be circumstantial misfortune. Get checked for depression. There’s zero shame in this. Funks may need medical treatment.
What makes you happy? CN, this is where you weigh in. What has gotten you through the last few years? Olive and Mabel videos? Nature walks? Snuggles with your kids and/or pets? Craft beer? Beethoven sonatas?
Here’s my recommendation for defiant happiness in the face of shit storms: I Still Have Joy by the Colorado Mass Choir. (youtube link) Download this into your veins.
Through the storm
And the rain
Through heartaches, death and pain
Thank God I still, still, still have joy