Thursday, July 28, 2011

Too many bad days.

I had a brief yet poignant discussion with a coworker at the arts-and-crafts store I work at.

We agreed life itself is sacred and should be joyous but that the human element is what can make things miserable.

"You just have to expect there will be horrible days," he said. "Just realize that there'll be good ones too."

"But what happens if I'm having way too many bad days," I asked, "and almost no good ones?"

My coworker replied, "Then you have to look at yourself because something inside you needs to change."

*deep sigh*

It's not looking good, Astro Boy!

While I agree with his response, it left me frustrated with more questions.

What the fuck am I supposed to be changing?

He implied I should alter my perspective on things yet that doesn't change the circumstances. Isn't it more or less a temporary band-aid over a gaping wound? Simply masking the problems instead of getting rid of them?

When all is said and done, I still have to deal with the reality of things. And I'm SO TIRED of having too many bad days!


Marty said...

Sometimes getting out of a funk is the hardest thing to do. I hope things turn up for you soon.

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

you are lucky you still have time to think if what is wrong with your life that you feel you are having a lot of bad days.

for 5 years before i came to canada, i am working 12-16 hours a day and 2 days off a month. no overtime pay. working like a slave. but everyday that pass, i always say to myself, at last another day less on my worries and burden. now, it paid off.

try to see the brighter side of every bad day you have. learn the lesson of it. once you get through with it, i tell you, you will learn to make your life simple and easy to carry. and you will be very happy in every tiny thing you got.

you are still very young, these hardships will make you strong and keep you going...

take care! been there i know the feeling.


naturgesetz said...

My brother once said of one of his colleagues, "He could be happy in a Siberian labor camp."

It is the depression that needs to change. I wish I knew how you accomplish that, but I think it is the depression that makes so many of your days feel so bad.

To an optimist the glass is half full; to a pessimist it is half empty; and to a depressed person it is empty.

You're right, a change in attitude won't change the actual circumstances of your life. It would just enable you to be happy despite them. It would enable you to enjoy what is good and tolerate what is bad.

The fact is, there are problems in our lives that we are not able to get rid of. A colleague of mine many years ago quoted the proverb, "What can't be cured must be endured."

I'm not sure that you can simply change your outlook on life by deciding to. But if you can realize that it is your outlook, your depression, that makes your life feel miserable, even more than the actual events, then perhaps you can begin to feel a bit better, like my brother's colleague who could be happy under any circumstances.

I'm sorry if this seems too clinical, but everything I write is with the hope that it will somehow help you to feel better about yourself and your life, that it will help you feel joy instead of constant pain.


K.C. said...

What is reality in the end but a matter of perspectives?

jason said...

I think your coworker is's all about attitude..... an attitude of gratitude to be cheesily cliche :)

Still, I think it's true.

But I also know it's harder to say than to have.

T.J.Peabody said...

I wish I could help, Dean. The person you spoke to, of course, was correct in essence, but you know, dont look at every word literally. Look to it in who and what you are as yourself. It matters not the words anyone uses but the answers you find for yourself, bless your heart. Isnt there anyone at the store you can connect with on a aquaintance/friendship basis or an outside group? I know it is so difficult for you, but but it is only in a little desperation on your behalf that I am suggesting these things.
Big tight friendship hug! Brian (Ireland).

Babs said...

You're so right about the human element making it miserable. I quit my job today for just that reason, and suddenly life is joyous again :)

The Cool Cookie said...

I myself suffer from chronic depression, and have for years. Part of the reason I struggled with this chemical, but the other reason is that I have been subconciously been forcing myself to act in a way that is counter to my nature. Oh, I still like/love/get turned on by guys. But someone suggested that I do a Myers Briggs assessment.

The assessment showed me that I am an introvert. Digging deeper into my issue is that for years I wanted to be an extrovert. And thats why my social skills simply crash and burn. Introverts find it exhausting to perform, spend long times with large groups. They enervate me, not energize me. While I throughly enjoy the company of my closest friends, being with others in huge social situations bring me down, not up.

Anyway, since I have been accepting this, and not fighting it, I reallu have been much happier and life seems like less of a stuggle.

Maybe the thing you need to change is something that you have been fighting because it's counter to who you are.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you get a change in scenery? Take a vacation? I mean, it might calm you down a bit to go somewhere new.
Who knows?

Tammy's Studio said...

I'm leaving your blog Dean. I just wanted to let you know.

Writer said...

It's built into current society and the current social love of being positive, that if you are having a bad time, then obviously the problem is you. You should be looking up, up, up.

But, really, sometimes, it isn't you that needs changing. You aren't broken. You don't need to be fixed. But you do need to be sure that you are taking enough time for you.

Could it be depression? Who knows? Maybe you should go to the doctor and find out. But really, at the end of a bad day what do you do? Do you pamper yourself? Do you curl up with a good book, pull the sheets over you head, and turn on a flashlight until you're ready for bed? What do you do for you?

BTW, I find that going to bed at the end of a bad day IS a good thing. We're such a go go go society that we aren't getting enough rest, which in turn can lead to depression or at least crabbiness.

So the bad days may not end, but it doesn't mean that at the end of the day, you can't do something to make you feel good. Your attitude is fine, just go outside and watch something beautiful for a while. :)

Jackdaw said...

I believe there is a balance between good and bad days in people's lives, so the more bad days you have, the more good ones there are ahead.

Shelly said...

You are an amazing talented artist and obviously a sensitive person who cares for others and the world around you. That is a wonderful positive thing I see in you and I don’t even know you. I want to know more positive things about you – can you tell me? I think maybe you might be kind, considerate, a hard worker, a good friend, a honest person, a loyal friend … you need to chase those negative thoughts away, be more pro-active to turn the next bad day into a good one, even if it just means acknowledging that your worries and troubles are real and valid but only for a short amount of time – maybe 10 minutes each morning – don't give them your whole day - try to replace the negative thinking with positive thinking, keep busy and get through the day…you are young, you have your whole life ahead of you, you deserve a happy life, there are things you can do to have one.

I always find the words from the Serenity Prayer "accept the things I can not change - change the things I can - and find the wisdom to know the difference" very helpful when I am confused and don't know "What the fuck I am supposed to be changing?"

I hope you don’t mind me saying this, it is only because I have children your age and the pain you are in is palpable – I am worried for you.

JuJu said...

Let's turm it around. How can we make the positive outweigh the negative?

Dean Grey said...


I hope so too!


Jj Rodriguez!

I'm happy to hear you made it through. Maybe one day I'll get to that point as well.



Thank you for understanding where I'm coming from!



So then everybody is right, Kenny?



Ah, but I am grateful for what I have. It's just...I can't really enjoy it when the depression is there.



"...but the answers you find for yourself."

Yes, very true!





Ask the Cool Cookie!

I can relate to EVERYTHING you just said about being introverted!

That's exactly how I feel too!

But if I embrace the fact that I'm NOT social then how will I ever put myself out there and meet people?

See the problem with just accepting that I'm introverted?



A vacation might be nice but it'll eat into my savings. Plus, I don't have very many vacation days since I started both jobs late in the year (last year).

We shall see though!



I'm saddened to hear that. Is there a specific reason for this? Feel free to e-mail me if you'd like.



Exactly. I always end up feeling like something is wrong with me because I'm not upbeat and "everything is wonderful" like everyone else.

I do try doing little things for myself but those are merely quick-fixes.

I saw a movie this past Wednesday afternoon but once I got out of the theater I became depressed again. Those little highs just don't seem to last.



Let's hope that's true!



Thanks for the kind words!

I shall try NOT dwelling on my troubles but it's hard when they are all around me, you know?



I don't know that there's anything any of YOU can really do except just continue to offer your support as you've all been doing.


Everyone's encouraging words mean more to me than you know!


Maggie Flatley said...

Dean, such a talented writer and artist. I can feel your pain,life has handed me a boatload also. My brother told me something Robin Williams once said. I don't know the direct quote, but the skinny is: I have all these little rooms in my head, he opens one of the little doors and sweeps it all in and quickly closes the door, saying, I am not going to open that door today. Visualize it.

Check out selling your items on Etsy, or DailyPaintworks. Through all that energy into a positive focus. You are so very talented. It gets better, love yourself first!

Ken Riches said...

An attitude adjustment is just like any other habit, you need to work at it and repeat it. It will not happen overnight, but it will happen if you want it to.

Tammy's Studio said...

For bad days praying works wonders. Actually read your bible. Open it up and really read it. When I'm feeling upset or anxious about something it's amazing how I get peace just from reading the word.

melanie said...

Keep kicking at the darkness til it bleeds light' :-))) i love it...Your butterfly is beautiful, I'm holding a similar event/exhibition in Sydney...keep breathing, creating and being, who you are and how you are... one day at a time, never give up' your blog is so full of the most amazing honesty, courage, hope, sincerity, empathy and genuine love and care from so many people...your pain ignites waves of emotion and compassion from so many, your pain inspires so much love, courage, intimacy and sharing from others, like no other blog I have ever come across, you see, your pain is not your destiny...freedom from it is'

Dean Grey said...


I like the idea of not opening "that door" today.

And I've sold my art on eBay in the past but stopped due to poor sales.

My work simply doesn't sell for very much--at least not in proportion to all the time I put into it.






Yes, the bible might help here.



"...your pain is not your destiny...freedom from it is."

I love that!


Thanks to all of you!


Kristen's Paintings said...

Strange but true. Some people enjoy having bad days. I know a lot of people like that, though I try to spend my free time with the non-complainers.

Dean Grey said...

Paintings and Wanderings!

Ah, think about what you just said.

Avoiding negative or unhappy people may seem like the way to go yet what about those unhappy people?

Don't they need friends more than anyone?

I think "positive-thinking and upbeat" folk forget that fact.

And for all you know, there might be some really AMAZING people out there that you may never take the time to know just because they're depressed.


Kristen's Paintings said...

I'm not always "upbeat" but I find that the consistently negative people don't appreciate attempts to view things in a positive light. They actually get more unhappy when someone tries to tell them everything isn't all that bad.

I'm thinking of specific people here- people I've known for a long time. I'm not making a generalization really and I know everyone's different. Not everyone is negative 100% of the time and most people will cycle in and out of this.

Dean Grey said...

Paintings and Wanderings!

I appreciate your clarification on this!

I wasn't pinpointing you either, just using your original comment as an example.