Ever heard the saying “if life gives you shit, get up and take a shower and move on?”. Well if you haven’t, really, it should be a thing. Life can give you all kinds of shit, but what you do with it is up to you! The story I am about to present is a little gross, so read at your own risk. It has a valuable lesson at the end, but like life, sometimes you have to dig through the dirty stuff to get the point.
Let me start by saying I have been working hard, so very hard. My mental health goes up and down but work is great, family is great, life is great, and really, off side being really tired (and justifiably so) I am doing very great. I was excited to take a day off on Saturday from life’s responsibilities. This included turning off work emails, no texting, getting a sitter, and going to a comedy friends’ house to play boardgames all day. Okay it’s a bit nerdy but it was a dream escape for me. I love to get lost in boardgames, and to have fun, and also to eat and drink a little. #sangria
The day (and night) was so much fun. I was worried, well because that’s what I do, but the day was fun. My husband started feeling sick in the evening, and we all just attributed it to too much beer, though he protested and said it was more. We gave him some tummy medicine and went on with our night. We got home at 2:00 a.m., and it was a success, no responsibilities, just fun.
I woke up the next day feeling ill; which may or may not be directly related to the amount of Sangria consumed. This was expected but didn’t deter me from taking care of the kids and doing the work I needed to do. Husband was out all morning sick, and it occurred to me he was actually sick, silly thing had gotten the flu, good thing I didn’t get it! Woo!
I went to have a bath later on, a nice Jacuzzi bubble bath because I must take care of this yucky feeling I had from the drinks last night. As I rested in the tub, I realized that maybe it wasn’t a hangover after all (though I am sure that didn’t help) but nope, I too was getting the flu. I realized this as I had some gas and went to toot and OMG, out came some poo. Just a small amount mind you, but enough to freak me out that I just shit in the tub!!!
Not exactly sure what to do next, I wanted to somehow just make it go away! I don’t want shit on me, no one does!!! I panicked and in order to make it get better I didn’t think it out and just pressed the Jacuzzi button, thinking it would all just go away. I know I know, dumb mistake but when you are sick sitting in a hot tub with just a hint of your own feces, you don’t think straight!!
The entire tub turned brown as the poo dissolved into the water, it was like a mud bath but, um, way stinker! I pulled the plug, stood up panicked and slipped and hit my head. Trying to fix the poo situation was only making it worse…now my fall had splashed poo water all over the bathroom floor and I sat there dripping in my own poor calling for my husband, who came running and ….laughed his ass off! He helped me get into the shower, we cleaned it up, and I wish I could say it was the last poo incident in the next two days but it was a bad flu!
Had I not panicked when I got shit on myself, I could have calmly stood up and cleaned it up and it would have been done, but by going into disaster mode, I made the situation worse for myself and involved others that didn’t need to be involved.
Mental health is very much like this. When shit is thrown at us (which could be big or little, shit is shit to our minds) we can panic and try to make it better, all the while making it worse. We may have lost a friend and somehow think that texting 20 times will make it better, as long as we can fix it! We may want to jump out of the pain and use unhealthy coping mechanisms to make it pass, but these unhealthy coping mechanisms are just like pressing that Jacuzzi button: they only help to dilute the shit but keep it on us for a longer time.
The only way to get through the shit is first acknowledge that it exists. The shit is real people, it is sitting there at the bottom of our tubs or our minds and it is real. Acknowledge it’s there and feel the negative parts sink in your brain. When it’s feelings, if we don’t acknowledge they exist we just rush to get rid of them with little thought. The reality for feelings is that they will pass, they always do. ALWAYS. If we let them pass without making the shit worse, then the showering off after is much easier.
So for me I have learned much from this shitty adventure. I had the flu for two days and it was awful. I had to cancel a comedy gig, because funny though I am, puking on an audience member while shitting my pants is not my type of comedy. While I lay next to my husband, who was also sick (but much less whiny about it) I realized that this is the first time in weeks we had been alone together. I held his hand, he smiled and me, and then one of us ran to puke our brains out. I will be making some us time soon, this time without shit or puke or even bad feelings, because in order to be healthy, we must take care of our mental health, our physical health and our marital health. Also, if nothing else, learn to NOT turn the Jacuzzi on when you shit in the tub!