That "Down" Feeling

I (like everyone else) get that flat, "down" feeling from time to time. Sometimes I don't even know why (which is the frustrating bit); most of the time, I know why but just want to let myself feel morose and glum for a while. Sigh.

I just want to say at this point, that I realise it's OK to feel bad. This is something that Olivia and I have learnt over the years and remind each other of occasionally, I think so that we don't get too focused on maintaining a fa├žade or front of outer happiness, hiding secret inner turmoil, in front of each other (for whatever reason, I find it hard to just "put on a happy face" when I feel blue, so hiding what I'm feeling is not much of a problem with me).

Not surprisingly, I'm most often sad when things don't go the way I want! And in addition to feeling "down", as a parent there's the added pressure to model positive behaviours (not positive as in 'happy', but positive as in 'constructive') for my kids, so I can't just go sulk in a corner or yell at everyone. When it was just Olivia and I, the theatrics came out more often, I admit - Olivia still calls me an "actor", though!

The point of this post is that being sad in front of my family, and modelling and talking about good, constructive, positive "down" times with the wife and kids is hard. In expressing my feelings, I'm torn between realism/bluntness ("I feel terrible") and being a bit more positive/constructive ("I feel bad, but I'll cope"). The hardest bit is that I'm forced to actually examine why I feel sad (most of the time, as previously mentioned, it's because I didn't get my own way, hence I'm being selfish). Examining my feelings has never been my forte. I do use the old "just leave me alone" defence, but secretly long for Olivia to ask just a little more. Arrrgh!

In summing up: I sometimes feel bad; I don't often handle feeling bad very well; my kids look at how I handle feeling bad; when I see them using the same childish ways to handle feeling bad, I feel bad!

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