How Judge Judy Saved Me From Sharks
Life has teeth. It's something most adults know and what we hopefully prepare our children to handle later. But, no one told me that those teeth can be attached to great whites and that occasionally, I'll find myself swimming with them. This past week has felt a little like shark week.
I don't know what started it, there's not a moment I can point to and say, "that's it, that's where I lost it". But I fell into a funk. I'm going to use the word funk because depression isn't something you can talk yourself out of, it's a real medical issue affecting millions of people. Mine was a funk. But here's the thing, I allowed myself to swim out into shark-infested waters without a cage. I guess I thought I needed another challenge.
My funk lasted around 10 days, and this is how it worked for me. It was a struggle to get out of bed, getting dressed didn't happen unless I had to go into the office. And the moment I got home again, it was back into my jams. I ate whatever I could lay my hands on that was quick, nukable, abundant, delivered, and disposable because cleaning anything wasn't going to happen. While I couldn't sleep, I did manage to eat.....a lot. I canceled yoga sessions, and lunch plans and ignored phone calls. I'm not sure I bathed, know for a fact I only changed my jams once, and you could have fried chicken with the amount of grease my hair produced. I cried a lot. I didn't want to go anywhere, do anything, or see anyone. I separated myself which made me an easier target for these sharks. Because each one of these was a shark, some were bigger than others, but each was dangerous, and when massed together a lethal combination of negatives that gleefully dived into a feeding frenzy. I hit rock bottom when I realized I was chumming the waters by binge-watching Judge Judy on YouTube.
I watched parents sue their only child for a single late car payment. I watched while a boyfriend sued a previous girlfriend for his DUI because she refused to pick him up at 3 am. So, he drove, and he crashed, but it was her fault. I wallowed in cases of humanity's worst pettiness, and entitlement. I watched skillful players of the musical blame game proudly displaying their art for the entertainment of the masses. I became obsessed until one morning I woke up and wanted a shower. I think the murky sediment of crap these blissfully unaware people churned up finally made me get out of that water and get clean again.
So, I can honestly say, Judge Judy saved me during my personal shark week. Ok, I saved myself, but if I hadn't emersed myself in all that negative shit, I might have stayed in my funk a while longer and who knows where that might have led me? Because seeing all that crap reminded me of how good I have it, even now. My kids and I love and respect each other. If we have a problem we yell it out and use large, random arm gestures. I have awesome friends and family who tempt me with medicinal chocolate and the sage wisdom that chocolate is a necessary food group. I have the ability to laugh at myself when I trip over my own feet without looking for someone else to blame. I can recognize that even sharks have a purpose and maybe funks do too. I am able to forgive myself for letting go for awhile. I am able to see beauty. Even in the turquoise chaos of shark week.