new house

A Little Less Miserable

Last week my family packed up and moved to a new house. Which I guess is good news? But I have a hard time with change of any kind, even if it’s an improvement.

After we unpacked the boxes and I smudged the house with sage to prevent any negative energy from coming in, I then went on my finding-everything-wrong-with-the-house phase which lasted a week. (I should have smudged myself).

When it was over, I was convinced I made a huge mistake.

I was depressed.

I was blaming myself for putting my family through this kind of stress.

I thought moving to this new house was all my fault and I wanted to die.

Then when I got over that, the self-pity kicked in and I started beating myself up for not being more excited, more grateful, wishing I was the kind of person who naturally felt grateful and excited. That’s why I read so many self-help books, so I can become that kind of person.

But today, as much as I don’t like it, I know myself well enough that I realize this is just how I am. This is my process when big monumental changes occur in my life. When Betsy was born, I had the same reactions. It was not until months later that I realized having her was the best decision I ever made in my life.

The happiness and the joy were delayed. Maybe it was there all along but I couldn’t tell because the shame and anxiety were over riding it. That’s ok. What I have learned is that for me, this how I work. Yes it sucks not to feel more joy when something like this happens, but if I am going to be able to take more in, I have to admit where I am at right now. And where I am at right now, a little over a week living in our new house, is feeling a little less miserable.

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3 replies
  1. LC
    LC says:

    When a good thing happens, your shame siren goes off and it immediately feels bad subjectively. “Oh-oh something good happened and I don’t deserve good things, so there will be hell to pay.”

  2. Craig
    Craig says:

    Be sure not to underestimate the effect of pandemic time on our thinking about these things. We feel “safe” in our space and when that changes it does feel unsafe. I moved end of December and the first few weeks, facing stacks of boxes and not knowing where anything is, I felt like I had a huge mistake as well. It is just disruption of routine and loss of sense of “safe space”. As you settle in and as the pile of boxes shrink you will realize the additional space for your family really was the right choice. This is not you, Jimmy, this is a very normal reaction to moving and buying in a pandemic. You’re just like the rest of us in this regard.

  3. Rick
    Rick says:

    Jimmy, I so appreciate you writing about your very human reactions and emotions. You have a way with words.

    You know, it’s a little how I felt starting out improv – only seeing the negatives, reliving mistakes in my head (“I know, there are no mistakes in improv”), feeling badly about myself, and occasionally leaving a little down (saying to myself “I don’t think I can do this”). And guess who helped me get over these negative feelings. You.

    Hang in there. Keep writing if it helps. And I’ll keep hanging in there with the positive attitude about improv that you helped me to achieve.


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