Rita is Back


Posted in Coping by ritaisback on December 5, 2009

When I find myself feeling down, I tend to shut out the world for as long as I need until I get back in the groove of things.  Those who know me well know that I will be back as soon as I am ready.  This can go on for a day, a week, a month or sometimes longer.  It is my way of healing myself without any outside interferences.  I will emerge when I am damn ready to do so, and not a moment sooner.  I call this process “turtling.”  I fold up into my shell and stay there.

For some reason, I don’t come out in full force.  I do it slowly.  First I will poke my head out and see how that feels.  If it doesn’t feel right, I go back into my shell.  Eventually the day will come when I poke my head out and know that I am beginning the process of healing.   Very slowly, I let an arm out to see if that feels good.  If not, the arm goes back inside the shell.  Once again, I know when the proper time will arrive when I am ready to let the arm re-emerge.   It always happens so I wait, folded up into my shell.

Slowly, at my own pace, each part of me will repeat the process.  I want to be at my best when it is once again time to go public.  When I finally feel better and am ready to halt the “turtling,”  I cast off my shell and am once again ready to face the world. 

Almost everybody has times when they are down for the count.  As many reasons as there are for that feeling, so are there are as many coping mechanisms that people use to get themselves back to feeling better.  Some are natural-born optimists.  Unfortunately, I am not one of them.  I like to call myself a realist.  Reality tells me that I don’t care to share my problems with the world.  Working through my own issues seems to suit me best,  so that is what I do to regain my strength.

I am thrilled to report that I haven’t needed to turtle in quite a long time.  Life has been good as of late.

What coping mechanisms do you use to get through the tough times?  Do you manage to throw yourself into your work and keep yourself extra busy?  Do you beat yourself up and go on to fight the pain?  Do you find a good friend and cry to him or her?  Do you crawl into bed, pull up the covers and await better days?  Am I the only “turtler” around?

What suits YOU best?

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