Dry Wit: Mantra, Make It Happen

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m prone to moping. I’m a major moper. It happens to the best of us – idealists in particular seem to get discouraged when anything less than optimum happens, and it takes some serious mental training to move away from the mope and into the cope.

I promise I’ll never write a sentence like that again.

Anyway, one of the things my sobriety program teaches is that you are what you think you are. So if your thoughts are, “I suck, this sucks, eff you, life, this blows!” it will, and does, indeed suck. The program founder suggests that you make a list of all the characteristics you’d like to be known by, and then repeat them to yourself as a mantra. Like, my list includes stuff like “feisty,” “invested,” and “calmly in control of the situation,” so my mantra would go something like, “I am a feisty woman. I am an invested woman. I am a woman who is calmly in control of the situation.”

I’m actually kind of amazed by what a sucker I’ve turned out to be for believing the things I say out loud about myself. I’m so impressionable!

Anyway, the past few weeks have been marked, in my life, by a lot of moping about things I was generally unhappy about. I’m planning my wedding in a city where I don’t know anyone socially besides my fiance, so things like trying on dresses have been things I’ve been putting off out of the fear of being lonely. And I’ve got an incredibly stressful job working with some highly chaotic people, in particular a boss who can’t decide which job titles he wants me to take on at any given point, and yells at me – yells, with profanity and whatnot – for following orders he forgot he gave me in the first place. And don’t even get me started on emails he’s sent me containing phrases like, “Get some hot chicks in dresses to be waitresses at our anniversary party,” and “Can I fire someone for being bipolar? Cause she’s getting on my nerves.”

Moping. Big time.

But I turned back to my sobriety program’s suggestion. It’s that or lots of Malbec, right? And I thought, okay, I want to be a woman who isn’t lonely in her own company. I don’t want to feel lonely planning my own wedding anymore, and that’s an internal thing. So maybe my mantra can be, “I am a woman who is well-attended in her own company.” And so I kind of just told myself that for a day or two, and all of a sudden I found I had the courage, yes, even the enthusiasm, to call a couple of bridal boutiques and make appointments to try on dresses, just me and myself, this weekend. I even promised myself that if I was able to find the silhouette I wanted, I would treat myself to some kind of pampering – delicious dessert, or a pedicure, or bringing home some kind of killer delicious takeout for dinner.

And I thought about my job and thought, no, I want to be a woman who is capable of handling these situations, and also a woman who stands up for herself, so I told myself, “I am a woman with a backbone and initiative. I am a talented, hard-working, capable, upbeat woman – generally – who deserves a job that is satisfying and rewarding.” And I started submitting resumes to new jobs on Wednesday, and Wednesday night I got contacted to have a job interview for Thursday afternoon. At the time of submission, I’m still waiting to hear back, but I’m just amazed that all it took was an attitude change to get the ball rolling in the direction I needed.

I couldn’t have done any of this drunk. I would have returned, repeatedly, to the bottle, wallowing in misery, futility, and a sense that things would never get better. It would have been a self-fulfilling prophecy. So today, regardless of how complex and challenging life can be, I am a grateful woman. I am an invested woman. I am a capable woman. I am a sober woman.

What kind of woman are you?

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Meghan Young Krogh

Meghan had a number of quality writing mentors over the course of her education, which just goes to show that you can't blame the teacher for the way the student turns out. Team Oxford Comma represent.

9 thoughts on “Dry Wit: Mantra, Make It Happen”

  1. Thank you so very much for posting this.

    I can be a first class moper as well and I’ve been doing a lot of it lately. Granted, some of it is caused by the depression/anxiety I deal with regularly, but I know that’s not 100% of it…which means there’s some level of it I do have control over right now, at this very minute.

    I think I needed to see it in words from someone else to realize that my lack of initiative in many things right now is only going to harm me in the days to come. So, it’s times for me to get up and get on with it!

    So again…thank you. Your articles on here have been wonderful eye-openers and thought-provokers. I, for one, greatly appreciate them!

    1. I’m so glad they’ve meant something to you.

      I’ve struggled with depression for much of my life, too, and while there is so much of it that is unbearably out of our immediate control, I’ve always found that there is some element in my own self that, if I change it, if I try to adjust my thinking patterns and, you know, stop flooding my body with depressants every night, that’s usually enough wiggle room in my [seasonal for me] depression to find the motivation to get the professional help I need. Not enough to eradicate my full depression, by any means, but enough to start going to therapy again, and get on whatever meds I’m supposed to take, and exercise more (for the mood enhancement aspect, of course). Without that wiggle room, I find myself stuck in a very dark, immobile, powerless place.

      I wish you all the empowerment you need for self-care and a sliver of hope, my dear. Thank you so much for your comment.

  2. This is really relevant to my crisis ( Kristina Wong style ). A job I find myself in tears at most of the time , a semi-unraveling of friends off to far away places and the constant battle against the mope. It takes so much more effort for me to say ” okay, just because I feel this way, doesnt mean thats how it is. I am good at this. I am good at that “. It’s like clockwork to immediately come down on myself and think about all the ways that I suck, am about to get fired, should be working harder, doing more, wasting my life. ” I want to feel/channel the strength of Ruby Bruiseday because she’s kick ass and if she can make peace, ergo myself “.
    It’s great that you can feel progress already and you had a job interview. I hope you get it because you DO deserve a good job. My hat is off to you.

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