A Shit Week and My Punching Bag

This was not my favorite week with humans. I’ve been called a whore, a rapist, and a libelist out of sheer sour grapes… all while being blackmailed. And that was just Monday.

A couple of years ago, I would have headed for the bar the minute I got done with work. If I could afford it. Maybe just a bottle of cheap wine and the free version of Hulu.

But the great thing about taking control of your emotions is the way you can judo the fuck out of people who want to mess with you. If you have any enemies (ie, if you’re breathing), they want you to be miserable and you want them to be miserable too. And if you deal with your misery in a way that gives you a gut or a hangover, guess what? They win. If you don’t, they lose, and it’s probably ass-head who will be at the bar, crying ridiculously. That bitch tried to kill you, and everyone says you’re fine.

When something awful happens, here’s a rule of thumb: pretend that the person who did it to you can see everything that happens next. If you drink an entire bottle of wine, they watch in satisfaction. If you work out and get high and plan your revenge, imagine they can see that as well. Because in the long run, your enemies will know the overall outcome of your life choices. Would you want them to watch and laugh as you ate a box of Twinkies? Wouldn’t that be satisfying to that cur? Think of what you would like them to see you doing instead, and do that. They’re probably sitting on the couch with a celebratory bag of chips. We’ll see how that turns out.

But how do you do that? The deal with Disaster Fitness is that we recognize most good things are easier said than done.

Start with a fact: remember that all emotions are chemical, and they have a half-life. You only have to outlast them. If you sit down and let the misery wash over your body, it will go away faster. Hold still. Feel what you’re feeling, even if it’s shame or just an itchy uncomfortable uncertainty. Look at the reason why. Look at your mistakes. Clear your eyes. Emotions are like a knot in your back: to get rid of them you have to press on them, break up the fibers, go straight at them, look them in the eye.

Hold on and hold off on any self-destructive behavior till after the wave passes, and then you can go do something for yourself. If it helps, go on and imagine your enemies crying because they can’t break you. Ever. Not only that, all of their ridiculous delusions are their problems. Not yours. As are all of their other problems. And most people will never deal with most of their problems. Chances are, they don’t have your secret, or they haven’t digested it:

Every emotion passes. All you have to do is outlast it.

Me, I’ve been hitting the heavy bag. I’m not joking. I got one for Christmas, after my boyfriend listened in horror when I told him how I tore my old vacuum cleaner limb from limb in a fit of frustration. This one’s a keeper; I didn’t even know how much I needed that thing myself till he gave it to me. It made me a better person, and not just for him.

My wrists and arms still aren’t strong enough to do a whole day’s cardio on the bag, but throw in ten minutes after a 30-minute workout video (that’s about three Muse songs) and I’m done feeling bad.

Meanwhile, my enemies are drinking beer and eating fries and whining because fucking with me never turns out like they imagine. Sometimes this is hard to believe, but it’s a pretty decent life if you figure out how you, specifically, need to figure out how to live it.

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