Tuesday, October 9, 2018

I've Got the Blues by Brenda Whiteside


Do you ever get the blues? I’ve got the blues. It’s been coming on for several weeks, and the signs have been there. Ignored. Fought. But I finally succumbed.

My mom used to talk about getting the blues. I read a letter from her mother written in 1927 or 1928,
and she had the blues. The blues isn’t a female thing. There’s a whole music genre dedicated to the state of mind. But it seems to me there are different kinds of blues.

On the left, grandmother I never knew
My mom’s blues, and apparently the grandmother I never knew, had more to do with boredom, being poor, and lack of time spent with a spouse. My mom’s woeful state of emotion felt totally female.

Oh she may get weary,
Women do get weary,
Wearing the same shabby dress.
When she gets weary,
Try a little tenderness.

My state of mind has much to do with the state of our country. There are personal things that have added to the depression, but none of them are particularly bad. There is uncertainty and a state of wait and see, but I know those will all work out for the best. The waiting can be stressful. But mostly, I think I’ve allowed things I have no control over to control me.

What to do?

Let it go...for now
First, I’m tuning out. This is not my normal way to handle anything. But if I don’t tune out the negative, the constant assault of a crazy world, I’m the one who will be crazy. So, I’m giving myself a free pass for three weeks to stop worrying about the state of the world. Stop worrying about humanity. I’ve told FDW he cannot keep me informed. I need to re-center, and if he is always cluing me in on the ugliness, I’ll go stark raving mad.

Second, I’m owning who I am and how I feel and how I believe. While I’m working to get back my mojo and my happy attitude, if someone does come at me or comment to me something I feel is wrong or ugly, I’m giving it back. No more Ms. Nice. I might be tuning out, but if my efforts fall short and you get in my face, be prepared to be put in your place.

And third, I’m diving into my current novel with renewed vigor. These characters are fun. The story is complicated. They need my full attention, and they will reciprocate. I feel good when we communicate. And right now, I need to feel good.

So, as I asked to start this, do you get the blues? I’d love to hear how you beat it. What do you do to get rid of the blues?

Brenda and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. Currently, they split their time between the Lake Roosevelt basin in Central Arizona and the pines in the north. Wherever Brenda opens her laptop, she spends most of her time writing stories of discovery and love entangled with suspense.


She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month: http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com
She blogs about life’s latest adventure and has fun guests on her personal blog: https://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/


18 comments:

Leah St. James said...

I'm sorry you're down in the dumps (as my mom used to say), Brenda. I do believe the constant news cycle, on TV and on social media, can cause it. It's so often negative, from one side or another. I remember listening to a radio station in New Jersey when we lived there. It was a talk station where listeners would call in with their opinions. And it was complain, complain, complain. I started feeling nervous and angry all the time, so one morning I simply turned it off. It helped, a lot. I've been tuning out the news myself lately and trying to focus on positives...or at least not a constant feed of angry. I think it's a good plan to take a break. I hope you enjoy your time with your characters. Happy writing. :-)

Margo Hoornstra said...

It’s a shame the news we get always seems to focus on the catastrophic and anything negative some people can come up with. This trend to vilify those who don’t happen to agree with you is particularly alarming, and sad. It does make you sometimes wonder if we as a civilization can even survive all the things that are supposedly happening. Although I’m sure we will, we always have. Right now, it’s good for you to focus on enjoying your characters. Try to remember, nothing lasts forever, even those inevitable, and occasional blues. When they happen to me, I do what you’re doing. Tune out the bad and focus on the good.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Good morning Margo and Leah. Thanks for your words. And I remember Mom saying down in the dumps too. Weirdly enough, just talking about it (or blogging) has helped. Admitting I'm tuning out helps too.

Jody Vitek said...

Ah, been there done that, Brenda. I like to scrapbook. Either with physical pictures and paper or on Shutterfly. It makes me happy to look at pictures from our past (some older than others). I don't watch the news much anymore because of all the negativity, and for the same reason, I scroll past a lot on FB and don't visit as often. Those who post what I don't want to read are expressing their opinion. I'm okay with that. It's their opinion and right to express it. But I don't have to read it, comment, or like it. Just move along. Their still my friend(s) and I love them. Agree to disagree, right? You're doing the right thing in identifying your 'trouble', dealing with it, and making others aware of it. Take care of you, Brenda.

Maureen said...

I think we all can suffer from the blues now and then for various reasons. Acknowledging that you are, and knowing ways to deal with them, are what's important. The problem is, we might know all that and ignore it, or not take the time to address it and the blues last longer. I get the blues, and usually know if I can shut down the 'to do list' in my mind and just write, read a good book or watch a movie to escape for a bit that I'll feel a little better. Problem is that sometimes deadlines, responsibilities and other demands limit the opportunities to just escape for awhile. I hope your blues don't last, Brenda and that you get your zest back soon!

Brenda Whiteside said...

I think a fun physical activity is a good thing to cure the blues, Jody. I've found I have trouble writing, being creative, until now. I'm bulldozing into this and for some reason, that helps.

Jannine Gallant said...

I find myself getting angry not down. Maybe I'm hardwired that way. I get that people have different opinions. But the constant barrage on social media pisses me off. I keep my thoughts to myself, for the most part. I'm not going to change anyone's mind, so why bother. It's pointless. For those who just can't shut up on FB, I unfollow them. My feed is less obnoxious with this new habit. Also, I stay busy, and that helps. I hope you find your Zen with your new routine, Brenda!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Thanks, Maureen, so true. I think the difference for me this time is owning it and saying enough is enough. And telling those around me what I need to get through it. I don't usually do that.

Alison Henderson said...

I have the blues, too, and for exactly the same reasons--the state of the nation and world, with a little personal family stress thrown in. I've been volcanically angry for the past few weeks, and it's taken a terrible toll on me. I've also decided to withdraw as much as possible from current events, even though it feels like being a bad citizen. I'm limited in what I can do personally, and I know what I'm going to do, so being fully informed just eats at me. I'm slowly ticking things off my personal to-do and to-pay-for list, so those stresses are dwindling. By Christmas, I expect to be in better shape, no matter what else happens. The morning after the 2016 election, I actually fainted in public. That is NEVER happening again!

Brenda Whiteside said...

We do seem to be leading parallel lives, Alison. FDW is doing all the physically active things for both of us...knocking on doors, stuffing envelops, manning the headquarters, and researching the propositions for me. I can't do that at this point in my life. These last couple of years have taken their toll where with him, he is angrily energized. I'll make my mark at the polls and in the meantime, find my soul again.

Andrea Downing said...

I've been depressed/had the blues for about a year now, like you a combo of state of the world/country and things closer to home. I find being here in WY for a while helps--the only corner of WY that agrees with me politically!--but most of all, being close to nature. Nature is very healing. My home back in NY is surrounded by trees but for some reason looking out at the Tetons is really beneficial. I've opted out from political arguments--had a few people try to bait me--but I stay away from that as it only makes things worse.

Brenda Whiteside said...

The Tetons would do anyone a world of good! How nice, Andrea.

Sharon Bell Buchbinder said...

For the first time in weeks, I have not been glued to the TV. It takes a toll when the news is frightening and the world is going crazy. Psychologists have seen a dramatic uptick in business over the last 2 years: anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, all contribute to a cycle of the blues. I try to do some good self-care when it hits (like turning off the TV) and unplug. Rest, recover, refresh. Hugs!!

Brenda Whiteside said...

I do know I'm not alone. I just discovered how I act and react. Thanks, Sharon.

Alicia Dean said...

I'm not one to pay much attention to the news anyway. I am really tired of all the aggression and negativity these days, though. It seems you are not allowed to have an opinion without being ridiculed and demeaned. That's why I keep my opinions off of social media. I worry a lot more about what's going on with my family and close to home than I do the world in general. This year has been particularly trying for my family. I'm trying not to get depressed. I have my moments though. I think you're on the right track, Brenda!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Family matters can really wreck havoc on our hearts. Hope yours are better, Alicia.

Diane Burton said...

Forget the news. Don't watch TV or read events online. So depressing. I don't need that negativity. I talked a lot about the winter blahs/blues last Feb & March. I had it bad. I couldn't concentrate to write. I binge-watched TV shows and movies. Finally, I kicked it and got back to writing. This winter, I have a "happy" lamp (thanks to daughter), and I'm planning a trip south. Not sure where, esp. after Hurricane Michael. I think it hit where I wanted to go. Notice, I wrote "I" instead of "we". Hubs makes noises when I say I need sunshine but doesn't say yay or nay. So I'll plan the trip then see what happens. I just know that I can't go through another winter like last year.

Brenda Whiteside said...

After only a few days, I'm feeling better! I had to cut FDW off from complaining about 45.That helped. I quit watching two of my favorite shows because they were all about the politics of today. I'm now preparing to vote and studying candidates and propositions. This feels positive. Once we get the son's family moved, that will settle. The book is coming along. Life is good. You find that place, Diane. Thanks.