Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Up Times, Down Times, and In-Between Times

These are the Up Times. Times when life is so good, you feel like a million bucks. You feel like the whole world is on your side, like nothing could possibly go wrong. Maybe it's your birthday; maybe you just won the lottery; maybe the radio has been playing all your favorite songs and you're looking forward to a girls'/boys' night on the town.
These are the In-Between Times. And then something horrible goes wrong, like your date gets cancelled, or your friend gets sick. Depending on how bad the situation is, you're still happy, only a little less ecstatic than you were before. Then something else happens, like you get a lot of homework that you really don't understand, or you get into a fight with someone special, and again, you feel your happiness level drop a notch. Later, you get a migraine that Advil won't take care of. An hour or two after that, you're driving home after work with a splitting headache, when your car breaks down on a busy highway and no one stops to help. After an hour, itÂ’s apparent that nobody is going to stop to assist you. So you have to walk a mile in high heels to get to a phone because your cell phone battery went dead late last night, too late for you to recharge it. Finally, you find out that your best friend has died, you have an argument with your boyfriend of two years that just might end the relationship, or your grandmother has broken a hip and you don't have the money to pay her hospital bill, and all of this just sends you over the edge.
These are the Bad Times. You try to get the invisible tiger called stress off your chest in the best way you know how but somehow, it's always sitting on your shoulder. No matter how hard you try to get it off by venting to your friends, writing in your journal, running, and taking hot baths, it just wont go away. You don't know what to do anymore and all the stress built up gets you down. When people ask you if you're okay, you just reply that you're fine and go on being depressed, even though what you really want to do is yell and scream at them about all your problems and how you aren't okay. Everyday, something bad happens and you don't believe that things will ever get better. And just when you're about to make that slit on your wrist with a blade from the kitchen, someone calls. You think about making that cut and just letting the answering machine get it because it's probably just more terrible news, but something in the back of your mind says Pick up the phone. It's important. Just as the answering machine is picking up, you dive for the phone and put it to your ear.
"Hello?" you gasp into the phone. It's the person who's closest to you, the person who knows you best; your best friend, the boyfriend that you had the argument with, maybe your mother...
"I was just calling to tell you that I love you, and to check up on you to see if there's anything that you need to talk about." These are just the words that you want to hear. That special someone comes to your house and you spill your guts (tears included) about everything, from the sick friend, to the terrible argument, the dead best friend, the injured and bankrupt grandmother in the hospital, and finally to your near death. And you try to explain that all you wanted was for something to go right, for someone to listen, for someone to give you a hug and tell you that everything will be okay. Finally, after you're all talked out, the person who cared enough to call at your moment of need, your decision between life and death, takes you in their arms and finally, finally, gives you what you've been wishing for all along; a warm hug, a helping hand, an ear to listen, and a tongue to tell you everything will be all right.
And all of a sudden, the world seems brighter. The sun comes out from behind the clouds. You can sit up straight once again because the fifty pound weight of stress has been lifted from your shoulders. The tiger has left to burden someone else and the world is finally on your side once again.