An Adult Attitude

I’ve been doing some thinking today.

I woke up in a foul mood today, didn’t sleep enough, was grumpy at my Hubby (coz it was all the fault of him breathing heavily…), dropped my bacon filled breakfast on the pavement, forgot my iphone so couldn’t listen to music, felt gritty with hayfever, my muscles are screwed meaning I’m in low level constant pain currently (really low level and all my fault, don’t give me sympathy!) and there were shouty people on my morning commute.

Oh how I suffer eh?!

So in the past, this start to the day is enough to set me off, the day is ruined, the world owes me and I’m foul company until the next morning.

Underlying this old behaviour was an odd thought pattern/belief that someone (knight on a white horse?) would come along and do all the work for me/give me permission to leave work early/otherwise laud me for carrying on so bravely in the face of such obvious fuckwittery.

That never happened.

All that did happen was I would get in a fouler and fouler mood as I alternately got angrier at the world for not playing my game and angry at me for instigating and continuing it.

It’s different if my bad mood has a real cause, sometimes a good old wallow is a perfectly acceptable response to the universe shitting on you from a great height.

Today isn’t one of those days however. Today is the inside of my head having a toddler style temper tantrum because it’s not allowed to wear superhero pants on it’s head at school and there is no white knight on a glowing steed to take me away from this place to one where everyone wears superhero pants on their head.

The day has to be got through and I’m now old enough to know that the day will go better and quicker (in that bizarre mental manipulation of time that we all do) if I cheer the hell up and engage.

So treats are promised for later for coping well.

The belief that I CAN and WILL cope is reinforced (mainly by reminding myself of the truly shitty times I have endured)

I let those that need to know how I am and what I need (which is vastly different from what I WANT and not to be confused…) then I step through the day from moment to moment swallowing back the toddler responses (and where did my inner toddler learn such foul language?!) and replacing them with Adult responses.

It is indeed very Transactional Analysis! The Parent, Adult, Child model. My Child is going bonkers, my Parent is screaming at it for misbehaving which just makes the child worse (kinda like the people on the train this morning) and the only way out is to ignore the pair of them and place the reactive self firmly in Adult mode.

After a while, it’s easier and the good mood I’ve been pretending actually filters through and I feel better. My Child calms down realising it’s actually safe, my Parent calms down having nothing to critisise and the deposit account for Coping receives a few more pennies. Like everything else, Coping gets a bit easier with practise and honest awareness.

This post has obviously been stimulated by the inside of my head, but also by this – http://blastr.com/2012/06/kid-from-darth-vader-ads.php which I saw linked on facebook today. There was one quote, put below, which welled me up with emotion as it connected so strongly with my attitude toward myself today. Except I’m not facing operations for a heart defect and I’m a few decades older than this little lad and he’s got all this stuff sorted in his head already! I’m not wanting to imply that today for me is the same as what this little lad is facing, it’s not at all, but this quote below can fit many situations and that was the point I am hoping to make.

“I don’t have a choice. I have to go through it. I don’t like it and it’s still scary—but I have to. So I think I might as well go through it with a good attitude.” – Max Page, 7 years old