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What The Funk?

March 3, 2012

Nope, not talking about the unrecognizable stuff in the Tupperware in the back of the fridge.  I’m talking about The Funk.  The dark place I go with some regularity–for no apparent reason.  I also call it an “unfounded sense of impending doom.”  I don’t get it.  One day I’m fine, the next I’m lost in the mire of all that I’m not.  In this place, I have an amazing ability to connect otherwise completely unrelated feelings and occurrences, give them global meaning and conclude that I am indeed worthless.

If you’ve never experienced it, you are fortunate–and I would love to speak with you about that.  Clearly you have a resilience and self-image I would like to model.  If you have, you hear me.  It’s odd.  There’s no particular trigger.  I wake up and I suck.  All the things I was good at yesterday are gone.  All my value to those around me is forgotten.  The idea that I am an unconditionally loved child of God, perfectly formed His image is laughable.  Then, just as strangely as it arrived….it’s gone.  No particular catalyst, just a renewed world view.

The Funk is so muting and overshadowing that I can only speak of it when I’m out of it.  In it there’s no objectivity and little–if any–hope.  I have no clarity and no belief that I will again come out of “this one.”  Like each new one is somehow permanent, “finally really true” and I have no memory of waking from the last one.  No one can help either.  I am so adept in that place at writing off truth from others as (1) truth that “may have been true but is no longer” or (2) that it’s coming from people who are ones who have to say that stuff (parents, spouse, etc.)–OR (3) it comes from someone doesn’t really know me.  If they did, they would clearly agree that I suck.

I hate the thought that my children go there (or may some day).  In the same way, I’m sure it breaks God’s heart to see me there.  He (like I) would want his dear little one to remain awake and alive in perfection that I am.  But there’s no getting me out.  It’s dark.  The power’s out.  Nothing to do but wait for daylight.

I’ve found no real solution but distraction helps.  I watch tv.  I listen to music (depending on my selection, this has the potential to make things worse….).  Or, I go to bed (usually the best option).  One interesting distraction I figured out a few years ago was to do something nice for someone in the midst of my dark place.  Some of you may have been the recipient of a “Random Act of Funking Kindness.”  It’s not ingenuine at all–just born of my hope to see some joy in this “night.”  It’s usually in the form of an email (because I rarely want to talk directly with people when I’m in this place).  I’ll pick someone I care about (either at random or if I know they are wrestling with something) and just send them an email telling them how great they are.  Now the secret’s out in case you get one from me…..

I have had Funks last for days and weeks.  It will take on a life of its own and I can find myriad opportunities to add to the “truth of the lies.”  Someone cancels a get together, can’t come to something I’ve planned, takes longer than normal to respond to an email.  Suddenly, “everyone’s figured out how much I suck and it’s only a matter of time until it’s all over–my friendships, my career, etc.”  Then, sun-up and we’re all good.  Absurd!

I figured this might get better with age, experience and maturity.  But no.  Same stuff, different age.  It’s all relative.  So today I’ll soak up the sun.  Don’t tell me if you see the Funker sneaking up behind me.  I’d rather not know…..

4 Comments leave one →
  1. MikeD permalink
    March 7, 2012 5:49 pm

    Well, my friend, you are not alone. I like your name for it and can riff on that for a while later. I too get into this place, I often call it February it seems like February is a month that is tainted with The Funk. Of course like you it isn’t isolated to one month if it were I would simply tak that month off the calendar and run away to a hidey hole and not come out, like Puxatawney Phil. I feel the same way, worthless, unlikeable, unlovable and undeserved of mercy.

    Specifically for me because of my family of origin issues (instability and occasional abuse), I have a daily ongoing battle to keep those types of “bad” thoughts away. So when the funk comes along it is particularly insidious because my history confirms what the funk has to tell me. Which makes it feel like I have returned to the correct default state instead of a transient mood that eventually will pass. It makes getting out of the funk both more important, and more difficult.

    I too need to remind myself that I am loved by God but it is hard to get it through the fog of THE FUNK….insert horror movie scream here.

    And now to riff…Get the funk out of here; Funk-off; Funkification; Funking Funk; Funker; Funk soul sucker – check it out now…;

  2. Heidi Carls permalink
    March 11, 2012 4:32 pm

    Yep, that’s all true. You’re not alone.

  3. April 5, 2012 9:29 pm

    Love the title! Hilarious. I always thought it was hormones. Or I thought I was defective, like a gene was missing. At times I blamed my upbringing. In the end, does it matter?? No, what mattered was HOW I get out of What the Funk, and doing it quickly, and getting in the habit and telling What the Funk, well, you know.

    • April 6, 2012 6:26 pm

      Thanks Christine! Love your thoughts. So true on what matters. Even if we could figure out the cause it isn’t the solution. Hormones or human condition it’s just nice to know I’m not alone. 🙂

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