What do you do when you have a rough day?

Today has been a rough day.

I had a couple of bad dreams last night so I was already on edge this morning. My dreams always feel so real. I tried to shake it off and go about my day.

I dropped off my daughter at STEAM camp, and as we were walking through the parking lot, a car almost hit us. I went into full momma bear mode and LOST MY SHIT. I screamed at the lady driving. My daughter truly looked scared. I’m normally a pretty cheerful person so seeing me angry is out of the ordinary for her. 

I walked my daughter into the school and quickly left. I burst into tears in the car. I felt so horrible.

I was terrified of my dad growing up because he was always so angry. He wasn’t around much, but when he was, we were walking on eggshells trying not to upset him. I don’t ever want my daughter to be scared of me.

I called my husband at work crying, and he actually used comp time to take the rest of the day off and spend time with me. Did I ever mention I have the best husband in the world?

One brief moment of losing my cool reminded me of all the baggage I carry. Something that happened so long ago just resurfaced. Have you ever had a moment like that?

In one of my scary dreams last night, I left work for my lunch break and it was pitch black out at three in the afternoon. This morning it stormed and got very dark. My husband jokingly asked me if my dream was prophetic. 

Tonight I see myself having a conversation with my daughter about what happened and then lots of meditating to hopefully recenter myself. Here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Do you have any tips for calming yourself down and focusing on the present?


  1. Katydid says

    I love that you’re talking to your daughter. You might want to say that you were scared when the driver almost hit her, and your fear came out as anger at the driver. She knows that you do not randomly explode in anger. You are not like your father. Also, that near-miss could have hurt you and your daughter or even killed you. Your body and mind recognize the danger and of course you’re ruminating on it.

    Also, I’m pretty sure that everyone gets triggered when an event brings up old trauma. Congratulations, you’re normal!

    As for how to decompress, that might depend on you and what soothes you. I have an example of what worked for me recently, and why I think it worked: Just recently, my dog and I were attacked by an owned pit bull that roams our area and has attacked easily two dozen dogs and another half-dozen people walking or biking without a dog. It’s a known problem and the county Animal Control is absolutely worthless, as are the police (by state law: if a dog attacks a human, the police are supposed to respond.) I was in a time and place the pit bull had never been seen, but it wasn’t my lucky day. A good neighbor and their dog were attacked just the week before: 70 stitches to the dog, 200 stitches to the owner.

    The dog burst out of some underbrush and was on top of us in the blink of an eye, and it was utterly silent. And I completely and utterly went She-Hulk on that pit bull and chased it off. My adrenaline went so high that I don’t even remember, but a bystander told me I was screaming and kicking and punching the pit bull.

    I had an appointment for some PT (via massage, which is more effective than the PT people I was assigned to) immediately afterward and I considered not going because the adrenaline passed and I was a wreck.

    But I went, and let the masseuse know, and she worked on my shoulder in utter silence…and afterward I felt terrific and wasn’t obsessing on the attack. I believe what happened is that the massage brought on the endorphins and oxytocin that let my body get over what had just happened.

    And that’s why I’m telling this to you. Find something that releases endorphins and oxytocin, and see if that snaps you out of ruminating on the near-miss in the parking lot.

  2. Katydid says

    Yesterday’s response was already far too long, but I did want to mention meditation, and being in the now, uncoupling your brain from the circle it’s running in.

    • ashes says

      Your response was great yesterday. Thank you. It was very thoughtful.

      Getting attacked by a dog is so scary! I’m so glad you’re okay!

      I talked to my daughter yesterday. I apologized for getting upset and told her I was very scared. I cried because I was embarrassed and we hugged it out. She seems to be doing fine now.

  3. Katydid says

    Your daughter knows you love her and you take the time to speak with her. She’s a very lucky girl.

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