“I’m a ball of bitter. A bitterball.”

I sat down hard on the couch and put my head on my knees. I sighed at Scott and turned my head to give him a look that pleaded with him to say something, anything nice.

I learned how to be honest with my feelings in my very early twenties. I taught myself to be clear-eyed and self-aware. I would get frustrated and wound-up and whisper, “I think I’m angry.” I’d say it out loud to the air, to the furniture in the room so there was no confusion. Before correctly indentifying my feelings I used to pretend they weren’t there or bury them. It was a temporary fix until my feelings snaked and slithered their way free. They weren’t going to be ignored or tied down. They would do damage until I could name and tame them.

Sometimes I have to be ‘in it’ and let myself feel when I would rather jump out of my skin, jam my fingers in my ears, because, you know, feelings are known to pour out of your ears, and run, shouting, “I’m feeling things!” (This is basically what I did yesterday when I drove for an hour and a half to Anthropologie in search of distraction and cute tops. I came home with cute tops and my problems totally disappeared still intact.) I need to slow down and be with myself. I heed the warnings about navel-gazing and preening our emotions. I know there’s a fine line between self-aware and self-absorbed. If I don’t spend some time being quiet and figure out what’s bugging me I become paralyzed. I’m after perspective. To know enough to say, enough! I need to do something for someone else or spend time hanging on my kids’ words or go for a walk because I need to be alone. It’s about understanding what’s going on so I can move forward.

So, I know I’m a bitterball, a ball of bitter. The kind of bitter where I look like Pig-Pen and his cloud of dust that travels with him. These days I’m part fine and part insecure and the bitter comes from the insecure. I’m grumpy and mope-y. I’m the clichéd spinning my wheels with nowhere to go. I have a bad taste in my mouth and to remedy it I’m going to make homemade mac-n-cheese, watch a movie that makes me laugh or cry (I haven’t decided yet), uncurl and start over.

Swept up

In Toms!

They’re a Canadian company and for every pair of shoes you purchase they donate a pair to someone in need. And they’re ridiculously cute and comfortable!

11 thoughts on “bitterball

  1. Katie

    Oh Heidi, “bitterball” sounds sort-of cute to me! I hear ya with the grumpy and mope-y thing going on; thanks for your honesty. You’re a great mom and your kids are so blessed to have you; your honesty and commitment to being real is going to have a huge impact on them.
    p.s. love the toms! my sister and nephew have been sporting them and they’re SO cute!

    1. heidi Post author

      Katie, thank you!! You’re so sweet.
      The Toms are awesome. I have a pair and I want another pair…maybe ones in red.

  2. A.J.

    Because of your blog post I just went and made ridiculously-fattening macaroni and cheese. So satisfying. And I’m not even bitter (right now)!

    1. heidi Post author

      Yum, right? I love mac-n-cheese when it’s not out of a box. I’m thrilled to have inspired you. 🙂

  3. IntenseGuy

    …but hey… you got cute tops from Anthropologie…

    At the risk of wearing out a cliche’ … some days you are the pigeon…
    and some days you are the statue (of venus or aphrodite of course…)

    If you know what I mean…

  4. Toriz

    Being honest – at the very least to yourself – about your feelings is a good thing. And, sometimes it’s OK to be mopey. Also, eating mac and cheese while watching a movie is a good activity, regardless of whether you feel mopey or not! 😉

  5. linda sue

    mac and cheese probably a better choice that three margaritas…which is what I USED to do but since hormones have left my body entirely I have no emotion…Tom’s are adorable and they are expensive and they do not last very long- BUT- guilt free shopping – that’s a plus!

  6. Kate Coveny Hood

    I’m not that great about acknowledging my feelings… I’m always moving forward – moving on. Who has time to feel mad or sad or defeated? But the feelings don’t really just disappear do they? And very often I find myself having realizations like, “I think I’m angry.” Like this is some revelation! The perk for Chris is that I never really get mad about anything. I get annoyed. Then I pretend nothing happened. My good friend has a British husband and he and his family drive her crazy with this same way of dealing with emotions (not dealing with them). Maybe I should have been British. Or WASP. I’d be really good at that, “let’s not dwell on it darling – let me make you a cocktail.” That would be nice.

  7. anna see

    Ah– bitterball, I like that. The moniker, not the situation. I think it’s an impressive thing to be able to name what you are feeling. I tend to snap and growl and attack (wonder where my kid got that from) and not bother to figure out what’s going on. And eat, of course.

  8. Ann

    Hey, at least you have a plan!

    Sounds like you need a break. Often I’m bitter and grouchy for several reasons I’m aware of, but on a deeper level it often is a signal I’m just plain burnt-out or exhausted.

  9. Valerie Shoop-McCreery

    You speak for me. The pacing the mind does when in this mood, the wondering what I would be doing if life were different, the wishing for joy to reach out and tap me on the shoulder. Strange though that hoping it away doesn’t happen. Some times the bitter ball just rolls away some morning when the sun comes out or a phone call brings good news or some other other happening in life changes everything in a moment.

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