Being human is incredibly difficult at times.
It’s in very particular scenarios that I become aware of just how frustrating being human can be. Like when I can’t teleport instantly to the location I want to be at, or that fact I can’t eat endless amount of french fries and cookies without it causing sluggishness and increased pant-size… and on top of all that, there’s those times when I can’t identify my feelings.
You know those times right? When you’re feeling something, and you know it sucks - but you can’t pin point the why - or what’s causing it? You just feel like an emotional garbage heap for no apparent reason. Worst.
It feels so incredibly lame to just be so sad, laying on the floor crying with big snot bubbles flowing from your face and not even know why. I mean come on, there are so many people in the world with much larger problems than I have. Why am I crying over nothing?
When my husband and I had just started dating, we developed a communication system for dealing with this type of scenario. (Don’t worry, I kept the snot bubbles at bay until at least three months in or so.)
When we met, both of us were coming from some past experiences that had residual effects. Brinley lost his mom to cancer a couple years prior and I was dealing with some PTSD-symptoms from a period of time I spent in an abusive relationship.
Occasionally each of us would be triggered by something (or sometimes it was completely at random) and start to feel overwhelmed, or sad, or some other emotion that we might not have been able to identify in the moment.
I can’t remember who offered it up or exactly what happened to inspire it, but we somehow came to develop a strategy to support each other during these moments. Whenever either of us is feeling something crappy, icky, or unidentifiable. We say “Code Blue.”
No matter who says it and when - the response from the other person is always “How can I support you right now?” or “What do you need?”
Often times for Brin, he needs a hug - and for me, I usually need to talk it through or be left alone for a while. I can’t begin to tell you how impactful this has been for our relationship. It takes all the pressure off both of us.
No one has to struggle to find the words to explain exactly what they’re going through or why they are feeling what they are - and the other person doesn’t have to guess at how they can best support their partner. It’s all laid out on the table.
It’s simple, and it’s been so wildly effective. And honestly, it makes me feel really close to him; because I get exactly what I need from him when I am feeling vulnerable and uncertain. And when he needs me, I feel happy that I can offer him what helps him the most in that moment.
So the next time you find yourself unable to teleport, or your pants don’t fit, or you’re tissue in hand, collecting leaky bogies from your face. Two words: Code Blue.
Tanya Ryan is a local singer/songwriter with an appetite for life and learning. #LightSideUp is for the candid exploration of everyday life, events, emotions, and stories with the intention of finding the lessons and teachings buried in the normalcy of daily living.