Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | July 13, 2010

A Case of the Blahs

Written by: ViR

I find different personalities fascinating. I also follow horoscope signs. I am a true, hardcore, tattooed Scorpio woman. I love impulses, love extremes, and love drama. As I find myself writing “I love drama” I realize this isn’t the entire truth. I have always said I HATE drama, and I do. But sometimes, I find my actions, behaviors, and words to counter that spoken word argument; and I feel actions often speak louder than words.

I love my personal highs and lows. Why? Because I can feel them, I feel sad, angry, hyper, joyful, grateful, moody, etc. I like them, because in recovery I have learned to understand and be able to put words to my emotions. I remember in IOP (Intensive out patient), during group, before every session we had to give a feeling word, and we weren’t allowed to use fine. I found this fun, but sometimes annoying because “fine” was sometimes all I was feeling.

Further along into recovery, I have come to realize I never feel fine; fine is simply not the correct word. I guess it would be called flat. I don’t feel any extreme in emotion, I just feel flat, blah, dissociated and bored. Not stressed, not happy, and not able to move along from blah to anything else. I do realize those last few words are telling. I would prefer to PUSH my feeling from blah to anything else I can put a word to. Perhaps this is why I may pick fights, overreact, and blow up after a case of the blahs. Perhaps I am reaching out and reacting to things outside me because I want to change from the blahs to anything that makes me personally feel more alive.

I never do anything actually positive, patient, or loving to myself in the case of the blahs. So I have decided I am going to make a list of things I can do the next time I come up with a case of the blahs. I have mentees and I often tell them not to focus on the so-called failures (because I simply do not allow that word in my vocabulary) in recovery. I tell them to learn the lesson, and add new things to their recovery relapse plan to help them next time succeed when faced with particular triggers. It is what I view as a plan for success many use in business, and often in life.

Here is my list of self care, positives to utilize in the future:

  • Take 5 minutes to meditate, focusing on breathing
  • Go take a walk outside, if only for 5 minutes
  • Write a grateful list
  • Allow myself to take a nap if I need to
  • Go to a pilates class even if it isn’t the normal class I go to
  • Ask for hugs & loves from the people around me (versus lashing out, picking fights, or acting distant)
  • Email a mentor, friend, or fellow advocate
  • Recognize, honor, and respect the feelings presence; journal that it will not last, it is a feeling like all the others, and it’s time will come to an end
  • Write a list of things I love about me!
  • Read inspiring blogs
  • Ask for a timeout in my relationships; if I need ME time alone, that is OK
  • Take a bath
  • Eat healthy meals, drink water, go to bed at a decent hour
  • Call my mom and whine 🙂
  • Make a to do list and start with just one thing at a time, and cross off as I do it
  • Create a vision board, or add to ViR’s dream journal! (this one ends up on a LOT of my lists)
  • Reach out to my mentees and see how they are doing; if there is ONE thing that helps my own recovery – it is helping others! It gets me out of my head, and focused outside of self
  • Look in the mirror & say a positive affirmation, whether for body image, self love, or simply my awesomeness (Say I love you in the mirror is a tool a LOT of therapists, and mentors will recommend – try it! You may think it is silly at first, but at least you get a laugh out of it)
  • Be mindful of what I am reading, watching, listening to: What I allow into mind is just as important as what I feed my physical body
  • Say NO to requests that may drain my energy
  • Be mindful of the words I use in my communication; use words that explain how I feel, without reacting to someone else; just to get what I need. If I need a hug, or quiet time, or a cry, communicate these things to my partner

So there is a simple list to try the next time I get the blahs! We shall see how it goes, and I hope to be able to utilize at least one or more of these. Maybe, just maybe using this list in the blahs will also domino into other parts of my life. Maybe with practice, I can apply this to ALL my feelings, because in the end self care, self love, and making me a priority will not only help me, but those around me as well!

Hence, there is a time to go ahead and a time to stay behind.

There is a time to breathe easy and a time to breathe hard.

There is a time to be vigorous and a time to be gentle.

There is a time to gather and a time to release.

Can you see things as they are

And let them be all on their own?

~ Lao-tzu

Ever have a case of the blahs? Do you try to run from the feeling? What do you do? Do you have a proactive action list?


  1. This was an amazingggggg post, I will be using some of those self-care options for myself!

    Hope you feel better soon! I found you through twitter 🙂

    • Thank you so much Annie!!! Glad you found me 🙂 I am a lover of lists for self care! I have to keep reminding myself of them, hence the lists. Thanks for reading & commenting!

  2. i am a frequent sufferer of the blah’s myself…and i will definitely be looking back to this post next time i find myself in one of those funks. thanks for inspiring this fellow hardcore, tattooed scorpio woman. 🙂

    • Woot!!!! Love the hardcore Scorpio women 🙂 Thank you for your comment! I hope next time the blahs happen we both can find healthy ways of being patient with ourselves 🙂

  3. Awesome blog. We were not allowed to use the word “fine” either. Or “good.” If we did, we were always asked “what does fine mean?” And my response would be “blah.” Which again did not describe how I was truly feeling. By the end of the circle of going around non-descriptive words, I’d normally end up being aggravated so then I finally had a word. haha
    I’m feeling blah today…I guess its time for me to dig a little deeper.

    • Thank you Jen. I think in recovery, the more we use our words, the easier it is to name our feelings. Digging can be appropriate as well, but be patient with yourself! Sometimes we need a little self care, and a little self love through the blahs 🙂 xoxo

  4. This is a great post! I actually think this happens to me a lot but I never really knew what to call it. So often I’ve found myself abusing food but unable to determine why – I didn’t feel lonely or sad or any other emotional extreme. I felt…nothing. Blah. Perhaps I am also uncomfortable in that flat state, and abusing food becomes a way of stirring up some drama, some emotional extreme – even if it’s a negative one.

    Very insightful post! 🙂

    • Thank you Katie. I think when I am bored or blah I too struggle with wanting to eat “just cause” and notice it is not very mindful! I think that is ok of course – as balance and moderation is key. I think catching our patterns and creating a plan for the future, including self care, will also create much healthier coping skills as well 🙂 At least that is my hope!

  5. Whoa. I have the blahs often and everything here makes so much sense. Nice tips and inspiring thoughts! (my own blast out of blah-dom is blasting my favourite music and escaping away from the world in the sound)

    • Thank you very much James! I too find music helpful to jump start my mojo 🙂

  6. Great quote. I know that flat line feeling. It can be confusing..but it too does level out. It is sometimes wavering in the moment instead of BEING there. Still work on this at times but it really has gotten a lot easier.

    Thanks for your post!

  7. I just love you. lol. I have been feeling the same way, just “blah”, for a few days. Well, probably more than that, but the past few days have been more “blah” than ever. Don’t feel like doing anything, don’t really feel anything. I LOVE your self-care list. I think I will print it out. You are so great at what you do. You can’t imagine how much I appreciate your work. ❤

  8. I often have a case of the blah’s. It is usually because of one of my physical illnesses, or because my meds are making me too sleepy. What works best for me is to sleep it off. I usually nap at least once a day, sometimes more. It is what works best for me.

  9. I love, love, love this post! Kendra, your proactive list is great. I especially love it because when you’re feeling the blahs, the last thing you want to do is rack your brain for good ideas to boost your mood. I get the blahs, too, and usually I just mope around. Which isn’t the best remedy. 🙂

    Creating such a list is a fantastic suggestion. I’ll definitely be sharing this with Weightless readers.

  10. […] an amazing post with lots of tips on how to incorporate self care into your day to day life called A case of the blahs. A must read for […]

  11. […] favorite post. “A Case of the Blahs” at Voice in Recovery. Some great suggestions in this post from Kendra, as […]

  12. This is a great post! I often feel “blah” now that I’m working on my issues and so longer swing from depressed, anxious, and happy. Feeling blah is uncomfortable so I tend to eat to feel something other than blah–but feeling stuffed and sick isn’t the solution.

    I’m going to bookmark this post and refer to it often when I have the blahs to learn how to move past it.

  13. how are you I was fortunate to come cross your topic in wordpress
    your topic is splendid
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