Kat Atwell is a freelance writer, blogger & stage presence telling stories that deliver laughs, validation & community.

Mental Health | Wellness & Self Image | Experiential & Reviews


I'm about to complain about complaining.

It's irritating for me to read stuff online that's consistently negative. I feel hypocritical because I don't want to be a whiner, but I don't want to put on a happy face when I'm not happy.

I was raised to kill people with kindess. When I did complain, typically, an (unasked for) opinion was provided as to why I shouldn't be complaining. As a result, I don't like doing it, and even when I want to, I feel bad about it.

Wow. There's insight.

So, despite my preconceptions that you don't want to be reading anything negative (it's OK to surf elsewhere, I promise - I won't know any better), I'm going for it.

This is so much more difficult than you'd imagine.

It's one thing to avoid problems, and to avoid communicating about problems. It's another thing entirely to not even recognize there is a problem to be dealt with at all. I cannot - I repeat, CANNOT - imagine that someone would be so blind as to not know when I'm upset with them. I make it abundantly clear. Even when I don't want a person to know I'm upset, they know I'm upset.

At what point do you really look at a person and finally accept that they're really not as emotionally deep as you thought they were, nor will they ever be? I don't want to throw my hands up in the air, because I can't accept that someone can be that lacking in empathy. Is that the right word? Is it stubbornness, or a sense of hope that I keep trying?

If you feel something, tell a person - good or bad. I need to take my own advice - I know this. I don't want you always feeding me random facts, or telling me about the news, or nodding dumbly when I'm trying with all my might to actively engage you in an actual discussion. What does a person stand to gain by refusing (or worse, not even recognizing) to participate on an emotional level? Nothing.

I have no doubt that I'm unpleasant to deal with when I've reached this level of frustration. I'm not liking being around myself right now. I get sullen, and short-tempered (see: two days ago), noncommunicative, and generally bitchy.

And I feel bad about feeling bad! That's the most ridiculous part! I somehow sit here and beat myself up because I'm not happy! God damn. I might be a comedian, but dang. Even we have our bad days. It's hard to not entertain.

It's also hard to admit that being a real person can often be the most entertaining thing there is. Being funny is much easier than this.

Red cheeks.