Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Mystery of the Funk

I keep waking up on the wrong side of the bed.  I wake up mildly crabby and vaguely discontented.  I know the easy solution is just to move my bed so that I can wake up on the other side, but it's just not that simple.  There really is only one way for my bed to fit in my little room, which is wedged into the corner.  That means there is only one side for me to get out of the bed, and clearly, it's the wrong one.  Which has led me into deep and serious introspection about Funks.  What causes Funks to happen?  I'm clearly in the midst of one that is difficult to shake.  For those who are unfamiliar with what a Funk is like, allow me to enlighten you.

Funk, pronounced "fuhngk", is an emotional state of being where nothing is really wrong, but nothing is really right either.  It comes as a series of "bad days" that have no event that makes them "bad".  A Funk can be difficult to identify because its accompanying signs and symptoms can present themselves very differently.  Common symptoms are a mild to moderate case of the blues, uncertainty of current and possibly future life paths, discontent, and general lack of excitement, interest, or motivation.  The patient may also find him/herself asking, "What is the point?  I seem to have forgotten why I'm living the way I do.  I can't remember what goal I'm working towards."  These symptoms can be difficult to pinpoint or explain, but are often accompanied by a nagging feeling that something is missing.  Nothing is wrong, per se, but something isn't quite right.

Having a funk is like having a really nasty cold.  After being sick for a week or two with no signs of real improvement I ask myself, "Do I go to a doctor or not?  Would it really make a difference or do I just wait it out?"  Those are the same questions asked during a mysterious case of the Funk.  "Do I change something in my life or not?  Would it really make a lasting difference or do I just wait it out?"  For most cases of the Funk I prescribe keep going, get outside, and give it time.  In other words, don't just eat toast, make some dinner. Take a walk, go for a bike ride, watch a sunrise, find some mountains to climb or watch the sun set behind.  Truly difficult cases may require more aggressive treatment: tell someone about your Funk, read some fiction, and have a good cry.  If you've diligently (and repeatedly) done all of the above and have found that Funk symptoms persist, the time has come to address that nagging feeling and truly, bravely ask yourself, "What is missing?" 
Sunset walk last week