Sunday Night Dread and a Place of Self Preservation – End of the Day for April 13, 2014

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Back when I worked in an office full time, Sunday nights were a time of dread. Starting in the early afternoon the bad feelings would start to creep in. I would begin to think — and worry – -about everything that faced me when I went into work the next morning. I knew it was foolish but I couldn’t seem to break out of it. I wasn’t really happy doing what I was doing — and dealing with some pretty nasty stress-related illnesses, too — so I knew I had to do something. It took me a long time, but I eventually was able to work for myself and I found that sickness and Sunday Night dread soon became only a bad memory.


Since I couldn’t remove myself from the trouble at the time, though, I tried to sublimate it in other ways. We were living in North Hollywood at the time, a few blocks away from a funky bookstore/coffeehouse/hangout spot called the Iguana Cafe. Sunday nights often found me there, burying (or maybe, ignoring) my Sunday Night Dread in the weekly open mic night, thumbing through books, drinking “coffee” and generally trying to forget what was facing me come the morning. This didn’t solve the problem completely, by any means, but drowning my sorrows in the arts was much better than drowning it in alcohol or drugs. I was writing poetry at the time, even reading some at the club and also held and my one and only art show there, too. The Iguana served me well over the years and I am still good friends with several people I met there.

In looking for some pictures online, I came across this article, written by Rosanne, that appeared in the LA Times in 1995.

That Mangy-Looking Joint May Have Great Personality : The Iguana Cafe wasn’t trendy, but it was a refuge for many looking for good company and free coffee, as well as those seeking an audience for their music or writing.

All of this reminiscing is a long way of telling you that you need to seek out refuges in your own life whenever it starts to feel overwhelming. A refuge won’t solve your problems, but it can give you a small place of respite, where you can heal — even a small bit — and engage in an enjoyable activity to counteract those times when you are under pressure or stressed in other ways. This little act of self preservation could be the one act that prevents you from straying to other, unproductive (and even dangerous) behaviors and even give you enough peace and quiet to figure out how you are going to extricate yourself from your unpleasant situation. Sometimes a salve on your troubles is all that you can give yourself, but a salve can at least reduce the effects and grant you some time and space to think about how you can change things for the better.

Have you ever suffered from Sunday Night Dread? How did you cope? What are your favorite “self preservation” locations? Are these spaces helping you find a better, long-term solution to your issues?


Previously on End of the Day:

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