Friday Night Think Tank: How Do You Chase Away the Black Clouds?

Doc BrownI apologize, Modern Philosophers, for the Friday Night Think Tank being delivered about 12 hours late.  Yesterday was a very dark day at The House on the Hill.  Your favorite Think Tank moderator received some very bad news, and went into a bit of a funk where writing was the last thing on his muddled mind.

So this morning, I still find myself in a dark, lonely place, but I thought I’d at least try to use writing to help dig me out of it.  I use this blog to make others laugh, so perhaps today we could turn the tables and my new friends can try to put a smile on my sad face.

I don’t want to go into details about what has made me so upset, but just assume that a general malaise has come over me on this, the day before my birthday.  As always, there is no wrong answer to the question, so just give it your best shot.

This week’s topic: What would you say or do to cheer up someone who desperately needed to smile?

I know it’s a lame and self-serving topic, but I’d appreciate any input.  Please fill the comments section with your Deep Thoughts on this one.  I’d be most grateful…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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51 Responses to Friday Night Think Tank: How Do You Chase Away the Black Clouds?

  1. Maryanne says:

    When it comes to cheering someone up, you have to know your audience. I’d focus on what that particular person likes, why I feel he/she is special, that person’s special qualities that make him/her stand out from others. I may throw in some fun, happy memories we’ve had together. And ALWAYS remind someone that things don’t stay the same. Times might be bad at the moment, but just ride it out like a wave, as it always gets better!

  2. I guess it depends on the severity of the situation. If there is some humor to be found, that would be first. If not, I try to go with a big hug and the reassurance that all will be ok in time. If something is upsetting someone on lets just say, the eve of their birthday, I would remind them that shitty things don’t have day planners. Sending a virtual ((HUG)).

  3. fransiweinstein says:

    4 suggestions:

    Give into it and get it out of your system. Have a good cry and move on.

    Find old reruns of Mash or Frasier or any other funny TV shows. Or watch a funny movie. You’ll be laughing before you know it.

    Bring an affordable donation to a homeless shelter or food bank. You’ll see there are many so much less fortunate than you are. It may jolt you out of the blues and make you feel grateful for what you have.

    Hang out with a really trusted friend and share your woes. Sometimes talking about it helps; and who knows, maybe you will both brainstorm a solution.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  4. momshieb says:

    Not sure how to respond to this, since I don’t know you in the “real” world.
    If you were here, I would cook something for you (Italian Mamma, what can I say?) and I would give you wine and ask you if you want to talk about it. I’d show you that I sympathize/empathize and after you had had a good long time to talk, and had eaten a lot of good food, I’d ask you to think back on the last time you got really bad news, and whether that pain is still as intense, and what you remember about it. Sometimes that helps to put things in perspective.
    If this is something that will ease with time, I wish you peace until that time comes.
    If it is something that can’t get better, I wish you strength.

  5. TheDailySnug says:

    Try checking out first thing in the morning for a quick smile that will hopefully last throughout your day!
    Happy Birthday!

  6. I feel for you, having had a few dark clouds of my own float by. But that’s just it … they do go by and if you’re really paying attention you will find the silver lining. Maybe not right away, but it will be there. This has always been my experience and I wish it for you. 😉 … And here’s my lame attempt at a joke to cheer you up … Question: What do you get when you run over a canary with a lawn mower? Answer: Shredded tweet! … Hope you have as happy a birthday as is possible under the circumstances. … Be well, Dorothy 🙂

  7. I too am in need some cheery thoughts and more than a few accolades about my unlimited potential for happiness – I received a blow yesterday that set me back on my heels and I am reeling and floundering – the only factors that continually help me move on is the thoughts of and communication with my friends and family – each new day will bring deep breathes and taking each step slowly and deliberately will ensure that time will heal – smile!

  8. I’m sorry to hear of your loss, whatever it may be. Big virtual hugs to you. I find three things (besides writing poetry) help – yoga, some kind of ritual about letting go ( I like to leave stones at important places, but do what works for you), or losing myself in a TV show marathon (Downton Abbey worked for me last time – they have it worse!) or a good book. The best book for serious cant stop crying sadness is The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. Hope some of this helps, and that better days come soon. Hugs, Shana

  9. iamforchange says:

    You are Gorgeous! Happy Birthday! … Smile!

  10. I’d say “get up off yer arse and go out with the express purpose of meeting some new people and having a little fun. Git on the way right now and don’t come back ’til you’ve had a few laughs.” looking forward to you getting back in your usual form. And seriously… A. Happy birthday b. Everything is cyclical. Good times will come around.

  11. ::hugs:: First, it sucks to be so down right before a birthday.
    Second, I want you to know that you truly do help to inspire me and I enjoy your witty creativity. I think the you I’ve enjoyed on here is pretty awesome and though you may be down, you’re never really out unless you choose to be.
    Third, sometimes even though I’m pretty much princess positivity, I have my moments where I need to wallow and let my hurt soak in and wash over me (surprise, surprise…this includes lots of sad music and hiding under the covers in my room…still in pj’s). During that time I disconnect and decompress. I read. (Though if I were you, I’d probably watch a very sad movie instead.) Then I remind myself that life goes on and I’m stronger than any bs stumbling block to happiness someone can throw my way. If I can survive a dad who couldn’t care less, two brothers who died, abuse, loss of job and other miscellaneous heartbreaks…and not only come out on the other side, but thrive… Then eff the things and people in my life who are trying to make me less than who I am. They will not defeat me. I refuse to allow it! The best revenge is finding a way to live well despite everything done to alter that destiny.
    Funny thing about “failures”…they often happen to push you to the better things that have been waiting for you all along.

    Wish I had something witty, clever and humorous… Instead I offer you something heartfelt & with the best of intentions. If you need anything, I’m around…

    • Thank you for the pep talk. My day hasn’t gotten any better, but it has helped to have people on here come forward with their thoughts and support. Also, my friends have been calling and emailing me and that has kept me a little distracted. I don’t know if I’m ever going to shake this, though…

      • As I’m sure you’re well aware…there are things that happen in our lives that irrevocably alter us. It doesn’t mean that we can’t still be good…sometimes even better..than we were, but it does mean we are changed forever. Love can be that way. But so can loss or heartbreak. Sometimes it takes time and distance to be able to see these things clearly, though… ::hugs::

  12. First of all – Happy Birthday.

    Now, take a deep breath, get outside and walk. Doesn’t matter where, just walk. Don’t stay inside alone. Go somewhere that you enjoy, somewhere that has good memories, somewhere that makes you smile. When I am down and in a dark place the worst thing to do is sit alone at home. As they say time heals all wounds. I am sorry for whatever has happened in your life recently but just remember you have caring people around to help you through it.

    • Well, I usually would’ve gone out for a run, but I’m horribly sick and have no lung capacity or the ability to breathe through my nose. Plus, it’s absolutely freezing here. Thank you for the suggestions. They definitely are helping…

  13. I don’t usually try to cheer someone up. I just sit beside them and exist, because that is what good friends do. If they want to be upset, that is OK. I will be there for them while they are upset. If they want to go out and get crazy, we’ll do that, too. It just depends. Not that I don’t want them to be happy, but it’s not natural to be happy all the time, and I am their friend no matter the circumstances.

    Sometimes, people need to wallow in anger and swim in sadness until their fingers get all pruney (I know I do). Once I have had enough, I emerge from the funk a little wiser, and ready to take on the new adventures life has to offer (there are always some available).

    Not sure if this helps at all. There really isn’t an easy answer, except to say that I care about you, and I hope your pain subsides soon! I’m just a few keystrokes away if you want to chat …

  14. I would go to wherever the Hell you live in Maine and
    1) buy a lot of alcohol, red wine etc. and help you drink it.
    2) Watch stupid, funny Youtubes. ie.( The Dutch presenter who laughs soooo inappropriately.) with you.
    c) Hold your hand and listen.
    Chin up, new virtual friend.

  15. Pingback: Guilty Pleasures « theinnerwildkat

  16. mistymidnite says:

    Hmmm. That is really up to each individual…to grieve that is. What ever this general malaise, I would try to find anything relating to that of your current subject that has a completely unethical retarded tone so stupid it would make you smile at least once. Then, if no one can hear you, set a timer for 30 minutes, get naked, look in the mirror and say all your parts are still functioning, forget your age and dance, then scream, holler and finally cry. After the timer goes off, take a shower and put on your best dressed clothes and go sit at your least favorite, or most loathed coffee shop, bar, or unattractive diner. Then people watch real close, you will see humaneness in a whole different light and hopefully at the least you can be entertained and or at the best, forget your sadness. 🙂 Hope your funk is short-lived !! Happy Birthday !

  17. andweareback says:

    Cheering for your college championship game might help! No? 🙂

  18. pamtanzey says:

    I hope you’re feeling better today.

  19. soad88 says:

    a ridiculous strip tease with bad hip movements and a shirt that refuses to come off.

    • I’m not sure I could dance like that, though… 😉

      • soad88 says:

        I know……………you are officially a New Englander…….(that’s what they call YOU people isn’t it???(lol just kidding I wouldn’t expect much from a guy that wears a toga… you wear underwear…..I’m not kinky or anything but I think they didn’t wear underwear back then….. )

      • I’m only a New Englander by address. I will ALWAYS be a New Yorker. As for whether or not I wear drawers, that’s private. 😀

      • soad88 says:

        Drawers…yeah you just answered that question. and I was only asking because I was trying to imagine Homer giving a dance and I just needed a expert opinion…It just seems so weird I just cant imagine a guy with a toga getting all ……….I dont know…My brain is to curious for my own good

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