Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What the Funk!

There is good funk; and there is bad funk.  Some kinds of funk I like: funky music, funky hairstyles, funky outfits.  Those are hip, exciting and fresh.  They put me in a good mood.  More than that, they put me in a wonderful mood.  If I’ve had a funky time with family and friends, it’s a guarantee that I’ll be smiling for days on end.

Then there is the other kind of funk that I utterly detest.  First off, I hate funky smells, especially body odor.  But even worse is a funky attitude.  I mean, the world doesn’t really care what happened to you, but you need to leave your funky attitude at the door when you are checking in with other people.

However, the funk that surpasses those two is a funky mood.  I truly hate when I’m in a funk and have no idea why.  If something happened that put me in a funky mood, it’s all good; shit happens.  But when I’m in a funk and cannot figure out what on earth is depressing me, it causes me to go further in a funk.

I sit on the couch and watch dumb TV.  I laugh at the idiots making fools of themselves, but once I turn that TV off, I’m still in a funk.  I chill with the kids and listen to their chatter, but once they leave, I’m still in a funk.  I never call anyone or answer the phone because I don’t want to depress someone else or start an argument.  If someone happens to catch me in a funk, the first thing I hear is “Snap out of it.”  Unfortunately, easier said than done.

I still don’t understand inexplicable funks, but I liken them to sleep paralysis.  According to Wikipedia.org, sleep paralysis is “a phenomenon in which people, either when falling asleep or wakening, temporarily experience a sense of inability to move, similar to when an arm or leg goes to sleep, but not associated with numbness”.  If you have ever encountered it, then this next sentence that Wikipedia.org has explained in reference to the symptoms will be eerily familiar: “Many people that experience sleep paralysis are struck with a deep sense of terror, because they sense a menacing presence in the room while paralyzed.”

Mine first occurred when I was a young girl, and when I related the incident, I was informed that my spirit was trying to leave me in my sleep, and if I didn’t fight to get it back, it’ll be lost forever.  If you are West Indian, you know that many of our folklores are not going anywhere.  If you are not West Indian, come on, you know you have your own shtick.  So naturally I believed that, and every time it happened to me, I fought like hell to wake up, so that when I do, my spirit is still with me.  Then I tried my utmost not to go back to sleep.  And it’s bad when every single time I fall back to sleep, it happens again.  For some reason, it usually occurs when I nap on a couch during the day.  The worst experience was when, and I kid you not, there was some kind of ghost with red eyes, walking around the room and talking.  It kept coming towards me, but for some reason, it never reached.  Gee, I wonder why!

One day it happened, and I don’t know if it was sheer laziness or fatigue, but I said to myself, “Why am I fighting this?  I never win.”  So I relaxed and went with it.  Once I was “back in my body”, I just got up as usual and went about my business.  After a period of time, I mentioned this to a couple of people, and they reprimanded me.  They told me never to give up and to keep fighting.  So I reverted to my tussling with evil spirits in my dreams, even though I never revived until they were done with me.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I absolutely hate not knowing the meaning of or the reason behind anything.  And since I had already come to the conclusion that with 7 billion people in the world, no event in my life is isolated, different or extraordinary, I thought that there might be others living with this “nightmare”.  So I Googled the symptoms and sure enough, it exists in every single culture in the world.  And all of the people swear that some evil spirit is fighting them in their sleep.

I don’t remember it happening to me since I researched it, but one thing I know for sure:  the next time it happens, I’m just going to roll with it.  Then I’m going to get up off the couch and resume my life because I have noticed that when I fight it, it just scares me to death; whereas when I allow it to take its course, I awake peacefully.

Likewise when I’m in a funk and pretend all is well, I become more irritable.  I get crankier.  I yell more.  I withdraw more.  But when I let that funk take me to the bottom, and there is no more funk left, I get up, I say enough, and I find something fun to do.  If I’m stuck at home, my pleasurable chore is the laundry.  Nothing gives me more satisfaction and calm than washing, drying, folding, ironing and putting clothes away.  Okay…… I also watch TV while I iron and fold.  If the weather is great, I go outside and engage in some kind of physical activity.  Walking alone, playing tennis with my husband or sisters, playing basketball or football with the kids all put me in a much better mood.

So for 2013 and beyond, give yourself a break.  If you feel depressed, so what.  There is no guilt or shame in that.  Every day can’t be Christmas.  Not even the best comedian is always in a good mood.  Go with the funk.  Stay with the funk.  Enjoy your funk as much as you enjoy your mirth because perspectively speaking, once you get out of that funk, there is only one way to go…..up! 


  1. If I get in a funk, I'll make sure I have a good attitude to go with it, if that's possible. I'll be checking my attitude going forward; that is, I will not allow anything outside of my control get to me. Good word my sister.

  2. I think it's easier for me to handle the "spirits" than it is to give up my funky mood:) I think those funky moods are the psyche's way getting us to take stock of what is happening in our lives. We don’t always like what we see, but it’s a part of life. Like the sleep paralysis, we are aware that we are in a funky mood, but unlike the sleep paralysis, we are still able to function while in a funky mood. When we "come out" of the funk, consciously or not, we have grown or learned something about ourselves or the people around us.

    I must say I have had those same unnerving experiences of being half-asleep/half-awake, and thankfully, I realized early enough to stop the struggling and to just lie still. I'm quite a skeptic when it comes to ghost stories. Not that I don't believe there is evil. I believe everything has an opposite - happiness/sadness, yin/yang, man/woman, etc. If there is good, then there must be evil. I just prefer to be positive and believe in the higher power (God).

    Funky 2013 to all!

  3. Let's embrace the funk, smile at the funk, get wild with the funk and teddy bears have been keeping those pesky sleep demons at bay for years so get a big one Myra. Looking forward to the unique incite in 2013.

  4. I think this is a good way to start. Realizing that there might be a funk and just get the funk out and go on with your life. I hope I get into a funk soon so I can get it over with, cause you say after the funk there is no way to go but up. I cannot wait.