My Emotional Raincoat


I have a confession to make. I have an emotional raincoat.

It’s invisible so you can’t see it. I can’t see it either but I can feel it. Despite being invisible, it’s my best accessory. In my mind’s eye, I imagine it to be  bright and light and the colour of sunshine.

Bet you think I sound like a total fruit cake, right?  Only with added nuts.

My emotional raincoat is the ultimate sensory protection. You see, I’m a bit of a lightweight where heavy stuff is concerned.

Sometimes I think my insides are like a chocolate cookie. When everything’s good, that’s just grand but when times are tough. Not so much. When the heat is on, and there’s stuff going down, I either melt or just crumble.

If I allowed myself to soak up all the bad stuff, my heart would be so heavy, I simply wouldn’t be able to function. You see, a lot of  the time, all the bad stuff whether it be global, national, work related, personal or anything  inbetween, is out of my control, there’s nothing I can do to change or improve the situation, because if I could, I would. And if  I can, I do.

I had to wear my raincoat all day today. As soon as I heard the  MH17 news  my insides were in knots.  The thought of it was  just too difficult to bear. So I didn’t bear it. I put my emotional raincoat on and tried not to watch the news.

As a rule, I try my hardest not to watch the news. Ever. Not because  I am consciously choosing to be ignorant, more that I’m consciously choosing to be happy. There is so much bad stuff happening out there, if I fill up my head and my heart with all the bad stuff, then how am I going to make room for the good?

In the past, my  raincoat has provided due protection from everything from daily dramas, from lover’s tiffs to ruffled feathers, world events, from natural disasters to terrorism,  and when life has given me a lot of lemons, like those two times I got cancer when  I almost wore it to death. (Excuse the pun.)

Call me naive or cray cray if you like. but I call it self preservation because sometimes there  is just to much bad stuff out there for me to handle.

It’s not that it stops bad stuff happening. It just helps me deal with it better. Weird as it sounds, I imagine myself  in the bright yellow raincoat with all the bad  bouncing like raindrops onto my coat and then bouncing right off. Sometimes it feels like gentle dewy drops and sometimes it feels as heavy as  hailstones, but my coat always keeps me calm on the inside.

You might think that me wearing my coat makes me no different from the  kid that sticks their finger in their ears and hollers tra-la-la at the top of their voice. Except that by wearing my coat, I acknowledge the negative,  but I am making a conscious decision to remember the good. You gotta remember the good. Because otherwise what’s the point?

Fashions come and go but my emotional raincoat will never go out of style.

As Maya Angelou said “if you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” I don’t like all the bad stuff. But I  can’t stop it  happening. I wish I could. I can’t always change what happens in my life, in my town, in my country, in the world. I can’t be responsible for everyone and everything. But when I’m wearing my raincoat,  I can change my attitude. And when I do that, I can be the change that I want to see in the world.

Have you got an emotional raincoat? What’s your best form of  self-preservation?

photo credit Shihmei Barger via photopin cc

  • Its a cancerian thing 😉 well, partly anyway. I am much the same. I have to protect myself a lot from any emotional event or subject (like this horrible tragedy). I’m a sensitive soul!

    You aren’t nuts. Not one bit! X

    • Maybe it is a Cancerian thing – we’re all tough on the outside and soft as clarts on the inside. Oh the joys of being a sensitive soul! I’m pleased I’m not the only one xx

  • Nat Smith

    I love this post, Sam. There is nothing to say except it’s amazing! I have an emotional raincoat too…pretty sure I’ve worn it out time after time!

    • Thanks, love! The good thing about emotional raincoats is that they never wear out and you never grow out of them either! It’s a wardrobe essential xx

  • Oh gee!
    I think you just said everything I always feel :0!! My emotional raincoat is my husband,, I haven’t been allowed to watch the news for at least 3 years. I internalize and want to solve everything I see, which obviously I can’t.
    I want to contact families and send food!
    …. Hence… no news. occasionally I see the big stuff, missing aircraft and missiles attacking planes… makes me realize I just need to do what I do well, concentrate on the lovely things in life and nurture my friends and family.
    Your website is gorgeous and the sentiment is fantastic
    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Gourmet Getaays

    • Thank you for your lovely comments, Julie. I’m with you, no news is good news! It’s really nice to know I’m not the only one. I think you summed it up, we just need to do what we do well and focus on the good stuff xx

  • LOVE this, your writing is just in such a groove, the perfect balance of LOL, intense and raw!
    I think I am the exception to this common tendency to guard oneself..I think a lifetime of needing to be resilient has given me a different type of raincoat 😉
    Absolutely agree on the news, the commercial news is banned from home and has been forever, ABC sometimes, and always ABC radio or just a little read of some online news..there is no need for the sensationalised rubbish that the commercial news channels peddle out, they are so focused on ratings that they have lost sight of the fact that human beings have feelings, and emotional limits xx

    • If the raincoat fits, wear it! I think you summed up the news perfectly. That’s why I choose not to watch it. My emotions are not to be toyed with! I prefer to focus on the good stuff and positive energy in the world, blogs like the Art of Joy, for example. Love your work! Just sayin’!

  • Love this Sammie.

  • Love it. My emotional raincoat is just ‘get through today’ ‘get through today’… yada yada! I hate watching the news.. and I hate what social media has done to the news. So unnecessary! xx

    • I think having a “get through today” coat is the best kind to have, because sometimes, that’s all we can do, and after all, it’s an achievement in itself!

  • peregrinationgourmande

    I just read what i feel. You found the best words to explain my attitude. No tv no news no papers. It s hard enough at work to see what human beings can do each other. I feel better in my kitchen baking and blogging about my cakes. Thanks for your post. As usual it s very warm.

    • Thank you, lovely! It’s nice to know I’m not alone. We human beings can only take on board so much but I agree, baking and blogging are so therapeutic!

  • Jenni from styling curvy

    So good Sammie! This too shall pass is a good one to remember x

    • Yes, I love that one. And my mum used to say to me “winter always turns to spring, it’s the law of the universe.” Another one of my favourites. It just seems like there is a lot of winter lately 🙁

  • One of your favourite posts… one of my favourite ever posts! Love every word you’ve written Sammie! Lisa is spot on re the writing groove! This is perfection! And is exactly how I feel too! Especially after this week. I just can’t do news anymore. Xx

    • Awww, thanks lovely. I’m pleased I’m not the only one who feels this way. I know, this week has been so hard. I just don’t know where I’d be without my emotional raincoat xx

  • Great stuff here! I love the idea of an emotional raincoat. 💛💛💛

  • I don’t know that I have an emotional raincoat. I do know that I have to protect myself from negativity. It has such a huge effect on me. I tend towards a the-sky-is-falling personality so I work hard to not be that…and when I’m around people who have drama after drama or who have nothing good to say, I often mentally stick my fingers in my ears…and then choose to not spend much time with them.

    Right now seems like a particularly difficult time in the world. Here in the states, we’ve had Baltimore in crisis – for the same things that have had multiple other cities in crisis. I listen just enough to know what’s going on and then I move on.

    I suppose that’s my coping strategy – I just move on.

    • Moving on is always good, I think Jen. I definitely keep my distance from drama, I have enough work keeping up with my own. The world does seem to be in so much flux, doesn’t it. I guess the best we can do is to try and do something positive when we can, where we can and in any which way we can. xx

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  • I’m with you Sam. I haven’t watched the news all week this year and have actively avoided hearing stuff that is upsetting. We’ve had a tough couple of weeks at home with hubby now looking for a new job. It’s a difficult slog but we’re both pretty optimistic people (our emotional raincoats). Keeping busy with the kids help – they bring you back to a place of innocence and joy – and just determination to keep on trucking 😉 Thanks for this lovely thoughtful post! x

    • Sorry to hear about your rough ride, although from experience, I know that with a positive attitude (and the joy of kidlets!) we can get through almost anything. Thank heavens for emotional raincoats! Hoping that the planets align personally for you, and globally for us all in the coming months. Now, let’s put some yay into May xx

  • Love it Sammie – you’ve hit the nail on the head as always!

  • I think we all need an emotional raincoat or else it is all too depressing. I call mine a bubble. I love hiding out in my bubble but it is also healthy to get out into real life too sometimes. Good post Sammie.

    • Thanks love. Sometimes, there’s just so much sad, isn’t there?! That’s the handy thing about my raincoat, I’m always in real life, but it just protects me from it effects!

  • I have an emotional raincoat too, but I don’t call it that. I call mine a protective shield. It also helps keep myself and my loved one safe from danger and negative energies.

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  • merilyn

    I missed this lovely post beautiful sammie!
    perhaps I wasn’t following you then!
    I love your yellow raincoat concept and visualizations!
    i’m also too sensitive, see every side of the picture and I can soak in too much negative energy and get weighed down by it all if i’m not vigilant! … so I white light myself and try to practice emotional intelligence! constantly challenging!
    then I smile, be positive and optimistic! much love m:)X

    • Oh thank you lovely! Yes, this is one from the “olden days”! It is challenging to look on the bright side but a little emotional intelligence and positivity go a long way. I know you know! Mwah x

  • Nice one Sammie and I know what you mean. I got news alerts about the attack in Nice yesterday. Normally I’d follow the links and read up to find out what was happening. I just couldn’t do it yesterday. It’s just too much. One tragedy after the other.

    • I know it’s totally ostrich like, but I just can’t deal. I saw a great Mother Teresa quote the other day “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Here’s to creating ripples of the best kind 🙂

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