The Misery Bath

This may not be a terribly popular bath – and I hope it’s not – but it’s certainly one I’ve taken. This differs from the Relaxing Bath, the point of which is to cheer yourself up and let the crap day you’ve had swirl down the drain with the bath water, in that a Misery Bath is not intended to make you feel any better. The Misery Bath is something you run when you’re absolutely and completely down in the dumps (like if for reasons you don’t want to talk about, you had to cancel wedding limousine services), and you kind of just want to stay that way. It could also be called the Self-Pity Bath, or the Given Up on Life Bath, or perhaps even the Apathy Bath.

Sometimes, you just want to wallow, and what better place to do this than in the bathroom, where no one is going to bother you. If you live with anyone, be it a significant other, your family, roommates, whatever, they’ll likely have a tendency to try to talk to you when you’re down in the dumps. Sometimes this is the last thing in the world you want. Sometimes, you just want to be left alone with your misery. Sometimes, my friend, you need a Misery Bath.

There is no pomp and circumstance surrounding the Misery Bath. In fact, ceremony is likely the last thing on your mind as you step out of your clothes as soon as you lock the bathroom door behind you, leaving a trail of them to the tub, and turn on the water. You don’t even really both to check the temperature. Doesn’t matter. You just want to soak until you’re a prune, and then soak some more.

Maybe you’ll be lucky-enough to get sucked down the drain with the bath water and disappear forever. But probably not. Life is not that good to you. You sit yourself down in the inch of water that’s already filled the tub and you sit there, staring at the water running out of the faucet. The lights in the bathroom are all on, full blast, and you’ve got the bathroom fan on so that even if someone wants to get your attention from outside the bathroom, you have an excuse to ignore it. “Oh, sorry, I couldn’t here you,” you can say, only half lying. There will be no nice soaps, no loofahs, no bath salts used today. Just you and the luke warm water.

The idea is to sit in there until the water gets to be that kind of grey, human-soup colour, and you start to turn into a prune, and the water is actually starting to get kind of cold. At that point, you have about twenty minutes left to soak, wallowing in whatever misery you’re enduring, until you finally start to drain out the water.

When the tub is getting empty and it becomes clear that you were not fortunate-enough to be sucked down the drain, you’ll climb painstakingly out of the tub, dry off (mostly) and move to get into the same clothes you were wearing all day. But just before you do, you stop, take a moment, and grab a clean pair of pj pants and a t-shirt. Sure, today may have been terrible, but you realize that you can’t sulk forever. Things will get better. You can face the world. It just took an hour or so in a Misery Bath for you to work that out.