Miserable: wretchedly unhappy, being in a pitiable state of distress, or pathetically grouchy. Carolyn and I had a fun weekend visit with family including their very young children. Little kids show their feelings out loud – including feeling miserable. At age 2, feeling miserable looks like runny nose, streaming eyes, distressed face, and loud or whimpering complaints. The two-year-old wanted a snack, but when it was given to him, he refused to take it. When an adult leaned in to comfort him, he flailed at their face. At the height of his misery, he wanted something and nothing was acceptable. He was tired and miserable.
We adults generally keep our misery to ourselves, and yet we are human. We wail away inside our minds, refuse assistance, feel utterly alone, and grouch at those who might be kind. Life gets real when misery is compounded. Just as you are cataloging all the ways you are miserable, your child starts crying that their socks hurt their feet. Or your co-worker begins to whine in detail about just how awful the copier is but won’t listen to any of your suggestions about how to make it work. It is miserable to feel miserable and to be around people who are miserable.