When I have a bad day, I render myself quite incapable of doing anything at all. I love my job SO much, I am so lucky to have this amazing blog and a book deal and that I can work so hard at something that I am truly passionate about. I am so lucky to have a lovely home and a dog and a boyfriend and all the lovely friends that I do but, just like everyone else in the world, I sometimes have days when I am really, really low.
Today was one of those days. I knew it would be from the off really, I was so tired when I woke up and that is generally a good indication that something isn’t going to go my way. By 9.30 I had taken Boo for a walk, eaten my breakfast and been to the opticians but as I started to work, I found myself quite incapable of doing anything. I started the same piece over and over again and it wasn’t until the sixth attempt that I realised that I was onto a non-starter. Looking for inspiration elsewhere I began to read, consult my notebook, make myself a cup of coffee, all of the things that I normally do when I need a hit of inspiration. It didn’t come. I only got lower, more stressed and upset that I was being so useless.
I started to obsess over the blog itself, over the pieces that I have written recently, convincing myself that they weren’t any good. I compared my Twitter and Instagram accounts to those of much bigger, more successful bloggers and I was disheartened. From here it only spiralled, I thought back to everything that hasn’t gone my way in the last year, opportunities that I missed out on or wasn’t chosen for, things that have fallen through, disappointment. I convinced myself that I wasn’t any good at anything and that there was no point to anything.
This is a dangerous place for me to get myself to as it only gets worse from there. I find myself worrying about EVERYTHING, about Bua, about the house, about my future. I stop being able to be excited about anything and instead obsess about all the bad things, the bad things that haven’t even happened yet. I tell myself that I’m not worth anything, that no one really likes me, that the blog is failing and that it is a waste of my time.
I tell myself, a bunch of lies.
So why am I writing such a wildly depressing piece I hear you ask, this is not what we come here for, this is not empowering or inspiring, really this is a bit tragic. Well, I know that, but I’m writing this because I know that I am not the only one to have these days and I know that when I have them, I feel like I am the only person in the world.
So I wanted to write this for anyone who also has these days, to let you know that you are most certainly not the only person in the world. They’re horrid, these anxieties. This low feeling is truly crippling and it is very hard to get away from. When it comes it is like a cloud over your house and before you know it, it has spread to everywhere. What started as just a tiny bit of writer’s block, or an essay that you didn’t get in on time or a bollocking from your boss, soon becomes something so much bigger than that. Something telling you that you are failing. Something that is going to destroy everything in your life if you let it.
But you can’t let it. You can’t let one bad thing take over your day, your week, your life. You can’t let one shitty thing ruin all the other great things. You can’t let that stupid ass voice in your head drown out the one that gets you out of bed in the morning, the one that makes you smart and funny and great, the one that allows you so many wonderful things in your life.
Sometimes I walk down the street and I think, oh my god, being alive is the most amazing thing. I am going to take my time on earth and I’m going to do something incredible. I want to change the world, I want to create amazing content, I want to connect with thousands of people, I want to work so hard to ensure that I have done the best job that I possibly can. And then sometimes, on days like today, I walk down the street and think: shit, life is scary, what is the point of my time on earth? How the fuck am I meant to do anything amazing when I have no idea what to write about, such a small following and am basically doing a shitty job? And that is so annoying. Because the first me, the one that thinks those beautiful thoughts is the woman that I want to be ALL OF THE TIME.
Half way through writing this piece my phone rang, my gorgeous friend Sophie called me suspecting that something was wrong after reading some pretty depressing texts and I took my phone, Bua and myself out into the park. It was freezing cold but so bright and beautiful and the blossom was out and the sun was lovely and, whilst off loading all of my problems, the real ones and the ones that I had made up in my head, into Sophie’s patient ear, I realised that getting out of this slump and allowing the version of me that loves to be alive back into my body, was so much easier than I had first thought.
It was like, by acknowledging how crazy I was being, how irrational and manic, I was able to take a step back and look at exactly where I was, which is, as Sophie put it, in exactly the same place that I was in yesterday. Nothing has changed, nothing, apart from me. And if I changed into this negative person this morning, what’s stopping me from changing back into a positive one this evening? Nothing.
So that is what I have done. And honestly, it’s worked. I’m excited again, I’m happy again. I’ve pulled myself out of the slump, simply by making the decision to make a change. And that’s kind of what I want to say with this piece: it is possible to make a positive change in your day, so so easily. You don’t have to write off the days that have got you down, the ones that haven’t gone your way. All you really need to do is change the way that you’re looking at them. And I know that that can be a nearly impossible thing to do, and I don’t want to undermine any mental health illnesses or suggest that anyone just needs to ‘get over it’, sometimes I know it is SO much more than that, but what I am suggesting is for anyone who, like me, can find themselves very quickly spinning into a downward spiral of OH MY LORD MY LIFE IS TERRIBLE, to take a step back. To take a deep breath, to look at the day from a distance and see if there is any part of it is salvageable, you might just be pleasantly surprised.