Sometimes for absolutely no discernible reason, the little voices in your head decide to turn up the volume and tell you in no uncertain terms what they think of you. They tell you that you’re useless- a rubbish wife, a dreadful mum, a second rate mate and an excuse for an off-spring.
They whisper in your ear that people think you’re an up yourself idiot for writing a blog, they think you’re a loser for having a jobs history longer than War and Peace and they remind you that whilst your friends and your family and everyone has something to offer you, you have nothing- nothing to give to them and you are frankly, a useless, needy, worthless idiot that ought to just shut up and fuck off.
Urgh, they are dark, dark moments when they come- seemingly from nowhere, to tap you on the shoulder, smack you in the mouth and leave you winded and in a heap of tears on the cold of the bathroom floor at 4am.
These moods and these times have punctuated my life since I was a teenager so I am now far, far better equipped to deal with them and, as I have opened up/slash bored people to tears on this topic previously I find that people have been more open with me so I know I’m not on my own which is as nice as it is nasty in a way.
One of my biggest fears about my weird and sometime malfunctioning brain is that it will have a negative impact on my babies or, worse, that they will experience the tap on the shoulder too. That would be pretty tough to take. However, in the interests of proving that I didn’t strap all the time and money I spent on counselling to a firework, I think I would be able to offer them if not words of wisdom, then at least some empathy, lots of love and a cup of tea.
Here’s my tool kit for the dark times:
1) Write- When my brain is overflowing with thoughts, there is no hope of sleep and I can’t clean the house for fear of dropping a pan or waking the family, writing has been my saviour. Getting everything down on to the page to be chucked or re-read when your mind is less mangled is cathartic. Emotionally draining but cathartic.
2) Talk- To thin air, to a counsellor, to the Samaritans, to God (who ever yours might be) or to someone you know. Expressing the way you feel and haring things out loud can put a totally different spin on things and they can help you see things from a different light.
3) Do- Thinking is an absolute bastard and sometimes the very best thing is to simply do something that requires your attention or will take a little piece of your brain somewhere else for a while at least. A long time ago when I was pretty bloody low, my lovely mum quite literally got me out of bed everyday and took me swimming. Every. Single. Day. It really, truly helped.
4) Be Kind- Caitlin Moran writes brilliantly about this in the July edition of Red. I am not quite as articulate or funny as she is which is doubtless why she is a famous writer and I am not (yet) but, the basic premise of the article is to treat yourself as you would a pet- with love and kindness. Give yourself walks and good food and a nice tickle on the tum (or similar). I have searched for the article on line but alas can not find it. Find it and read it though- it is perfect and utterly true.
5) Keep hold of these truths- This WILL pass. The darkness will lift and in the meanwhile you are not alone.
(Plus this is a genuinely funny picture!!!)
With lots of love,