Do you ever have one of those days when you’re like; “what the fuck am I doing with my life?”
It’s not a question one can easily answer. FYI – if this happens when you’re hungover, then it totally doesn’t count. That’s all part of the punishment. Lying around in skanky pyjamas, eating day old pizza and watching the Kardashians. That’s enough to bring anyone to a crisis point. Are the Kardashians still around btw? I was hoping they’d all disappeared into an alternate dimension of drama and high strength Botox.
If you have a mental health condition then that ‘what if’ questions are likely to bug you more frequently. So many choices, so many things that could go wrong… and what’s the point anyway? What are we all even doing? (Just pre-empting a few of the voices).
Sadly, the truth is that this kind of thinking NEVER helps. If it did I’d be President of the United States (stranger things have happened). As much as I’d like to lie on the floor, dwelling about my existence (and believe me I do). There comes a point when I have to be strict with myself and think ‘enough.’
Rather than focusing on WHY I focus on WHAT. For example, what can I do to make myself feel better, both short and long term.
Here are some examples
Have a shower – yep there are days when my brain convinces me that even basic hygiene is pointless. GET IN THE F**KING shower. For some reason, it always helps. Being clean and fresh is nice, even if the feeling is only temporary
Wear nice clothes. I’m not talking ball gown or a tux. But don’t slob around in your sweats all day. The term “look good, feel better” isn’t famous for nothing. I can’t explain it, but when I’m dressed and have both my hair and face made up I feel better. The very act almost gives me a purpose.
Get some nutrients in your body – we all love pizza and cheese, (God I love cheese). But they won’t help your mood long term. Instead you’ll feel sluggish. Try introducing some fish or chicken. It doesn’t have to be boring. I make an incredible Caribbean spicy fish stew!
Get out of the house – walking is good. It just is.
Routine – nothing helps an anxious or depressive brain quite like routine. A friend of mine Ruth Cooper Dickinson, has an incredible one that she sticks to relentlessly. Not because she’s obsessive, but because she knows it’s good for her wellbeing. If you ever need an injection of positivity I’d recommend her twitter. I even write down a daily timetable when I really need to be strict. E.g.
6:50 – Alarm
7:00 – Get up
7: 05 – Have a cup of hot water and lemon
7:15 – Wash face and get dressed.
7:30 – Breakfast. Porridge or smoothie.
8:00 – 30 Min walk with Rigby
8:30 – Start work.
I then do a separate list of my top work priorities that day.
It works because you feel a sense of achievement from your efforts.
Evaluate – A friend of mine recently resigned from her job because after a year of feeling miserable she realised it was the job that was making her unhappy, but fear had been holding her back. After she resigned she proactively started job hunting and now has a new one lined up. (Doesn’t always happen this way I know, but it’s a positive example, so I’m going with it)!
We can waste our lives worrying about ‘what might happen,’ but surely if you can identify the source of the problem it’d be careless to ignore it.
Take some time and look the ‘WHAT’ in the face. What would you like to do with your life? Start with if the possibilities were endless and work your way down from there. Is there something that you can change, no matter how small to make things easier?
Things that enable us to continue with the unhealthy ‘helpless’ thinking cycle:
Alcohol – numbs the brain and makes everything blurry. Until the next day.
Drugs – same as above. When I’m going through a very bad patch I take sedatives. They can range from Valium to Night Nurse, depending on how bad I feel. The tricky part is coming off them again. The fear of letting all that shit back in. Yet I always manage it. If you need inspiration to let go then try this “my brain is f**king incredible, why am I suppressing its power?”
TV – Why deal with your life when you can watch a box set? Ok for a few days. Not ok for every day.
Computer games and apps – same as TV, except more frustrating. (Totally addicted to Angry Birds again and I hate it. Those damn green piggies)!
Get up off the floor, stop asking WHY and focus on WHAT!