Weathering The Storm

This week has been a bad week for me. Not necessarily the worst but most certainly a long way from the best. I cried in a faculty meeting (my second cry of that particular day) and told my friend Ella I was just about ready to give up. On the lot. Like go to bed and not wake up in the morning give up. All in all, pretty low.

Why would I blog about this, especially seeing as I try hard to keep my posts as positive as possible? It’s not exactly up there with Things That Made Me Happy (which, incidentally my mother suggested I should resurrect). Because, quite simply, I’m a firm believer that if I declare something and put it out there then I absotively, posilutely have to follow through on it. And, clearly, I have something to declare.

So, having spent a week feeling sorry for myself, having reached a point where I can barely look myself in the mirror, I woke up this morning with the knowledge that I had to do something to turn this around. I refuse to spend more time feeling like shit. As always, with this revelation comes the acceptance that, to turn things around, I need to take small but consistent steps.Patience is not one of my virtues, neither is seeing the difference small things make. Think Veruca Salt. I want it all, I want it all now! But first, small steps.

Step one would have to be; be nicer to myself.

Now, over the past few weeks I have been nice and treated myself; Disney DVDs, Friday and Saturday night dinner treats with pudding, Radioactive Unicorn nail polish, all designed to cheer me up. Or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself. However, the knock on effect is; tighter trousers and a depleted bank balance and a general sense of hollow disappointment. More importantly it didn’t hold off the crushing home sickness or the realisation that I’ve truly lost sense of who I am. It also contributed to my inability to even look at myself in a mirror and my desire to stay at home in joggers until the world just goes away. Not exactly the most successful ‘Cheer Charlie Up’ campaign.

Being nicer to yourself isn’t about buying yourself presents, instead it’s about taking care of yourself. Doing things that, in the long run will make you happy, and not just for a few hours like, say, a new DVD. With this in mind I thought about my weekly routine. Clearly eating shit food, sitting around watching Netflix and Disney and doing little else wasn’t bringing me long term joy. So what did? I thought about when I was training. First, I love running, just the running bit. Love it. Plus, with time, I not only felt good doing it but I started to look good. Insanity had the same physical impact but I didn’t exactly love it. Mostly I swore at it and told it I couldn’t do it. Same with the gym, I loved the effect going to the gym had on me but, working out bores me. So, running. Not once in a blue moon running, like I’ve been halfheartedly doing, regular running. As I have a gym membership doing nothing and soon, evenings too dark to go out safely in; treadmill running in the gym. But, treadmill running is, in my opinion, terminally boring so I’ll need to find something to combat that. Tried a run today with my Zombies, Run! app, which seemed to do the trick. Over the next few weeks we’ll see whether regular running still works its old magic.

OK, next up, food. When I’m down I have a tendency to buy myself little treats. The more unhappy I am the more frequently I treat myself. Now, treats are fine, especially if I’m going to be running a lot again and as long as they stay in moderation. What else then could I do food-wise? Healthy, lovely food for work lunches. A little bit of packed lunch joy that’s also healthier than the packaged noodles I usually have. How about home made cheese and spinach muffins? That could work. So today I made a batch, I’ll let you know if they help.

Finally, remembering the small things that made me smile. Hell, it worked before right? Plus Mumma C said weeks ago she thought it might be an idea to give it another go. I pointed out that I’d felt it had got a little repetitive; I like running, my dog, hanging out with my buds etc. But it wasn’t just about that because actually, when I was writing it I’d find myself going out of my way to do something a little bit different every now and then. Plus, it’s really all about mindfulness – it’s one thing to take my dog to the beach for a walk because it’s a place to go, it’s another thing entirely to go and truly appreciate what a beautiful place it is. One thing for sure, I’ve forgotten to appreciate the beauty.

Let’s face it, things aren’t really that bad. Not really. Yeah I’m a bit down, yeah I miss the funtimes and the party times and the we’re not going to get that drunk, honest, ermagherd how the hell did we get so shitfaced? times but, in truth, the only reason any of that is missing is because I let it get away and chose instead to only see the sad times. It’s therefore up to me to look again for the good and work a little harder at the things that are a beacon of light in my darkness. Because I don’t want to mope in the dark anymore. Nobody really wants that.

I’m pretty sure each of us has something that shines a light, what’s yours?

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