I think we all get these days. You know the ones – where you’re feeling a bit fragile, for no apparent reason. The ones where anything could set you off into a free falling tumble. The ones where nothing quite seems right. The ones where you doubt yourself.
I’m having one today. Rather coincidentally it’s on what is known as Blue Monday, or, The Most Depressing Day of The Year. Now I will preface this in saying that I don’t believe in Blue Monday at ALL. Neither should anyone really. A British holiday company created it in 2005 as part of a marketing campaign. There is no science behind it. No research into different weathers or other anomalies that could cause a great depression across the world. It simply does not exist.
But today, none the less, I find myself slipping a little bit from my usual chipper self. And I don’t really know why.
Out of nowhere, my mind started to throw a bunch of criticism at itself. I got sucked into a negative vortex of thinking, and, unfortunately, believing that I’m not as nice a person as I like to think I am. Different moments from the past few days, weeks, months and even years made their way through my synapses, filling every conscious thought of all the terrible things I have thought, said and done. Ranging from not eating enough vegetables, to feeling guilty about not the 50p rolling around my pocket instead of in the homeless man’s cup, to flirting with someone anyway even though I knew they had a girlfriend.
All in all, just things that are not considered ‘good’.
I had to leave the office for a walk so as to not start weeping at my desk. And my giant eyeballs just could not take the cold weather outside. They felt cold at every blink. Which in turn made me realise the below average temperature rattling around my bones and thundering through my veins. And, like clockwork, this feeling of cold turned to sadness and I thought I could even feel my brain starting to freeze over.
You see, the thing about self-doubt and self-criticism is that it is relentless. It’s a vicious circle. It’s hard to release yourself from. The more you think about stopping the thoughts, the more they weigh down on you, until you start thinking, on top of everything else, “I’m useless for not being able to get rid of these thoughts”. The knife of self-deprecation digs itself into the sensitive tissue of your back.
As much as my mind tried to free itself and go somewhere warm, it didn’t. It started instead, to elaborate. To take the awful things I’d done and use them against me as the reasons I am unhappy, why I am alone and why I feel like I don’t love myself.
But. With it, I see a silver linin. And it is this right here. Knowing that this will not last forever. And, that I have the confidence to talk about it. The first thing I did when I started to feel this was get in touch with one of my friends (shout out to Pam) explaining that I knew I was in a stupid mood but I couldn’t help feeling this, this this and this.
She was, of course, an absolute babe and helped me with her incredible love and support.
And then? I came back to the office, took ten minutes out from my work…and wrote this.
Because that’s the thing isn’t it. The thing about all our internal battles we have every day. The thing about these blues. They are only blue when they’re kept inside. The minute we start vocalising (or in this case, typing) our fears, our worries, and our anguishes the self-criticism itself gets scared. The knife slowly starts to recede.
(It’s not always this easy I know. I have days where I can’t bear to talk to anyone for fear of feeling even more weak, but that’s what Disney and John Hughes are for.)
But, I’m getting there. I’m trying not to let my Grey turn too blue. I’m trying to remember that inside me I have a badass who likes to kick ass. Who is happy. Optimistic. Full of love and hope. Ready to take on any beasts in her way.
My name is Gretel after all. My life wouldn’t be right if I didn’t have a couple witches to burn down along the way…