Most of the time I try to look on the bright side of things. I would class myself as a glass half full kind of person. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is one of my favourite songs. (It’s not I just wanted the excuse to put this clip in!)
Some people think its naivety, but for me it is a conscious decision. Like the line from the song “Life’s a piece of shit when you look at it”. It is easy to look on the bad side, think “this won’t work because…” where as when you look on the bright side, sure you might be let down, but at least you had the balls to just take a risk on faith.
I say this because even though I try my damned hardest, sometimes I find myself waking up in the morning and just being in a bad mood, and nothing I can do can stop me from being that way. Sometimes I’ll be really awful to people and just have no patience, sometimes I’ll be a bit weepy and burst into tears because my chicken korma doesn’t look like a korma from the supermarket (this actually happened recently) and sometimes, I don’t even realise that I’m in a bad mood until I’m not anymore.
I call these days Dark Days. Sometimes they can become a dark week, and I can only say I was experiencing it afterward. It’s strange because I know exactly what one looks like. I can’t be bothered to do anything, I have to force myself to get in the shower, I don’t make my lunches during the week and even if I do have a lunch to take, I probably won’t eat it and decide to eat something else instead. Sometimes my friends notice before I do, and they ask me if there is something wrong, and I’m shocked because to me I don’t think there is anything off about me. Until I wake up one day and think “Ooh, so I was feeling crap”.
Its almost as if I live my life on auto pilot on these days, I get up, go to work, come home watch telly and go to bed. I have no incentive to do anything, apart from eat when I want to and sleep when I want to. I don’t even want to cook. In fact I’ve actually put off cooking until 9pm at night, and even then all I’ve done is whacked some fish fingers and chips in the oven and cooked them for twenty minutes.
These kinds of days frighten me. I don’t know if any of you have seen the movie Click with Adam Sandler and Christopher Walken when Adam Sandler gets given a universal remote that can actually fast forward through his life. The cost is that during this time Adam lives on Auto Pilot, he speaks when he is spoken to, he eats, drinks and all of the necessities, but he has no recollection of what happened.
I don’t know whether it is a hormone imbalance that triggers it or whether there is something else going on in my brain that says “I’ve had enough, I’m on holiday for the week” kind of like the Numskulls (if any of you remember the comic from the Beano, or if not, its kind of like the prequel to Inside Out for us British people). I almost feel like everything I’m trying to do with PCOS has no point, it isn’t doing anything so what is the point of trying anymore. And I know that people just have those days and I should persevere with it, but sometimes its hard to remind yourself when your in one of these days, especially when you don’t know you’re in one.
I was in the week before last and its really annoying because the things you should have done that week get pushed into next week and then you have to fight against the tide to get everything done from last week, plus everything that needs to get done this week and it can feel a bit like drowning, but you’re not. You just need to give yourself a minute, write a to-do list, colour code if you want and here’s the hard part, ask for help if you need it. It is okay to ask for help, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed or aren’t capable, I’m sure you are very capable of doing everything, but think about it like this:
You are in a coffee shop and there is only one person running the till, making the coffee, preparing the sandwiches and making the cakes, but there are five people in the cafe, each of those people want something different. Next door there is another coffee shop with a different person making coffee to the person making the sandwiches and the person making the cakes. The second coffee shop is more likely to get your order right, give you the right change and bring you the right food to your table in a timely manner. The person doing everything can do everything, but you might be waiting a bit longer for your coffee and cake and they might taste like they’ve been made in a rush. (I feel very strongly that people can taste the love in cooking)
Now I know that its easy for me to say this, and it is. But it’s not easy for me to remember it myself, let alone implement it in my daily life. The other day someone asked me if they could help me and I hesitated but I said yes! And this is a big step for me. I care what people think of me. I want people to think that I do a good job so that when they need something doing they’ll think “I’ll go to her, because she does a good job.” But that also means that I set myself an expectation. No one else has set this for me. I give myself a high, almost unrealistic expectation and when I don’t achieve it, I feel I’ve let myself down. Or I’ll keep achieving it and keep achieving it and keep achieving it, and I will burn myself out. From both of these scenarios, I end up in a dark day down the line.
So maybe I’ve just orked out why I go into my dark days, maybe I burn myself out. Well they do say if you start talking the answer will appear, so maybe the same is with writing.
What about you? Do you have dark days? How do you know you’re in one and what do you do to turn it around?