Time to be totally honest.
This week has been hard to get through, it’s been a real downer, it’s been shit. And yet, here we are again, we’ve reached another Sunday and I am facing the (self-set) weekly challenge of writing a nice post to put up here. Truth is, I can’t really do it today. I don’t feel very positive or inspired, and I don’t want to write about wonderful things when I don’t feel at all wonderful myself. So, instead of faking my way through it and not doing anyone any justice, I thought I would just talk through what’s going on, and why I am feeling so down. Maybe, hopefully, this will be some kind of therapeutic exercise for me, or it will be relatable for anyone out there who feels the same way. So for now, I thank you for your patience in this, and look forward to writing something a little more uplifting next week!
We all have bad days, of course, it’s totally normal. Perhaps, then, this week has just been a series of bad days for me, and they just all happened to come in a bunch together. But, somehow, I am not content to just leave it at that. My feelings aren’t those of being helpless and hopeless, I don’t feel like I just can’t do anything and have to wait for this tough period to pass. Maybe that’s why this week has felt especially difficult – I still feel absolutely motivated! I feel the need and energy to do things and get stuff done, I’m chasing up loose ends, getting out there and fighting the world. But mixed in with this motivation, has been an ongoing suffering in my mind, and it’s having a horrible effect on me, so I want to figure out what is causing it and why.
I think I can identify my main negative emotion as stress. It is very much in my nature to worry and over-stress about absolutely anything, so this is clear and not anything unusual for me. However, I am normally able to keep my stress levels somewhat under control in a way that I haven’t managed in the past week. Why?
Not to get too psychoanalytical here (although, why not..?), answering this question is difficult; it involves asking yourself really tough questions, even asking other people with more of a perspective those questions about yourself, and it also requires being really open-minded and allowing yourself the freedom to feel things you might not particularly want to feel! After going through all of this, I have found that I can sort my stress into three different groups, each with their own sub-groups and secret side notes, and this has made understanding my feelings much easier for me and even improved my mood.
- Politics. Along with a lot of people, I have felt deeply affected with this week’s proceedings in the Kavanaugh-Ford case. I was humbled, moved and inspired by Ford’s testimony, but felt so shocked and betrayed by the way that she has been treated by the Republicans and people who hold ‘power’ over her. This case has highlighted just where we are at in the treatment of women in our patriarchal society, and it makes me scared to integrate myself into that society, led by a man who thinks it is OK to sexually mistreat women. Senator Kamala Harris articulates these sentiments more eloquently and powerfully than I could possibly write down here, so I very much encourage you to watch her speech if you haven’t already seen it.
- The Move. It’s not surprising that my move, which is bearing down quickly upon me, is becoming such a huge source of stress for me. The move itself is just the umbrella title; it encompasses the packing, getting rid of and selling all of our possessions, the business with our lawyer and my paperwork, the money, the daunting thought of living in a place I don’t know, finding a new house to live in, saying goodbye to Europe, adjusting to something that is as yet unknown, and all the many surprises that are to come. I bet reading that list even stresses you out!
- General life worries. These are all of the regular worries that never really go away. Worries about my work, my finances, my relationship, my family, the future, what to do about dinner. These are the worries that I think I have got good (or reasonable) at tackling on a daily basis, but paired with the other stress sources mentioned above, they have all, in turn, become exaggerated and augmented in my mind. I feel like I am on the edge of a total overwhelming freak out at all times and anything could set me off!
Going into next week, I have planned to try out some new ‘self-caring’ strategies to help myself cope better and hopefully improve my mood. I am going to read the news less – this week I have been glued to it and that probably hasn’t helped me – and read my book more. I am going to get back into my normal gym routine – this week I couldn’t go as normal for various reasons, so hopefully getting back to my regular work-out schedule will help take my mind off bad things and make me feel better in myself. I have also decided to try to live more slowly and intentionally. I normally do everything I can, as fast as possible, and I think this makes me a stressful person! I want to take a step back, and take more time over things like making decisions, working, walking and doing. Maybe I will write a blog post on these thoughts. Lastly, I am going to put a lot of my time next week into doing the kind of work that I love most, and I know I am privileged to be able to do that, so I feel very grateful that I can. I still have a lot of work to do on my album which is work that I find hugely rewarding and fulfilling. I also have new creative projects just beginning to take shape which I am SO excited about, and I am going to dedicate my time and effort to them, instead of stupid work and people.
So that was my week. I would love to hear from you if you have also been feeling down about current events, and would be very interested to know what your coping mechanisms are for times like these – please let me know!