The week in words #16

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It has been the kind of week I would euphemistically call a challenge.

On Tuesday, my mental health took a nosedive. Everything good I’d ever thought about myself, anything good anyone’s ever said about me, fell off me like snow off a tree, revealing the truth underneath: that I am nothing and nobody, have achieved nothing, will achieve nothing, and am nearly 30 years old so it’s too late anyway. I went to work, where I stared at my screen waiting for the day to end. There was no point to anything I was doing. I’d fucked it all up anyway, so why keep trying?

By Wednesday, a calm hopelessness had settled over me. When I went into a clothes shop for some retail therapy, it quickly became clear that there was no dress or shirt that could make me feel better. You know those days when you dislike yourself one hundred percent, head to toe, inside and out?

The week went on like this until Saturday brought sad news, and I spent the day listening to music and feeling numb. When these phases come around, I try to remind myself that nothing lasts and everything changes. It makes these days and weeks feel less like endless misery and more like a particularly rough part of the journey.

On Thursday, I made a list of all the things I didn’t like about myself – all the things that take up space in my head, things I am annoyed or bothered by, when I could be focussing on more productive topics. I prioritised the list, and set deadlines to fix those things. My hair is now so short I can stop being annoyed with all the ways it doesn’t behave. We’ll see what else I can make progress on soon.

I write this sitting in our garden as my flatmate makes a horribly greasy breakfast; the air smells of flowers and bacon. Bees are hovering. I have two more workdays left before I go home.