I had a big cry-baby snot fest the other night. First time in ages. Other than, perhaps, the sporadic slightly fizzy nose that occurs when happening upon ‘suggested for you’ Facebook videos of cute ‘n’ cuddly animals loving each other despite their differing species’.
It’s hard work spitting all those tears out. But even though your eyes feel sore and your nose looks like you’re six months too early for Comic Relief, it’s actually quite relieving. So I’m going to finish the job by blogging. Let’s see if we can get the rest of this stubborn nonsense out via a qwerty keypad…
This is not a reflective post. This is not a ‘today I learnt x…’ post. This is a ‘perhaps with each word I type I will make myself feel a teensy bit better’ post. It’s an attempt at self care, I guess.
So here goes.
Yearning for the label
Usually, I come to WordPress with a theme. Relapse, catastrophising, stigma, childhood anxieties….and I have toyed with a few in my mind before simply opting for improvisation and typing whatever nonsense comes into my head.
Is my issue self-esteem? Is it control? Anxiety? Stress? Worry? What is my theme? How can I label it and box it up?
And then I thought – that’s the very problem, I feel compelled to label everything. To find a tangible, justifiable reason for every feeling I experience.
So where do I start? Basically, I’m about as big a fan of myself right now as I am of cleaning out the cat litter tray of a morning. And just like there’s nothing medically wrong that makes Maude the kitty stink the utility room out every single day, perhaps there’s no specific reason that is making my behaviour stink a bit right now.
Currently (and staying on the subject of gross feline comparatives), I’m as reactionary as Dennis the cat’s poor stomach is once he’s tasted a morsel of Gourmet cat pate. One tiny morsel of an unexpected email requesting a little bit of help with something and I’m puking panicky emails back out to everyone I work with.
I’d love to say ‘oh, it’s my anxiety disorder’. But it’s not, is it. It’s me. It’s my current reaction to a bit of stress. Or feeling tired. Or maybe it is anxiety. Or maybe I’m run down. Or maybe, sometimes, I just behave like a grumpy child.
But does the cause always matter when the effect is the same?
Self care and control
My husband said to me the other day, when I suggested I might like to see a counsellor again, that perhaps I should try some self-care first.
But that’s harder isn’t it? It takes discipline. And one thing I beat myself up about, on a regular basis, is my lack of control. Which is crazy considering I try incredibly hard to control every single thing around me.
But when it comes to me, even Paul McKenna and his ‘thin’ app can’t stop me from wolfing a strawberry and cream Krispy Kreme donut (I haven’t ‘checked in’ with Paul for 48 hours now. I had Chinese food, prosecco and six squares of dark chocolate tonight.)
Maybe that’s the problem. I can’t control myself well enough to find the perfection I crave. I can’t do well enough because nothing is ever good enough. Hence I end up feeling like a failure because I try to do everything.
I have my full time job, my campaigning, my exciting trips to the palace, my book, my freelance PR work, my voluntary charity work, multiple social media channels to manage, dishwashers to empty, a stomach to flatten, pounds to lose, washing to do, workout DVDs to complete, chickens to spend more time with, savings to make, leaves to pick up, cars to clean, cat-proof fencing to build and blinds to replace. And on it goes…
Even writing this, in some ways, it is possibly cathartic for the wrong reasons. I have spent the last few days trying to find opportunities to point out my flaws so that other people can’t beat me to it. So here it is IN WRITING. I am flawed. I am laid out bare. So if you try to tell anyone I’m shit well screw you, I beat you to it. I can win at that, at least.
I think I have come to the realisation that I can be difficult sometimes. I can lash out, catastrophise and whine and whimper as incessantly as those bloody singers on those bloody John Lewis and Fairy Liquid ad soundtracks (Lily Allen excluded because I love her).
So, here’s the bit I am working out as I type. My ‘difficult’ behaviour might not be born of anxiety. It could be. But it might just be a part of me. But here’s a thought. If you strip away every illness, every facial flaw, every bit of tummy flab and my annoying mascara-picking habit, you’re left with a Stepford Wife. And I for one can’t think of ANYTHING more annoying than that.
And thankfully, I don’t know anyone like that.
So perhaps it’s OK to be flawed and have no other justifiable reason behind it. Perhaps my flaws create some good things too. Without my flaws, I might not have tenacity, creativity, and the ability to make my husband laugh loudly when I fail MASSIVELY at delivering an Irish accent or singing Total Eclipse of the Heart.
Long live us wonderfully imperfect beings!
Just like Jenny the cat – the only one of our cats who can’t jump up onto the wardrobe. But she’s the happiest cat – and the only cat I have ever seen dance.
So as I said in a previous post – ‘I am Standard!‘. Amen to that.
OK, I’m over it (for now). Where’s that Lindt chocolate bar hiding….