To find the true answer to this question I’d probably need to go back to birth, because anyone’s life is a revolving door of illnesses and emotions so can you ever really know?
I know I felt a tonne of angst a week last Thursday. And the cold didn’t come til this Thursday. But then I did have a cold over Christmas that only cleared up a few weeks back. So maybe I’m just run down. Maybe it’s just Winter.
But I’m audibly shouting ‘fuck off’ at the notifications and anti-virus warnings that keep popping up on my laptop. And then crying. And then coughing. And then sniffling. And then hating myself for how I am behaving now. How I behaved yesterday. And how I behaved ten years ago.
I picked up the Guardian feeling guilty that I haven’t read yesterday’s paper yet, only to find a pink supplement entitled ‘stress’ nestling in the middle of all the bad news. That’ll help, I thought.
I am seething with anger at reading a comment from Richard Branson about how we should focus on the solution rather than the problem. Again, fuck off (and also, why taint my safe Saturday pages with advice from someone who sued the NHS?)
So there’s all this advice about practising mindfulness, or yoga, or exercising. And now I feel guilty. I feel guilty that I just ate a Crunchie bar for breakfast and my stomach is bloating. And now I feel fat and ugly too.
No, I won’t go for a walk today, let alone a run. I can’t be arsed to wash my hair.
And then the teenage version of me sneaks back in.
Everyone hates me.
I’ll show them how tortured I am.
But let’s be fair to teenagers. As adults, we have the same ‘teenage’ feelings. We just know we shouldn’t so we don’t act them out quite as publicly. But they still inform our behaviours to some degree. They’re just human feelings.
So your ‘adult’ brain goes into overdrive: There’s nothing wrong with your mind you lying, self-pitying imposter. Some people are properly ill. Proper mental health problems. Proper physical health problems. You’re just a person who can’t cope very well. You’re like beige tissue paper that doesn’t rip.
It’s a cold and a bit of angst FFS.
Alongside the tears, my hair hurts. My nose is snotty. I’m coughing. I’m hot and tired. There’s night sweats. I’ve just had a seriously heavy period which has sent my angst about the peri-menopause into overdrive. And then it’s all, ‘perhaps I’m not popular anymore because I’ve turned into a boring old hag’. I’m past it. It’s checkout time, just like the President of the United States said.
I wanted to do something positive today. From my sofa. But the thought of editing a podcast, trying to think of something interesting to say on Twitter, or persevering with my book project doesn’t appeal. So I wrote this self-pitying nonsense instead.
Sometimes, it’s cathartic. Sometimes it’s not.
Today it’s not.
Sajid Javid is talking about Brexit on the telly. So there’s at lest one thing staring me in the face that I have some control over.
Turn off. Tune out. Grab a cat and a Lemsip.