Trigger warnings: mentions of suicidal and self harm ideation. Negative body image language.
I am having a bad day today. It’s probably one of my worst days for a while, and I’m attributing it to the grand arrival of my period after 83 days. I’m sure my hormones are all over the place, and it’s the only reasonable explanation I want to consider for the sudden and disheartening change in my mood.
Just the other day I was thinking about reducing my medications. Off the back of today and a couple of other days recently, I’m now questioning whether that’s a good idea. I’m also firmly bedded down in Camp Worry when it comes to my menstrual activities, and am wondering, from curiosity and desperation, whether I should consider going back on the contraceptive pill.
The last time I tried it was years ago. It was a relatively short-lived experiment, as it didn’t help my mood one jot and I just generally hated being on it. I’m hesitant to pump myself full of artificial hormones like a chicken in a cage when I’m already on so much medication and when I’m not entirely convinced it will have the desired effect.
Any rationality or self-compassion has taken its leave today. I don’t particularly want to talk to or be around anybody. Whenever I look on social media, I cannot engage and instead can only see the negatives, including the lack of engagement with my blog or other social accounts. I reread and reposted my blogging worries post earlier, but in reality, it hasn’t helped. All I can tell myself is that everything I do is pointless.
I look upon others online with resentment and contempt. I’m better than you, why are you so special? This is swiftly silenced by affirmations that I am not better than anyone, the very opposite, and it’s no wonder I’m failing. At what, the tiny reasonable voice inside my head wonders. Just… a vague wave of a hand. Everything.
As I sometimes do, I’ve taken to looking for more work opportunities because I’m telling myself I’m useless, idle, and I need to be bringing more money in, stat. Being in a constant state of pennilessness is depressing at the best of times, never mind when I’m on a one-woman mission to haughtily sweep through the museum of fragile recovery artifacts I’ve dusted off, intent on ‘accidentally’ smashing as many of them as I can.
With semi-regularity, I research and hover indecisively over purchasing web hosting for my blog, to make a ‘go’ of it. At times, it seems so obvious. I like doing this. I’m okay at it. I’ve seen plenty of other blogs with minimal useful or interesting content, plastered with adverts, and think well, I can’t be that bad, can I? The initial output is something I can’t necessarily afford, but I wonder if I can recoup. I shine, bright with determination, for at most an hour, before I snort derisively and close the page again.
Who do I think I am? I haven’t got the motivation to work that hard; I’m lazy, I’m used to working very little. My content isn’t anywhere near interesting or – crucially – marketable enough. As equally as there may be people who appreciate my words, my stories, and my sometimes-funny lexicon, there are a greater number of people who wouldn’t dare be associated with something so hush-hush, so strange, so other. After all, all I do is talk about myself and let’s face it, it’s pretty niche.
As soon as I have roundly rejected that idea, I trawl half-heartedly through ‘proper’ job websites, looking for home based or part-time opportunities. Days like today are not good days to try this. I can look at a job for which I am, frankly, over-qualified, and convince myself that I am not good enough. That I would never survive the recruitment process, never mind actually having to turn up somewhere, or even do a proper job of something in the comfort of my own home.
It’s as though I am determined to bring myself down at every available opportunity. I can’t exercise today, I’m too tired, in pain, sluggish, warm, irritable. Why is that? Not because of my hormones or delicate physical and mental state, no. It’s because I am ‘fat’ and ‘useless’, you see. I have already written off as pointless the notion of trying to regain any physical fitness I once had It’s too late, it’s passed, and what’s more, I’m not going to fit into this dress I have to wear for my sister’s wedding next month. Not only can I not do it today – I can never do it. I’m resigned to this. What’s more, I won’t be able to reduce my medication and I’ll have to go on the pill, so I’ll only put on more weight. What’s the point?
This almost violent self-degradation rears its head on days like today. It soars like a dragon over my wasteland, torching anything in its path. It brings me to a state not of despair, but emptiness. Resignation. A sigh of a feeling. Thoughts of suicide or self harm float listlessly across my brain; not as a choice of activity, or even something that requires my full attention or consideration, but just as though someone has let go of their helium balloon at a party. They’re just there. They don’t distress me, but they do alert me to the truth: today is not my best day.
I know perfectly well that I may wake up tomorrow and feel absolutely fine. This will be a distant memory. I will wake up, start my routine, get on with some poorly-paid work and only infrequently, with a dimmed sound, will I dwell on the negative assertations I have so recklessly danced with today.
The problem is, I suppose, that these things I’ve made into grand, self-demeaning statements of woe today will still be there tomorrow. Just quieter. Hiding. Burrowed back down under the ground. These fears, these feelings of inadequacy, uncertainty, distrust, resignation. They are still there. Just as other parts try to grow, these have not yet receded.
It takes a bad day for me to see how desperately parts of my brain need to change, just as it takes a good day for me to see that I am capable of at least attempting to make that change. I am writing this not for sympathy, but as an outlet. I feel a sense of responsibility to account for my bad days, and I look forward to the day, whether it’s tomorrow or in a week’s time, that I can look back on this with tentative relief. The feelings may still be there, but they can be coaxed into dormancy awhile.
With sleep comes relief, and with a new day comes a new perspective.