How to lose a day you didn’t want to lose…

I’m being very brave here. I don’t like sharing my emotions, but sometimes knowing that other people go through the same thing can help.

The dark days sometimes happen out of the blue, sometimes they creep up. I don’t know where they come from and I don’t know why they come. Luckily for me they don’t last long.
I wrote this a few weeks ago (in March) and am okay at the moment.
Here are the words that tumbled out of me – I haven’t edited:

‘Whatever This is’ …

    I sit heavily on the sofa with my coffee and sigh, staring past all the trappings of a modern family, out into the garden, which seems to simply hang irritatingly. Dragged down. Wasted. Limp. Browns and greys. Left over branches and leaves from last year still flop around, rotting and useless five months after they died. There is no blue sky today. Just miles and miles of blank grey. There’s no colour that I can see and no sign of spring. The sap may be rising out there but from where I am sitting there is no evidence of it. My ears are tuned out from the bird-song and the bleating lambs today. The scene looks pathetic and droopy. The muscles in the back of my neck are tight, my head aches dully and I feel uncontrollably negative, pessimistic, dragged down. Wasted. Limp. Browns and greys…
    I bring my eyes back into the dark room and look unhappily at the scruffiness created by a family of five. A home carefully planned and created and routinely destroyed. I try to remind myself how lucky I am; how other people might look around in envy at the signs of children, activity, company and security. But all I can see is chaos, jobs to be done and a never-ending cycle of monotonous, repetitive tasks. The sofa pads are heavily indented with huge, flat arse-shapes and need thumping and turning, there’s a child’s scribble on the wall and the windows are filthy. We still haven’t finished decorating. God we are useless. No – I’m useless. If my husband weren’t married to me, he would be so much more productive. It’s all my fault. I shouldn’t have married him. He could have had a nice home and a cheerful, energetic wife. How can I ever put things right and how could I have not noticed before how awful it all looks? The lack of light coming into the room mirrors my gloom and I wrap my free arm around my stomach only to sink into further misery as my hand meets inches of fat belly. Activity will make me thinner, happier and more energetic. My husband doesn’t deserve a fat wife. I try to think about how to summon energy and start the day.

    On these days I really do try very hard to shake myself free of negative thoughts and a sense of pointlessness, failure even. I don’t get any bright ideas, make up jokes or sing. I have to force myself to move although I feel like sleeping all day. I know what makes a person feel better: Exercise, fresh air, oily fish, positive thinking. A change of scenery. Laughter. A healthy digestive system. I sigh and think about the effort involved in getting out for a walk. I give myself an internal good-talking-to and plod into the kitchen with my half cup of luke-warm coffee where a child’s left-over pain-au-chocolate sits redundant on a baking tray. As if immediately ravenous I rip it in half, dunk it into my coffee and consume it within seconds. I secretly wonder if the evil beast visiting my brain today has made me do this purely so that I can punish myself later. And I will. Too much sugar, yeast and wheat make you feel sluggish you stupid woman. Yeah what the fuck. Who cares…
    With a huge deep breath in and more sighing I force my huge, heavy carcass to mount the stairs.

    Two or three hours later than the rest of the population (yes, the whole of the rest of the population! No one else is as weird or lazy or a backward as me! Everyone else is out there working and supporting their families or visiting elderly relatives, or has finished vacuuming and shopping by now and is weeding the garden. I am the slowest, the most useless of them all) I am finally showered and half dressed and still hating my stomach. I squeeze it and slap it. I will go for a walk. I will get some sea air, take some photos. Spring is happening out there. I will find it and I will cheer up. I must cheer up. Then I will come home and be active …. I will stop being miserable and obsessing about myself. I refuse to be controlled by whatever-this-is
    So of course it now begins to rain. Well it would, wouldn’t it… And now I’m hungry again.

19 thoughts on “How to lose a day you didn’t want to lose…

  1. I find that there’s nothing as powerful as therapeutic writing. Just scribbling it down in a free-flow way can help lift the grey. I do hope you’re still dumping it down on paper. I’ve got a special notebook for days like that.


    • Thanks for your comments Rosalind. May as well write it down when there’s nothing else you feel you can do!


  2. You’re totally not alone in this. I recognise much of what you say as part of my own internal dialogue. Noticing these thoughts and just listing them, without judgement, is the first step towards getting rid of them. Reiki and meditation are helpful to me. Best Wishes.


    • I guess we have drought days to make up for the floods of ideas days… Yoga stretches help me, but it’s hard to make myself do them! Sleep is also great!


  3. Wow, what a powerful post and clear, almost tangible insight into depression. I hope you know though that you are not alone, many women have the same thoughts and can identify with you, all the more clearly after reading such an excellent post. I hope many people read this.


    • No, I didn’t know until recently. Isn’t it sad? Too many people trying to be everything to everybody (usually women), instead if sitting back and going:’You know what…? I’m not that bloody super-human and I’m not sure I want to be’

      Permission to just be me please.

      Thanks for your comment xxx


  4. Congratulations on a powerful, honest post and for sharing it. Like a lot of the others, I too have listened to the voice in my head telling me, all the same shit as yours does. And it is so hard to get back to yourself when you are assaulted by these heavy, dark thoughts.

    Like Buckswriter I too have found great relief in Reiki. Self healing helps you to learn how to become an observer of these emotions rather than becoming the emotions!

    Thanks for sharing!


  5. Powerful words and ones I think a majority of people can identify with – feelings that lots feel but seldom talk about. . . part of this ‘being human’ lark i suppose . . . x


    • If all these online quizzes and surveys that people do are anything to go by, a lot of people say they don’t have any significant depression. Thanks for your comment 🙂


  6. I’m sure lots of us can identify with that, you described the feelings so well. I find that writing really helps, and a long walk, not always easy though when there are small people around!
    Well done on writing that and I hope today is a better day xx


    • Thanks Tracy, I’m pleasantly overwhelmed by so many responses in such a short time.
      I wonder where low, negative days and real depression start and finish. I think the days when one cannot physically do stuff, cannot shake off the downer with a walk (can’t even go for a walk), can’t and don’t want to hold a conversation are depression. Other days it’s just a matter of remembering to eat properly, move around, listen to music, go to bed early etc, etc.


  7. Hi, thanks for posting that! It’s really tempting to censor life, even in our own minds. I have to say after reading your post – snap! I have had those days you describe so well. Too often those bad morning feelings set a train of negativity and shittiness in motion and like you said there’s the logical part of us that knows that a walk or some activity will help… and then it rains, or you just resist the urge to jump out of it, or you just can’t. And all around you the untidy house just seems to scream (at me at least) “you inadequate woman!” But you wrote. You published it on your blog and helped other people feel less alone about their horrible days. And if its ever a choice between the dirty windows and the clean page i hope you keep choosing the latter! You left a lovely post on my blog congratulating me on being shortlisted and i can clearly remember the morning one of those stories was written, the house was a holy show, the kids were running in out of the kitchen… feelings were low but I am really glad I chose to keep scribbling. I wouldnt consider this depression (maybe I’m in denial!) I think its a pretty normal response to the mundane exhausting job of running a house and trying to juggle it with writing… there must be a good reason why so many writers have sheds. In the meanwhile i might by a set of blinkers for the days I sit down at my kitchen table. all the best


    • Oooh. I’m rubbish. I forgot to thank you Niamh. I wanted to reply in full and never got round to it. Also I’d had too much red wine when I read your post and was in danger of writing ‘I love you Neevie! You’re like a sister!’;)


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