FUN FACT NUMBER ONE: Singing the title line above to the "Hello, hello, hello, hello" refrain from Smells Like Teen Spirit is super fun.
FUN FACT NUMBER TWO: This is not a happy clappy Claire post. But there is a happy twist at the end, so do stick with it if that's your bag.
So, I've had a bit of a wobbly week. Or two.
In this season of my life, it's all a bit rollercoastery and unknown. Nine times out of ten that is fantastic, exciting, thrilling...the other ten per cent of the time it's beffudling and scary, and sometimes a little sad.
Lately the 10% has hit me, hard. It's had me riddled with self doubt and sad and pretty lonely. As the divine Katie would describe it, the 'anxiety goblin' was riding high on the hog. When this happens I enter the same spiral, and my subconscious basically berates me, and before I know it nothing (not friends, not sleep, not TV, not books, not even kitty cats) can distract me from the inner monologue in my head, which on any given day is "You're such a bad writer / friend / wife / sister / daughter / blogger / person." The order of titles and focus shifts, but the message is always loud and clear: YOU SUCK, CLAIRE.
FUN FACT NUMBER THREE: As an ex-teacher, and a longtime reader of everything Debrett's has ever published, I cannot tell you how it pains me that my inner anxiety goblin is the kind of horror who shouts "YOU SUCK!" at volume.
Once I'm already feeling down, something always happens to kick the boot in. A nasty comment, a missed opportunity - it can be a huge thing, it can be a little thing, but it's always a thing.
So I'm sad and down and feeling defeated, and then comes the guilt.
I feel so guilty when I'm feeling down and blue and wanting to go hide in a cave somewhere. In this big old world I truly appreciate how hashtag-blessed I am, but sometimes I still get sad. So then that freaking goblin starts in on me with that.
"How ungrateful are you? You get to write and create and live in London and you are sad? What a selfish heap of c**p you are! People are struggling! People are ill! You don't have the RIGHT to be sad!!"
FUN FACT NUMBER FOUR: Everyone has the right to be sad. I know this. You know this. We all know this. The anxiety goblin does not know this.
So the spiral continues, and I withdraw and I cry and I do a lot of sitting and staring. The screen stays blank and the page unfilled and I cancel plans and I do not sleep and I sleep too much.
And then, after a day, or three, or seven....the storm breaks. Like Glinda the Good Witch, my normal subconscious (think a Labrador, or an otter) sweeps in and dispells all the worry and self-hatred (well, a good portion of it), and I'm back to my normal self.
I'm glad to be back. I've missed being myself.
How are you all today?
FUN FACT NUMBER FIVE: The permalink for the post has automagically become a-low-low-low-low....so now I have a Flo-Rida earworm in addition to the Nirvana one. You're welcome.