When, a few weeks ago, people first realised I had begun blogging they text me, sent me messages on Facebook and spoke to me about it when I saw them. They had questions, kind words and, in some cases, stuff they decided to share with me. I loved it all! Thank you.
Something one of my friends sent me was a photo with a quote that uses language that is so strong even I am too embarrassed to share it here (the fact she can share language like that with me is just one of the many, many reasons I love her dearly!) but basically it summed up something I am only just starting to realise:
Everyone is struggling with something. Be nice.
And when I read it I began to see that, for me, this is what my blog is; me struggling to be nice.
And whilst at the moment (this week? today?) I am surviving that struggle, I thought I would share some of my tips for success. And document them so that when I am lost again and need them, they can be found here. But, please note, I am much like Alice as she stumbles blindly through Wonderland because she too “generally gave herself very good advice (though she very seldom followed it)”.
Develop an addiction
Not hard drugs (or even soft ones) or cigarettes or alcohol. Much well founded research only serves to prove that this generally makes things worse. Much worse. But find something that makes your skin itch. Something that picks away at your brain screaming at you to do it and do it now. And do it. Everyday. Be it running or yoga or painting or writing (thank you WordPress!) or baking cakes or watching a new TV series on Netflix, find something, anything, that makes you feel good and gives you that buzz. Understand that this is no long term solution but the sticky plaster to fix your focus on something beyond yourself. And do it anyway.
Fall in love. Again.
Although probably the worse time to embark upon a new relationship with another human being, when you have fallen out of love with yourself it is the best time to look for love. Look for it everywhere. In the places you go. In the things you do. In the people you meet. Find something that you can fall head-over-heels-crazy-in-love with. New shoes. A favourite book. Your BFF. Give your heart fully and completely to something that makes you smile.
Be kind to yourself…
Forgive yourself for feeling horrid. Don’t lay awake at night wrestling with what you should, could or might do to change things or beat yourself up day after day for the mistakes you make. Sleep. Take a bath. Sit down. Turn off your phone and switch off from the rest of the world. Take time to feel all the horrid feelings. Cry. And repeat to yourself over and over and over again until you almost begin to believe that it is true that is ok for things not to be, or even feel, ok.
…but not too kind.
There comes a point when, whatever your problem, forgiving yourself and being kind is not enough. I am sorry that I cannot tell you when that point is or how you will know when you arrive at it because I have all too often missed it. You will probably notice that your friends stop calling or asking how you are. You may feel that everything is hopeless. You might have given up even caring whether it is or not. But there will definitely come this point. At this point you must stop making excuses. Whatever your problem and whatever its cause, stop giving yourself an excuse. Forget it. Do whatever it is that you need to do to move forward. You will know what to do because it will be whatever it is that hurts the most.
And talk. To everyone. And anyone.
Feeling bad is lonely. And sometimes feeling as if you are alone makes you feel important, special, different (there’s my excuse). But most of the time it just makes you feel worse. Since beginning to write here (and maybe I found my way here because I had already started to see it) I have realised that I am not alone. I have chosen to write about the things that make me feel horrid and the (all be it minor) struggles I have everyday. And the thing that shocked me most was that people weren’t shocked by what I wrote. Some have confessed to feeling it too. Others have simply said nice things.
And that’s nice. And that makes me feel nice too. Thank you.