Thursday, 5 April 2012

One of those days

Do you ever have one of those days when you wonder what it’s all about, what you work so hard for?

I sat down with the intention of writing a blog post about tuning-in and then, when I tuned-in myself, I realised that I was feeling miserable and frustrated, that I was tensing my shoulders, breathing shallowly, tightening my lips together, sitting very still and heavy and that my gremlin was in moan mode. “What’s the point, this is all too much, nothing is working the way I want it to, I've got to keep going, I can’t stop, I can do it, of course I can, but it’s all crap and I feel miserable, Oh, what's the point anyway...” (or something along those lines). Not the best state for creativity and writing something interesting for you all to read.

So I have a choice. I can choose not to write. Or, I can choose to stuff down the misery and write something upbeat and passionate (all the while pretending I don't feel sad). Or I can write from this place, from where I am right now. I can allow myself to be vulnerable. I can write about the frustration of being a mum and working and wanting to do it all so well. How can there possibly be time to do it all? To make time to prepare home cooked meals, clean the house, give lifts here and there and everywhere, accompany one to the dental hospital and the other to a fencing competition on the weekend, run a psychotherapy practice, finish my psychotherapy training and write countless essays, manage Beyond Chocolate and all that goes with running a small buisness, be an attentive, loving partner, spend time with my girl friends, oh and do volunteer work for WIP, write books, socialise… and have time to breathe. It’s not possible. It's surely just not humanly possible. That’s what I have come to realise when I write it all down. It’s just not possible to do all those things well and stay sane. And yet I do it, somehow. I don't do them all as well and as fully as I'd like and I do them. All. I love every one of those things I do and yet right now I’m looking at the list and thinking “What can I stop doing, ‘cause something’s got to give?”. In the past I would have eaten now, to give myself a break, a moment to sit down, I would have eaten to stuff down my hopelessness and my sadness. These days I write blog posts instead - this doesn't feel like work, it's an opportunity to ask myself what I’m thinking about and get it all out. I can sit here at the computer and take a few deep breaths. I can tune-in to my gremlin and respond with a knowing nod, a kindly “I know”. There’s no point pretending it’s all OK because it isn’t - and worrying, berating myself or pushing and steeling myself won’t make it any better either.

What do I really want right now? A moment to put my feet up, a moment to have a bit of a cry maybe or just allow myself to feel glum and miserable and hopeless. So I’ll stop here, make myself a cup of Earl Grey tea and sit in my misery chair for 10 minutes. I’ll set the alarm on my phone and I’ll let myself moan and complain and worry for the whole 10 minutes or until I’ve had enough. I always feel better when I've allowed myself to do that.

Not a very uplifting post! But honest. If you find yourself having one of those days, tune-in, notice what you are feeling and name it, pay attention to what you’re thinking, what is your gremlin saying? Notice what you are doing with your body and ask yourself what you need and want and then, maybe, give yourself 10 minutes in your misery/anger/worry chair - or whatever it is for you in that moment.

Oh, and Happy Easter!


  1. Thanks Sophie this is such a well timed blog for me as I'm having one of those days today. I'm now going to go and get my cup of tea and have my ten minutes of venting in my anger chair. Thanks again.

  2. You did absolutely the right thing on so many levels Sophie! No, no one can do ALL of that WELL and yet we try! And give ourselves a hard time when we can't or eat to stop giving ourselves a hard time and feeling hopeless/not good enough/sad/frustrated etc. Your post did far more good, not just for you, but for many readers who feel like you. Thank you and hope you are feeling in a happier place now :)

  3. I can very much relate to you Sophie, having a bit of a struggle to stay balanced myself, over the last few days.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love your blog! You are really helping me in my recovery journey from ED. Best wishes from Lithuania and happy happy Easter!

  5. Thanks for that, I am struggling myself at the mo but everyday and I generally turn to food when I shouldn't . Last week I did well but this week, im not doing so well. Reading your blog has made me more positive that I can do this and hope to now do better. Thank you got sharing with us . Sar's xx

  6. well i could've wrote that myself, i was hopelessly looking around thinking of the million and one things i could/should be doing but i know i'm just exhausted and as my daughters out for a few hours after reading your blog i think i'll take a leaf out of your book and just have a wee knap...your honesty has been very inspiring for me sophie ta x

  7. Thank you for your honesty Sophie, it is liberating to read x


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