Do you know what’s ironic? Someone writing about mental health at the end of ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ when their head is more fried than a Mars Bar in a Glaswegian chipper. And do you know what’s wrecking me the most? It’s the fact that the pace of life has been ratcheted away up again and I’m no more fit for it. I just see a list of things that aren’t done and I can’t get near them because everyday there are eleventy-billion small things to do- all of which take longer than they should fucking need to.
And the absolute second I get stressed, guess what I do? I lose things, important things. So this week I realise I’ve lost my bank card, and then WAIT FOR IT: in a fit of nervousness one evening I picked the magnetic strip off LSB’s bank card and rendered it useless. Of course this occurs in the week when we have the Small Child’s First Communion, when I need cash to pay for the lasagne that I can’t be bothered to cook; I need cash to give as gifts, and then suddenly I need cash for every other flipping thing under sun.
So I ring the Nationwide Helpline for lost and stolen cards (and psycho mummies who couldn’t find their arse with both hands.) I get Clive*, who exhibits the same willingness to help as Boris’s willingness to apologise for historic crimes. His tone is flat as I fail to understand a question. ‘I’m going to repeat this a second time,’ he says with a sigh, and then, because I’ve clearly annoyed him tells me that no, I’ve failed to answer the security questions so no, he can’t order me another card.
‘Please, can I try again?’ I say. ‘I’m just very frazzled.’
‘Ring again, my hands are tied,’ says Clive.
‘Can you at least tell me that someone hasn’t already used it and emptied my account?’ I say, in desperation, hopping about on one leg trying to put my sandals on as we got ready to leave for the church on Friday morning.
‘No I can’t,’ says Clive and tells me to ring customer services again so I can waste another 15 minutes of my life being put on hold, listening to shite music and a billion phone options. At this point LSB deftly stepped in and relieved me of the phone as he sensed that Clive was about to get a tirade of abuse. ‘No need for that,’ said LSB, sending me downstairs where he had the hair straighteners warming to do my hair.
He’s good like that, is LSB: properly in tune with his feminine side. When I pulled him in to Solstene Grene on Saturday I said to him, this is where you may want to just lop off your bollocks with a pair of secateurs, but he didn’t seem to mind in the least.
(We’d only gone into town so I could go to to the Nationwide, where, incidentally, the lady at door was so maternal and kind as she sorted me out that my eyes filled up and I nearly had a wee cry.)
Sometimes folks, you just aren’t feeling it. I think I am just very, very tired of things being arse-about-face, and I need some good news. I need the promise of a holiday; some quality time with LSB without wondering what the hell the children are up to, and hoping that a cat hasn’t taken a shit in the bath (again).
Be kind to yourselves everyone. Nothing is normal, yet the pressure is on. Does anyone remember an Irish Furstenburg advert from the early nineties which was a series of conversations all spliced together? At one point a fella is saying ‘ALL I SAID WAS,’ as a prelude to another person losing their shit. I think that neatly encapsulates how life is right now. It may just be one thing, but it’s plonked down on top of a festering quagmire of what other people have said or done (or not done,) or just life in general being a total fucker. We’re all struggling, and in these circumstances, why wouldn’t we be?
With this in mind, we maybe need to take a second and remember what we’ve all just lived through. We are a whole lot tougher than we give ourselves credit for. Yes, at times we may feel like something the dog just puked up, but we’re all here, getting our shit done. And if we need a good cry sometimes or to take a duvet day, then so be it. Let’s all just mind our heads.
And as always, a massive thank you to everyone one of you who reads my blog- whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or on the blog itself. It really helps me to have this as a form of therapy. Anne Enright, bless her, says that regardless of whether you ever write a book, sitting a a desk and writing regularly will change you. I don’t know if it makes me any more sane, but I find that writing helps, and if what I put down manages to resonate with anyone then that is a massive bonus. Thank you for giving me space to vent and taking time to read.
You can read my other musings on Mental Health here.
*Names have been changed to protect the guilty