How long’s it been? And how long do you think this can go on for? I know you’ve skipped breakfast today. I know you haven’t slept well. But you can’t just lay here. It’s nearly lunch time. You’ve missed the morning and you’re feeling like an utter failure. The thought of standing or even opening your curtains feels like it might just finish you off… And yet, the responsibility is ours to do something about it. So, what are we going to do?
Thank god for your phone. The only thing keeping you sane right now. The only thing bringing you distraction from your thoughts. The only thing temporarily holding your mind at bay. If not for that; I can only imagine the tirade you would be subject to. It’s gonna hurt… It’s gonna be heavy. But we can’t just lay here. The day is getting away right from underneath our noses.
Your stomach is growling. Your brain is aching. Your hungry, thirsty, sick and tired. Your mind churns away the mistakes of last night. You feel empty and cold. Sweaty and numb. Utterly broken. A shadow of who you were before everything started to go wrong. But, you cannot just lay here. You are letting the day get away.
Okay, think of it like this. Your day is fucked. Your mental health is on the floor. Possibly your physical too if you keep doing this. Your fucked either way. But what’s better – staying put and guaranteeing how you’re gonna feel for the next 24 hours, or taking a chance on relief?
Relief will not find you between those dirty sheets. It is, unfortunately, waiting in the kitchen on the other side of that first cup of coffee. It waits in the bathroom after you finish brushing your teeth. It waits after your shower as you slip on clean clothes. It waits by the door as you put on your brave face. And it waits in the park as you take your first walk. It’s in the cafes and the bars, in the gym and eventually in your heart. That’s where you have to go to find it; that’s where you have to be. No one ever said this was going to be easy, but this is where men are made.
So how are we going to do this? Well, firstly – let’s not get overwhelmed. I never said you have to do all of those things at once. I’m merely reminding you that everything you want from this day – for your mental wellbeing – is within your reach. But for god’s sake don’t think for one second we’re going to achieve all that today. All we’re going to do today is take one step. And only then, we will consider our next move. This is both the easiest and most difficult thing you will need to do today. You’re just going to take one step. Then we’ll breath, and then we’ll consider our next move from there.
Lift your heavy leg out. Find your footing on the floor. Feel the floorboards underneath your feet. Your brain will call you names. It will say you don’t deserve this. Just acknowledge it for now; thinking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Today we’re simply going to ACT. So, take your first step.
Move now. Softly but swiftly. Avoid looking in any mirrors. We’ll come to that when we’re ready. For now – get to the kitchen. Fill the kettle and let it boil. Prepare you coffee cup but DO NOT SIT DOWN. If you sit down, you’ve lost. You won’t get back up if you sit. Stay standing or better yet, tidy your space while the water boils. Dishes to the sink, please. Crumbs swept into a pile. Wait for that water and fill your cup. Smell deeply and leave this to cool. Phase two is cleaning those teeth.
Prop yourself up on the sink if you must. Try not to stare into the mirror. Ugly thoughts will spill from your mind if you gaze for too long. You just focus on getting your toothpaste and brush ready. Gently does it, but clean them. Before you finish cleaning them, turn your shower on. This is so the water and shower floor will be warm by the time you get there. As soon as you’re done brushing, undress and brave the warm water. Indulge in it.
This is the furthest you’ve got all morning. Let it wash away your sleepiness. Embrace the refreshing sensations. Clean your hair and your body. Remind yourself you deserve to feel and smell nice today. Today you’re going to look forward. Today you are open to the opportunity of life. Go slowly, but firmly. Rinse your body and breath out. You are doing so fucking well.
Dry yourself, apply deodorant and do your skin care. Style your hair the way you like it and now you may look in the mirror. Perhaps not so bad after all? A far cry from where we were just 30 minutes ago. You have changed your whole world in just half an hour. There really isn’t much that can hold you back at this point.
Choose your clothes well. We’re not going for comfort today. We’re going for confidence. Wear your first date shirt. Clean jeans and even aftershave. Today is different. We’re not lounging today. You did that already this week. Today you choose confidence. Dress well and smartly and stand up straight. Your coffee should be cool enough to drink by now. Enjoy it.
Cry if you need to. Let it out. Feel sad and do lament who you’ve been. It’s healthy to release your cortisol this way. But make sure they are tears of joy at the same time. 30 minutes ago you could not stand and now look at you. You are almost a fully functioning human being again. And you deserve to feel proud of this.
Now, despite what have written in this blog so far – I am not here to tell you how to live your life. I am not some Guru who knows more than you. I simply have done it many times myself as well. And I speak from a place of experience. And there’s one last thing I want to share with you before you go about your day – and that is: You Still Have A Choice.
You can sit back down if you want. You can scroll more on Insta. You can cancel your plans…You can even go back to bed. And any of those things are fine, because you’ve already done enough. But answer me this – now you’re looking so cool, now you’ve come so far, now you smell so good -Do you really want to? Is that what you want? To lie down again? To mess your hair and waste your favourite aftershave? Or is there a part of your mind which wonders what else could come of this day, if only you allowed yourself to achieve? What might occur if you text your friends back? Or ask that person out? Can you imagine what this day will become if only you let it?
My final bit of advice for the first 30 minutes of your day is simply – do return to your bedroom. But only so you can straighten duvet, plump those cushions, draw your curtains and lament who you were before. And swell with pride over who you’ve become now. Go well and feel proud. This day has only just begun. Relief waits in the kitchen.