Yesterday I woke up and realised that I was tired of complaining. I made a snap decision: no more negativity. No whinging. It was going pretty well until I wandered into the kitchen half an hour later and saw one of my flatmates. She told me she was going on a picnic to celebrate a friend’s birthday. “You have a nice life,” I said. “I f***ing hate my life.”
The thing is, it’s true. I do hate my life. I’ve always had a tendency towards melancholia, and I’ve had my fair share of personal tragedies and whatnot, but I have never felt this awful for this long. I have never really doubted my ability to carry on before.
The problem is, life isn’t actually that bad. I’ve got a job, I’m not hungry. I earn enough to take a small holiday if I want. I live in a very nice flat with incredibly inoffensive flatmates. I’ve quit smoking. I eat vegetables. I’m so lonely that I sometimes think I might die. On my days off I sit on my bed and stare at the wall wondering if I’m going to just stop living.
My loneliness is part of a bigger problem – my inability to sustain a relationship of any kind. I was raised
by wolves among alcoholics and the slightly unorthodox upbringing has left me with some bizarre and fairly irritating character traits that most people can’t put up with for long. I’ve only recently started to face up to the fact that my defects might be rooted in my past rather than my DNA, and that I might therefore be able to do something about them. I am slowly slowly getting to the bottom of things and trying to put all of the pieces together.
This is all good and lovely and yay for mental health. Unfortunately, I’ve only just started this process. That means that it’s basically mega awful at the moment, as I’ve just lifted the lid on a cauldron that’s been simmering away for at least the past twenty five years. So I’m at the stage of randomly bursting into tears on trains, delivering long winded rants at work and falling asleep all the time because my brain is too exhausted to carry on.
To sum up: it’s not making me feel any better. I need to do something that is going to help me to feel better now. Not something to solve all of my problems, I’m not stupid, I know there’s no quick fix there, but something to distract me enough from the hellish monotony of life for long enough to get to grips with everything.
I’m always toying with projects. I’ll buy a sewing machine. I’ll learn Arabic. I’ll take up tennis. I never do any of them. So yesterday I wrote them all down and put them in a bag. Today I’m going to stick my hand in and pull one out at random. And whatever’s on that paper, that’s what I’ll do.