Last week, in all its reflective glory, the moon made my days and nights the absolute opposite of fun.
I couldn’t sleep, for one thing. Light was streaming through my bedroom window, an emblem of my dysfunction. I wouldn’t have felt so bad about it if I’d at least had some warning, so I could use my newfound talent for being wide awake all night in a useful way, like being a superhero. But I checked, and there was no bat in the sky. I was not Batman. I was wide awake. And I stubbed my toe.
On top of the insomnia, everyone and everything upset me. I felt disconcertingly sad, lonely, anxious, paranoid. I was going into what I like to call my extreme worrying mode – I realised I was spiralling out of control a bit because my hair wouldn’t straighten and I kept gagging on my toothbrush. Friends told me the moon was to blame; it was full, it was present, it was manipulating us all.
Really though, the main reason that I was so madly upset, at the moon, my hair, everything, last week was because my period was three weeks late. I will never stop marvelling at the magical power wombs have to change the way you view the world.
Sorry, by the way, if this is too much information, but it’s good to talk, you know, and I imagine my hormones are still a bit askew and also, I don’t care.
This joyful delay, the kind that puts Southeastern Railways to shame, has never happened to me before. So obviously I was on high alert. You see, I have to think very carefully about bringing children into this world because it takes an awful lot of responsibility to get a child with my hair through school safely. So I spent a week taking pregnancy tests every other day, falling apart with worry and reconsidering all my life choices.
I’m definitely not pregnant. It turns out any combination of anxiety, stress, the bloody moon, lack of routine, and potentially even exercise, could have been the reason why it was so excessively late. It was unbelievably stressful. I have slowly begun to relax. I can just about look my boyfriend in the eye. Not because I blame him for the pregnancy scare. It’s just his first ever word was ‘moon’ so he was never going to be on my side.
I had to be really on it last week, for two different jobs, rehearsals, a photo shoot, several late nights and more than several occasions where I had to very much be there for other people. It was tiring and I felt like I was unravelling whilst trying to so hard to keep myself together. That sounds very over-dramatic (if anyone wants to make the feature film, please email me with a copy of your CV and your favourite flavour of crisps).
I was also skipping a week of CBT for work so I felt like I was working really hard by myself at being happy and functional – it was really important to me that I didn’t let anxiety win, period or no period. This was beyond difficult, because if I wasn’t lying awake at night worrying about carrying a child, I was convincing myself it was a sign of multiple tumours, or the beginning of my entire reproductive system shutting down.
BUT…I totally got through it. I literally forced myself to think happy, act happy, be happy. I stumbled a lot (I cried when my hair dryer made me too hot. Again – please think twice before bringing a child with too much hair into this world) but I went to sleep on Sunday night happy and grateful. So I wanted to share how I got from Monday to Sunday last week and ended it with a smile.
I struggle with anxiety big time in the mornings, even when I’m not weeing on a stick. So for anyone else who struggles here are some of the ways I’ve managed to switch up my morning routine a bit and started my day with a smile, rather than absolute fear, waking on the sunny side… like a perfect egg.
It’s a shower gel. Not masturbation. I’ve always showered at night but it’s really helped switching my routine up by jumping in the shower first thing instead. I like to think I have the happiest shower gel ever. It’s Nivea, it’s called Happy Time, it’s cheap and cheerful if you’re poor and work in the arts like me, it’s my little citrus miracle worker. It smells like orange starburst and I genuinely get excited about washing now. You are very welcome.
I’m a breakfast girl anyway, but part of all the mindfulness I’m being told to exercise, is concentrating on enjoying every moment of my day in its present form. I’ll be honest, right now I’m averaging two breakfasts per day all in the name of happiness but it’s hakuna matata in a bowl, so sod it. What I’m really going to say is – eat, something, anything. Vitamins, endorphins galore, look after yourself.
I tell you, this show is genuinely a part of my soul. If ever I’m stuck inside my own head, which I am most days at 7am, I’ve found one utterly consistent way of breaking out of my mind and laughing. I’m distracted, I’m positive, I’m happy. If you can find something that does the same for you, it really works wonders.
I am positively rubbish at dragging myself out for a run in the morning because my runs are usually motivated by chasing an ice cream van. Every time I do, though, I feel a million times better and can actually justify two breakfasts. So mega snaps to you if you manage it. If not, taking even five minutes of fresh air before my day properly begins clears my head, freshens my senses and reminds me of the bigger picture. Walking over bridges or anywhere with trees hits the spot.
That’s it for now. I have overshared to excess and I really need to go and at least try to brave the hair dryer again. I wish happy days to each and everyone one of you! Thank you for reading 🙂 x
Photo credit: Paperchase