Today is Blue Monday, the third Monday of January is the glummest day of the year due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, dark days, gloomy weather and the arrival of the dreaded credit-card bills. I suspect that those trying to follow Dry January or Veganuary aren’t helping themselves to a certain extent, self-denial often makes one feel worst. Though alcohol is a depressant, so should be avoided, and I like steak too much to comment on Veganuary.
However, we can all try to make this a less depressing day. Thinking about or doing stuff for others often helps, and though you can’t exactly go round and have a cuppa with your neighbour, you might be able to call them and check they’re okay, have a chat, make sure they aren’t feeling too alone, and in the process ensure that you aren’t feeling too alone either.
Mental health affects us all, I openly admit to suffering depression, it makes life hard sometimes, and I know how lucky I am to have a loving and supportive family. The things that make me feel better, are, usually, simply, and freely, conversations. I like hearing good news from others. If the others don’t have good news, then I’ll listen to that and sympathise, or help if I’m in a position to, even join in the slag-fest if that’s where the conversation goes. I’ll encourage where I can. I’ll use a shoulder when all I can do is cry.
The point I suppose is even when we are blue, we don’t have to paint the town red, we just have to share a moment with the people around us. A wave across the street. A note on social media. A chat on the phone or a message/text. So reach out, you are not alone, please don’t be lonely.
Today has been a good one. Had a nice long lie in. Got up about 11, then at 3 we made time for those special three words.
All Day Breakfast.
Sausage, bacon, black pudding, fried mushrooms, baked bean, and of course toast.
This is not a healthy breakfast, even when it replaces lunch. But it’s not something we do often. In fact the last time we had a full cooked breakfast was September last year. So as a one off treat – it’s fab.
Also though today, I’ve been working on my WIP. This is now coming together nicely. I’ve managed five thousand words today, that’s my best in a long time. And I’m not finished yet.
Started this daily blogging because of feeling low and with lockdown, it was something regular to focus on. I’ve noticed that now I’m feeling mentally better, and I’m back into the swing of writing, that I’m missing days because I’m just so busy that I forget to blog. I’m also finding that after a full day of computer work, I want to turn it off more of the evening.
So, as lockdown starts to lift, which will mean I’ve even more things to do, I am going to keep blogging, but not feel bad if I miss a day or two.
Today has already been busy, I had to go out to take parcels to be returned to Amazon (weird thing is I think the Amazon depot is actually closer to me than the drop off point), and gone to a the supermarket, as well as deciding not to go into another shop because the queue outside in the rain was too long. Got writing, ironing and family stuff to fill the rest of the day with.
I am glad lockdown is starting to ease, but the only place I really want to go is 80 miles away, to visit our son. I’m not sure if things have eased that much, especially since it means crossing the Welsh-English border.
I am looking forward to tonight, though. We’re having chicken wings and homemade pizza and watching “EuroVision”. While I would generally avoid a Will Farrell film like the plague, I’ve heard good things about this one, and am prepared to give it a go. This is also the reason for the early blog today.
Only now am I seeing that I didn’t blog last night, that’s because I’ve been busy and tired. I am finally making some headway with my WIP. I know the story order and I am now moving through it start to finish. By being more logical about what can and can’t happen, what characters would or wouldn’t know at these various points is clearing the path so I can see where I’m going. Also by doing this, I’ve realised that there is a whole new thread that I need to weave in, and it’s a good one.
I think that one of the reasons I’m struggling so much with actually writing this book is because as it’s the series finale it draws together a lot of the threads from the earlier books. I’m conscious that it’s possible that a reader won’t have read those books, which means I have to do a fair amount of explanation. The problem is balancing that with the readers who have read the previous books, who don’t want to be bored.
Luckily, I have two characters who alternated books, so they can ask if something comes up that they don’t know about. I also have a third character who starts the book without his memory, and gradually regains it through the journey of the book, so I have ways to show the past, I just need to avoid data-dumps. They’re boring to read and as bad to write.
So that’s where you’ll find me at the moment, sitting and writing, and it’s great to be back in the swing of things again.
Oh, and on the natural health side. I’ve restarted the multivitamins, minerals and high-level iron, as a result my skin is clearing up again and I’m feeling generally better.
I just said something it never occurred to me I might actually say.
“Macarons are on my bucket list of baking.”
Weird things to say, but, also, it’s true. I like baking, don’t bake often, but I like doing it. Now, macarons are something that I’ve been thinking of making for many years and just never got around to trying. But I will.
Right now I’m watching Bake Off: The Professionals, and I am stunned each week how good those guys are – even the ones who end up going home.
Today’s been better. After all the stir crazy, we managed to go out in the van and park by the shore. Though we couldn’t go far between the many showers, it was good to be away from the house and in more fresh air.
I’d packed a picnic, we had soda cans in the fridge, gala pie, cocktail sausages, apple pies and lots of other good things. So, we had plenty of supplies and were about to stay out for five lovely hours of not being at home. More importantly, we had a toilet in case of getting caught short.
It was definitely a great way to go out in splendid isolation.
The pic is with my hubby, and daughter, and I was trying to wave at the camera, which is the weird hand position, and oh my God the fat! Still, also, the happy.
And what was good, I managed to work out the rubbish in my latest WIP, that’s what the board on my lap is. It’s part of a puzzle board that I was sticking scraps of paper to. The scraps were scene details and I was putting them in an order that makes sense. I also read 35 pages of “The Invisible Man” which I am finding difficult to get through.
Clearly the last few days have not been great for me. I am moving through the darkest part of the mood, I’m more ‘functional’ again.
One thing I didn’t mention in my posts is that I stank. Yes, really stank. The heat that kept me away at night made me sweat through the day. Yesterday my blouse was damp to wringing wet. I was sweaty and I stank. I also hadn’t released my hair from the plait I put in on Tuesday night to sleep in. I almost always do this to control my hair overnight. Because my hair was dirty, the plait just stayed in. Yes, I disgust even myself.
So tonight, I had a bath. It was lovely to soak in hot water, and listen to an Audible book. It was actually quite difficult to get the plait out of my hair, and there was a knot that I had to actually bite out to remove it. So now, I’m clean, washed hair, and feeling better. Am also in clean PJs which is so comfortable.
Realised today that I’ve been neglecting a lot of other things too. Like I’ve not been taking my usual supplements. Self-neglect and depression are mutually reinforcing. I look a mess, feel a mess and I know that I did that to myself, and that that’s stupid, ergo I’m stupid. Since intelligence is something I prize and take pride in, being stupid depresses me. Vicious circle.
Fact is, I’m no genius, but I am smart, I try to be smarter than my illness, but sometimes it creeps up on me. Now I have to be smart enough to push it back away.
“What was that?” Belgarath asked, coming back around the corner.
“Brill,” Silk replied blandly, pulling his Murgo robe back on.
“Again?” Belgarath demanded with exasperation. “What was he doing this time?”
“Trying to fly, last time I saw him.” Silk smirked.
The old man looked puzzled.
“He wasn’t doing it very well,” Silk added.
Belgarath shrugged. “Maybe it’ll come to him in time.”
“He doesn’t really have all that much time.” Silk glanced out over the edge.
From far below – terribly far below – there came a faint, muffled crash; then, after several seconds, another. “Does bouncing count?” Silk asked.
The above is a quote from David Eddings, from the book Magicians Gambit. I picked this to share because I love this book, but also because it kind of feels like what I’m doing.
Yesterday really was a terrible day, the day before was worse. I’m less depressed today, but not back to normal by any means. While hubby was working (he would have been there for me otherwise) a mate of mine helped talk me back from the dive last night, and I’ll always be grateful for that.
A condition like depression isn’t easy, it doesn’t comes and goes, and often for no reason. I don’t know what kicked this downturn off. I haven’t been sleeping, but I think everyone is suffering with that in the current heat.
All I want to say is that I am on the upsweep, bottom of maybe, but getting there.
I grew up in a council estate. Went to a comprehensive school. Been working since I was 12, started on market stalls, cleaned lots of places, worked in an old peoples home. I studied hard to get A-levels then had to give up my first degree and moved away from my hometown. Moved up to office work. I met a man, got married, started studying for the degree I now have while working full time, began the course 8 months pregnant with my son, ended it six months pregnant with my daughter. I’ve written many novels, two published by an independent publisher, one self-published. I’ve got contracts for one more standalone, and a series of five steampunk novels.
You know what this makes me?
You know what I see in the mirror?
I dislike the book “Wuthering Heights” because there is not a single likeable character, they all deserve the misery they got. They are all nicer people than I am.