Sometimes it’s tiring, trying to be a wonder-person.
Life is tiring. Life’s trials and tribulations are tiring. Trying to be upbeat all the time. Inspiring others. Getting done the things that need to get done. Living in debt. Being hungry. Being cold. Working to get work.
Keeping up the appearance of the happy hero that I’m supposed to be.
It’s tiring. And, on nights like tonight, it keeps me awake. Self-pity takes a hold and I know that, ultimately, I’m just another of life’s losers. Inherently a broken person.
A lonely, broken person.
Why tell you this?
Not because I’m after a flood of sympathy. Heavens no. I don’t enjoy that at all. I really don’t. Please don’t do it, kind people. My fear of sympathy is why I’m increasingly inclined to keep my worries to myself. But… too many of us don’t share how we feel when we feel miserable – for all kinds of reasons. We really don’t want to court attention. We don’t want to burden people who have problems of their own. We feel weak for feeling sad – feeling sad when there’s no ‘proper’ reason to be so. We feel a failure for not managing on our own; and/or for letting others down. We feel bad because we know there are so many people in the world experiencing suffering the like of which we could never countenance.
We don’t share because no one likes a whiner.
But, it’s a horrible thing, to be alone with one’s tears; with one’s despairing thoughts.
So my main reason for deciding to get out of bed and write is to tell you, dear reader, that when you feel this way (as so many of you do, from time to time) you’re not the only one. And it doesn’t matter how whatever’s troubling you compares to the troubles of others. Even if you’re feeling low for what you consider to be no great reason, your pain is your pain, and it’s real, and it hurts.
Sure, it can help to count your blessings and remind yourself of all that is wonderful in your life, but, sometimes that feels like a trite exercise. I have heard it said that we can ‘choose to be happy’. Perhaps that’s true for some people. I can usually find moments of happiness even during the most difficult times, and I do subscribe to the practice of focusing on the good, but, I can’t bring on the happy as though flicking a neural switch. Would be nice. I guess I’d get more sleep!
There’s a quote that flies through the ether, attributed to Plato, that goes something like this; be kinder than you feel you need to be, for everyone is fighting a battle. I keep this in mind, because I know that however together, strong and happy a person may seem, they could be a swan – serene on the surface, feet paddling like crazy underneath. Likewise, if people are grumpy or unpleasant – who knows what’s going on for them, what dreams and hopes they may have, what they may have lost, what’s led them to feel disillusioned with the world.
Life is hard. Even when it’s not too bad, relatively speaking, it can still be a struggle to get through the day.
I have no magical advice for how to make things better (other than Talk to Someone! which is very important, and you should), but, so far, I have managed to weather the dark patches. For my ability to pick myself up, I am grateful to Churchill (who had his own Black Dog). Every time I’ve fallen, or feared I couldn’t manage those next few steps, I’ve recited his litany from his speech at Harrow:
Never give in, never give in, never, never, never.
And now I’m up, and have unburdened myself to the world wide web, I shall have tea, and spend some time nursing my sad self.
After all, she needs to be strong again tomorrow.