Today I woke up and felt bleh. The kind of feeling where you can’t really explain what’s wrong, and you don’t want to explain what’s wrong – so instead you say you feel bleh. But I was determined to get rid of this bleh-ness. I mean there’s so many self-care tips, surely something had to work. Right?
Firstly, I had a bath. I decided on a bath bomb instead of having a bubble bath. But after the bath bomb had disintegrated I was just left with grains floating in the water. I felt hot, sticky. I got out and watched the water drain away.
Next I tried to eat breakfast. Usually I skip it due to waking up too late or just not feeling hungry, but today I made myself eat a bowl of porridge with all the extras. After I’d finished, though, I felt too full, I felt anxious about all the extra calories I’d eaten by adding sugar, fruit etc. I began to feel sick.
I got dressed. I thought I’d try and make myself feel better by putting on some ‘actual clothes’. For months I’ve survived, quite comfortably, in anything baggy, hiding the new curves that have appeared and new stripes in new places. But today I decided on jeans and a nice top (that ever-classic combo). But the jeans felt a bit too tight and the top just didn’t look right. I didn’t used to look like this in this outfit. I felt embarrassed. So I got my biggest hoodie, my warmest trackies, and covered up. I wrapped myself up in make-believe.
A walk. Everyone feels better after some fresh air. I grabbed some socks, put on my wellies, stuck in my headphones and left. And yes, it felt good to listen to the podcast I usually listen to religiously on my way to work, and the sun on my face felt like the closest I’d come to a cure. But of course, it’s England, and soon it got dark and the sun turned to rain. I got home, took off my wet clothes, got changed into another hoodie and tracksuit. I pressed pause on the podcast and thought of my job. I miss my job.
Make a cup of tea. Brilliant, the thing that makes every person in England happier! So I got my tea bag, added the water. It had a bit too much milk, it was a bit too hot, but it was okay. But the phone rang, a family member wondering how to watch a new TV show on catch up, and the tea went cold. I tried to drink it anyway.
Netflix! I thought I’d watch the latest episode of Bridgerton, catch up on the romance and drama. But then I remembered how long it had been since I had felt loved, since I had been held like that. So I changed to The Crown, but I thought of my mother. Friends! But then I missed my friends, my flat, my old-normal. I turned the TV off.
I reached for a pen to write but nothing came. I placed my hands on the keys of my piano but the notes sounded wrong. I tried to read but the words didn’t make sense. I texted a friend asking how they were, hoping to distract myself from how I was. I stroked my dog, but she was too fast asleep to give me any attention.
Night came and I went back to bed. I felt heavy, felt tired, and felt more bleh than I did when I woke up. Why had I decided to get up at all, I thought. Why did I not just stay in bed, in the safe cocoon of my duvet, surrounded by pillows and comfort and my childhood teddy? I felt bleh today. But I didn’t allow myself to just feel. I pushed myself to feel better, but why? Instead I made myself feel worse. I closed my eyes, thoughts still running through my head. But eventually I drifted off into the darkness and let my dreams take over.
And for the first time that day I didn’t feel bleh. Because, for the first time that day, I allowed my body to breathe, to relax, to be still, and just feel. Whether that was bleh or not.
Image courtesy of Fleur.