I came out with some bottles of juice in my backpack along with everything else and it was quite heavy, so I went to the bus stop just to get the bus home instead of carrying my bag home. After waiting fifteen minutes for a bus – any bus, for god’s sake, First Lanarkshire! – I decided, “Well, screw this. I could have almost walked home by now.”
Even with the extra weight on my back.
And hell, the weight on my back’s probably nothing compared to the weight that I’ve either actually gained or “gained” through the lack of exercise and the act of changing my weighing platform (moving from the living room to the kitchen). I mean, I know that I’ve gained weight, obviously, since the start of the year. I don’t know how much of it’s down to switching from one floor to the other, and how much of it’s just to the fact that I’ve been in a shitter of a mood since the start of February for reasons beyond my comprehension (if anyone can tell me what happened at the start of February that’d start me on a downward spiral of self-hate and depression and random binge-eating, I’d greatly appreciate it!), but yeah, I know I’ve gained weight, so there was also this fear of, “Oh shit, how badly is this going to hurt me, to walk that mile and some change?”
But the fear was miniscule. My brain overrode. My brain was saying: “Tracy, it’s only a mile.”
And I think that’s the important part.
It’s ONLY a mile.
(Well, it’s actually more than a mile, but still. Also, ignore the fact that I’m, like, talking to myself in the third person. I didn’t actually do that at the time. It’s artistic license.)
So I got my legs in gear and started walking.
And then I stopped. And I took off my hoodie, put it in my bag, and started walking again.
It was glorious; the first warm day of the year. It was almost summer-hazy, with those kind of clouds in the sky that just dust over the blue but don’t cover the sun (you know the kind!) but I had my Yankees cap on, too, so I didn’t get blinded.
Funnily, I walked past people in their padded jackets and scarves, looking at me like I was the crazy one. ME, who lived most of the winter in a house with more clothes on than I was wearing right then? Yeah, too right I was going to enjoy the warmth and sunshine.
When I got down to LIDL, I noticed something weird and awesome: flowers. I’ve noticed the daffodils and some shoots poking up all over the place, but these were on the bushes/trees at the side of the road; they’re the white flowers in the photo at the top of the page. Actual signs of spring! Then I crossed the road, and the trees across the road had those wee green bud things on them.
I’m pretty sure that, this time last year, we were being snowed in, or at least being frozen in and complaining about Jack Frost working late. (Thanks for the two nice days, Jack! Hope you enjoyed your holiday. Please consider your winter finished now.) And now I’ve walked around jacketless and complained in a supermarket that I was too hot, and I actually stopped to smell the flowers and there was freshly cut grass as I walked home, and-
And I was going to catch the bus.
I was going to catch the bus, and I would have missed it all.
In Which Tracy Stops To Smell The Flowers: THE MORAL OF THIS EFFING STORY
Yeah, this is important enough that it actually needs a subheading.
I’ve been in a really, really bad place for the past month or two; bad enough that I’ve just been bottling it up and not actually talking about it to anyone. I’ve not even really told my BFF, or my Mum or Dad. I’ve not even told my boyfriend, and if I’m writing him an email, I tend to babble, and my moods will come up, and this hasn’t.
That’s how bad it’s been.
But yesterday, I was going to take the easy way out, and I’d have missed a really wonderful walk home. I listened to awesome music, I sang to myself, I smelled the flowers and the grass and I got lost in that wee world of my own where I’m king and queen and everything’s fine, even if just for 35 minutes.
But it’s not really.
Everything’s not fine at all.
Everything’s really shitty, and I need to change that. I need to be listening to my Slimpods (affiliate link) every night, because I’ve been forgetting lately, because I’ve been going to bed exhausted and forgetting to turn on my tablet and start the playlist.
I need to manage my urges when I go to the shop, and not pick things up on a whim or on instinct. My cravings have been seriously reduced, but when I go into a shop, I’ll still see something and go, “Aww yeah, I think I’ll have that,” and not stop. I need to stop. I need to stop and think, “How much am I hurting myself by eating this? Why am I buying this? What am I achieving by eating this? What nourishment will it give me?”
And as cheesy as it sounds, I need to stop hating myself; I need to start taking better care of myself. I need to learn, somehow, to love myself.
When I was in therapy on Tuesday, we were talking about this, and my therapist started talking about how there are people in the world who need me – people who need my intelligence, wit, skill, humour, comfort; people I don’t even know yet. People I might know but don’t know they need me.
I started crying. I’m not ashamed of that (but I did apologise for it, haha! I apologised, because I stalled the conversation for five minutes so I could sit and silently cry over it). I cried, because the idea that anyone could need me, even just the thought that anyone could need me was…
Completely overwhelming. Even considering the fact that I’ve known my best friend for 13 years this year (hi, Cola, I love you! I’m sorry that I take you for granted. ♥), and the fact that my boyfriend and I have been together for four years this year (if you don’t include the mini-hiatus in the middle. Which I totally don’t. What hiatus?), I just can’t contemplate anyone needing or wanting me. I’m worthless and useless; I don’t call myself an Unemployed Bum Extraordinaire for nothing. I talk big and act big, but…
It’s all front. Welcome to my big truth. I wear the world’s best mask (or the world’s worst mask, depending on which way you want to think about this), and this is my big truth:
I’m not okay.
But I’ll get better.
I just need to stop to smell the flowers more often.