My hair has started falling out again.
Big ‘ol clumps of blonde strands wrapping themselves around my Tangle Teezer and my hand every single damn time I go to brush my hair or move my hair or put my hair up or even so much as look at it in the mirror.
It’s been nearly a year since it stopped, since I moved to Ipswich, packed in my full-time journalism job, and fled the sometimes-cruel, sometimes-incredible whir of living in London.
Yep, it’s been nearly a year since, in the the aftermath of these giant life changes, my hair started, well, doing that thing it does for most people, it started staying attached to my scalp. Hurrah.
I don’t feel stressed. I don’t feel emotionally all over the place, so maybe, maybe my hair’s new-found distress isn’t about my own mental distress, maybe it’s to do with something else.
Way back when in 2012 when it first started making a bid for escape, I had some blood tests taken to check it wasn’t a symptom of something bigger, something like thyroid problems or low iron or summin and everything came back normal.
So maybe something’s changed pyshically, or maybe well, my brain’s up to its old tricks.
Whatever it is, it’s making me feel nervy. It’s making me question myself and my life and my mental health.
We’ve had some really shitty summer weather of late. Grey clouds and dull skies and chilly winds and let’s be honest, it’s felt a little bit like a sucky autumn day. Not one of those happy autumn days when the sun is shining and you’re crunching through leaves and you’re counting down the weeks til Christmas and you’re tucking into take-out Starbucks – just y’know, one of the sucky ones that remind you that not all weather is beautiful.
And it was during that bout of FUCK OFF AND LET ME LIE ON THE SOFA FOREVERMORE weather that I suddenly got scared. Because the nights are slowly getting longer and the days shorter, and soon we’ll be blinking awake to the tring of our morning alarms and it’ll be dark.
I’m scared of the change in seasons because I know, I know I suck at coping with it.
I love autumn and the end of the summer – I love that it means my birthday is upcoming and I used to love that thrill of a new school year, but I don’t like the way it plays absolute games with my mind and mood.
Working from home has been challenging at times. There are days when mustering up the motivation to wake up and sit at my desk and think up list posts and take photos seems the equivalent of attempting to run from here to London. And I am scared that the darkness and gusts of freezing temperature will come and steal the days that I am motivated, the days when I’m like I GOT THIS, I SO GOT THIS.
I’m scared that without the sunshine and the fresh summer blooms and the opportunities for ice cream and iced lattes and picnics and bare legs, my mind will start to crumble and my ability to concentrate and be good at getting out of bed will crumble too.
It makes me scared of my blog and my income and whether I’ll be OK both financially and mentally.
On the day that I’m writing this, the weather isn’t sure. And although the sky seems to change from bright sea-blue to misty twirls of grey-tinged cloud every few minutes, it feels bright and fresh and OK, and my mind feels like everything should be OK, I should be OK, but I’m not.
I just experienced something megz weird, like kinda like a baby-panic attack. I felt sick with all the bad butterflies swarming into the pits of my stomach like I was dreading something and then my body temperature shot up and I felt like I might just burst into flames or have to peel off my skin right there and then. My breathing became rapid and uncontrollable and I had to count it back down to normal. I had to close my eyes at my desk and breathe, just breathe my body and my brain back to its sane place.
That isn’t me, that’s not who I am. Nothing is wrong. There was no negative comment, no email that made me scared, no big ol’ task that I’ve been putting off, nothing. My body and brain just ganged up on me, and it gave me an insight into how I could be when the winter and the SAD comes a’creepin.
I know I’m strong and I know that I can be in control of my own emotions and mood, I know that by being aware of my triggers I am already one step ahead of keeping my demons at bay, but I can’t help but be a little apprehensive.
So what’s my game plan to tackle the hideous little monsters lurking about ready to tackle me to the ground the minute the temperatures start shooting downwards?
To do my usual and write it out, because somehow everything feels like it’s been pieced together and made sense of when the words are there, and I love that. I can understand my own emotions and thoughts when I can structure them into sentences.
And then? To have 67325 different things to look forward to. Plans, holidays, dinners, date nights and friends help make me feel so much less isolated and stuck inside my own head, so I need to keep on top of relationships and plans and my favourite people.
Aside from that it’s all about having a good supply of chocolate, blankets, candles and Netflix for when the days just get too much. Because it’s OK to cut yourself some slack. Taking an hour or a day out doesn’t make you a bad person and it certainly doesn’t make you lazy or not good enough, it makes you human. We all need some respite from our own lives sometimes, and that’s the thing I need to remind myself constantly.
Right, I’m off for crumpets and tea, see ya hunnies.
(Update: I just re-read this post on a different day, and well, hello DARK MOOD. I’m OK before you all blast into a tyrade of super-sweet HOPE YOU’RE OK, HANNAH comments. Because honestly I am. I don’t need time off, I don’t need to step back or any of that malarkey, I’m feeling ready to tackle life and whatever it throws at me. So take this as a reminder that we all have those weird moods that make no sense, we all get freaked out by our own brains, it doesn’t mean you’re crazy or insane, it just means you’re in touch with your mental health and that, my pals, is really frickin’ important.)
(‘nother update: I actually wrote this post a few days before the whole Rudey thing happened and then didn’t know when to put it live, so err yeah, in case you were wondering.)