Do you ever lay in bed staring at the ceiling while a hundred things run through your head? Does this happen to you, without fail, every time you have a day off? If it does, you have my complete sympathy because over the last few months my brain has been running non stop over every tiny issue; otherwise known as the Snowball of Shit.
I never used to be much of a worrier but as I have aged and gained more responsibilities I have got progressively worse. I’ll look at the dog at the end of the bed and think he needs to go out. Moreover I really need to get him used to the vets because he went psycho last time – maybe a walk by there then just to get him used to the place. The beds got some dog hair on it now. Really need to hoover but fuck me it’s Saturday and I really don’t want to be cleaning. Definitely need to go to the pet shop and get a load of food for the dog and rabbit. Which means driving and I really should get that dent fixed in the side of my car come to think of it. That’s going to cost a load though but what if it rusts? Fucking hell, I’ll just look at Facebook to cheer myself up then.
And then it gets worse because Facebook makes everybody’s life look amazing. I’m sat there scrolling through pictures of amazing breakfasts, crazy nights out and beautiful family photos and forget that of course I’m only going to see the best bits of people’s life. Why would anyone want to post a picture of them looking miserable? But I’m still scrolling, looking at image after image of apparent perfection whilst laying in bed staring at the dog, thinking he should really go out. Maybe to the vets…
Sigh. What’s worse is that I’ll then feel guilty because I don’t consider my life to be that hard. Cradling my phone in my hands, I’ll read the news about a load of people getting gunned down by crazy extremists because they don’t follow the right version of their religion. Or some drowning migrants, or the plight of child sex workers. I start resenting myself because really I should be doing something to help those less fortunate (still haven’t heard back from the council btw). Instead, I’m worrying about getting out of bed and cleaning – oh how arduous Smith. I’m sure there are a load of child soldiers weeping at the thought of my poor car and the standard of hygiene in my Victorian terrace. Prick.
So I’m sitting in bed. Dog and wife sleeping soundly near me. Thinking of all the things I should be doing and worrying about them. I then start comparing myself to others and apparently (according to Facebook) they are doing fucking great (apart from those people in Africa who are dying of Ebola who are doing much shitter than me). What am I to do? Why do things have to be so hard?
That question was rhetorical you fuck wit. I’m not here to ask for help remember, I’m here to preach to you about how ‘Everyman can improve life’. So here’s what to do if you are in this position like me.
You roll over and you give your wife a massive hug. You see her smile and let the warmth of that image wash over you like a tidal wave of joy. You look at your dog and laugh because he’s laid, unashamedly spread-eagle across the end of the bed. You hear the rain pouring down outside and accept that there’s nothing you can do about the weather. You think about all the stuff you have to do and you just fucking do it because you should never expect that anyone else is ever going to do it for you. Avoiding things means more stuff will simply build up and then you’ll be even more stressed.
Don’t let social media grind you down. What’s the point spending your life reading about other peoples lives. There’s enough celebrity culture bullshit to dominate our lives without building a sodding monument to the glory of our Facebook whores. The same goes for the world news. Take on board what you read but remember that there is little that you can do about the issues. If you are truly passionate about something then certainly, go ahead and become Bono but you’ll need to accept that your focus will lead to other things being neglected along the way.
The Snowball of Shit will never stop. You will have days when little is added to it and then you’ll have other days where crippling depression hits you like a freight train. Whatever happens you have to deal with it. You may get lucky and some people will help you but most of the time, you’re on your own. It is your job to guide it and I promise you that you will feel a lot better if you are controlling the chaos that is life rather than letting it control you.