Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Would You Just... Ride It?

Aaand breathe. Snooker is finally over, it is my first day off in eight days, and boy do I need a rest.

Snooker was tough. It wasn't the busiest I've ever done, and the hours weren't as horrendous as in the old pub (don't miss those 3am closes), but still, well... let's just say I needed this day off.

Keeping up with the blog while working full time and dealing with the busiest two weeks of the year wore me down, and I let the writing slide towards the end, and I coped through it all by drinking too much, again, and it all turned into exactly the kind of cycle I've been trying so hard to struggle out of in recent months.

It's easy to see what I should have done. When finishing at 10pm, say, I should have gone straight to the late Sainsbury's to pick up healthy soup or something, gone home, cooked, eaten, written a short post while food settled, been asleep by 1am, refreshed as much as possible for the next day's struggle.

Instead however I'd limp off the bar with the other mid-shifters, order a delicious beer, stagger to booth where the earlier finishers had set up camp, we'd drink beer, order more beer, drink that -- I'd stumble home at 2am, too late for food, too tired for writing, put a film on Netflix, lie in pooling glow of screen not awake and not asleep, watching figures moving, voices gabbling, finally realising I was more asleep than awake, then realising I'd been dreaming, then dreaming again, then waking, then dreaming -- finally with sun coming up waking enough to turn off my PlayStation, rolling over and sleeping until midday -- then a dazed shower and sniff of a shirt hung over my chair, yep, that'll do, spray of deodorant, rifling through cupboards for food with which to take antidepressant --  raisins and last few walnut pieces from bag? Fine, whatever -- then comb beard, brush tee-- Shit, the time, stumble out of door fiddling with keys, back in for wallet, back out again, one arm in jacket, one clutching headphones, trip down drive and hustle down road and onto bus to be driven back into the belly of the beast with the rush and the clamour and anyone able to stay mindful and keep head clear in that maelstrom a better by far person than I.

But it's easy to judge. Easy to castigate. In fact that self-flagellation is simply more of the old mindset I've been trying to move away from. Better, I think, to recognise how much progress I've made of late, that the pressures of Snooker were more than I was ready in my still-fragile state to face while simultaneously battling negative habits of a decade, but that that is OK. That what three months ago was my daily existence now feels like a bad place to slip back towards, and that this slipping is the exception, rather than the rule.

When a toddler has first unsteadily found its feet and is starting to stay upright is not the time for that toddler to run a marathon. And my nascent sense of positive purpose is definitely still a toddler. And the past two weeks were definitely a marathon.

Making progress in anything, I think, involves accepting plenty of failure -- and this goes double for overcoming negativity and low mental health.

Onwards and upwards then, and downwards, and upwards, and upwards, and downwards, and upwards. As a wise man once said: Life is a rollercoaster, just gotta ride it.

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