My Harshest Critic Is Me

I lost my sparkle a while back. My desire for life went missing. I felt bored. Bored and boring. And I’ve been trying to write about this inexplicable loss of my mojo for months now. It feels like a bit of a moan, if I’m honest. But seeing as this blog promotes all things happy, it would be disingenuous of me to pretend that there aren’t some roadblocks to encounter, during this journey.

I suffered a bad case of BLAH in the latter half of 2014, and quite honestly, I’m still in the process of hauling myself out of it now. The fact it has taken me around 5 months to get my arse in gear to verbalise my feelings and share them with you all, is somewhat proof of how lost my mojo really became.

I can’t quite describe it, and I don’t know why it happened. I feel a little narcissistic writing about it, too- oh POOR ME, feeling a bit low because I work long hours and had a little wobble of confidence last summer. It’s not like I’ve suffered depression- far from it. I’ve just felt… a bit rubbish. And until recently, I’ve been incredibly unforgiving of myself while struggling to get my sparkle back.

I’ve decided to admit all of this during this most curious of months; January. We’re full of hope and planning how we can improve, renew and refresh ourselves. Yet at the same time, it’s dark, cold, dull… and all the fun of December has finished. Life feels monotonous. We wonder what it’s all about. We plan holidays and look ahead, to take our mind off the gloom of now .

We fight against our bodies who want to go into hibernation mode. Instead, we keep up our self-induced standards and pressures; our 100mph lives. It’s not easy to sustain that. Trying to juggle how we feel with how we know SHOULD be feeling; Lucky. Grateful. Joyful.

Well for half of last year, I’ve wanted to hide.

Tired, lacklusture, lost. Did I mention bored? Lacking passion and excitement about life. Lacking joy. Can’t be bothered. Feeling a bit sorry for myself. Crisis of confidence. Self-doubt. More boredom. Restlessness. I felt all of these at some point in the past half a year. I know it initially happened after I got ill. While recovering, as life got back to its usual speed, it started as feeling like I wanted to put my fingers in my ears, shut my eyes and make everything go away.

I recognise now that my body was tired and my immune system was beaten to crap before I even got ill, and that the feelings induced by being ill meant the whole thing cascaded from there really. but with hindsight I can see I have since been exhausted and beating myself up about not springing back into perceived “perfection” (that only I am demanding of myself) for quite some time now.

Thinking about how I feel, I’ve begun to recognise that it isn’t such an unusual state of mind to slip into for for the majority of women (or indeed men) just trying to pay the bills, sustain jobs, families, relationships, healthy lifestyles, social lives and building in time to mentally and physically rest. Especially not when the season becomes darker, colder and more dull. I’ve decided take the first steps in forgiving myself for feeling like this. I’m coming to accept it. And in accepting it rather than being disappointed in myself for feeling these nagging feelings, I’m starting to let them go.

And I’m no longer angry with myself, or feeling like I’ve failed. We need to be gentle on ourselves if we aren’t shitting out the magic rainbows of our amazing life events on our Facebook newsfeed every day. Welcome to being a Normal Human! Life is wonderful and at times unfathomable. But sometimes, SOMETIMES, you’re allowed to feel a bit lost and bewildered by it all. A bit bored. Cut yourself some slack. I’m trying to do that.

I’m trying to give myself the patience and advice I’d give a friend who’s confided in me that they’re feeling this way.

Recognising and accepting it- are the first steps. And I think it’s important to share it. We should discuss it, and we should share our coping strategies about it.

As I’ve begun to get some sparkle back and feel more joyful, I’ve been beyond happy to stumble upon a rather fabulous blog and podcast series by Nikki Fogden-Moore, founder of The Vitality

She shares a lot of valuable advice about the above conundrum, and how we might be kind to ourselves while living fulfilling lives, and creating that space we need to remain at peace.

My favourite podcast of hers is called “When Tigger Lost Her Bounce“. The title perfectly describing how a lot of us probably feel after a crappy episode or a darker mood. I wrote a post last year trying to describe how I was coping with getting back on track- mentally- after a physical knock-back. Nikki is tackling the same subject, and it was really comforting to discover it.

Her blog gives some easily accessible ideas on how to get that Tigger bounce back, and her podcast for the same post delves in a little deeper. It’s just under 30 minutes long, so I’ve started to make the series my antidote to my morning commute. I listened to it from North Greenwich to Farringdon the other day, and it made me step off the tube feeling brighter and more positive (which is a pretty impressive feat when exiting the aggressive, claustrophobic, stress-inducing tube).

So- I guess I wanted to share how I’m feeling with you all; get it out in the open. Put it out there and start the discussion… in case everyone is feeling the same, or has done. To ask for your pearls of wisdom (comments welcome!). And to share Nikki’s fantastic blog and lovely little podcasts to inspire you all a bit.

**please be aware, this is in no way a promotional piece for Nikki’s blog or podcasts. I just think she writes lovely stuff and wanted to share it.

11 Comments on “My Harshest Critic Is Me

  1. Hey darling, thanks for sharing! Reading this gave me a feeling of lightness in my heart, like this darker mood/bored period is ok too. And also that I needed to catch up with you! :) Hope you’re doing well and are following this great advice. You’re awesome! Lots of love from Holland xoxo Rose

    • Thank you Rose!! I have been very worried about this post as I felt like it was a negative moan, and also like I was being ungrateful for life. So- thank you for reading it and seeing the message I intended.

      I have been peeking at your wonderful knitting too :) keep warm! Love from London xx

  2. An important article Carly, thank you for sharing your experiences. Very familiar territory for me too, especially with a physical injury which is pretty heartbreaking! I’m hoping things will be brighter for us both soon :).

    Grace x
    London Dance and Lifestyle |

  3. Very important article, thank you for sharing Carly. It’s familiar territory for me too, so you’re not alone! Currently dealing with a physical injury, which is rather frustrating and heartbreaking to say the least. Hoping the spring brings happiness and health for us both :)

    Grace x
    London Dance and Lifestyle |

    • Hi Grace!

      Thank you for your lovely words, and I’m sorry to hear you are struggling with a knock-back too. It really affects you in ways you aren’t expecting, doesn’t it? Well I want this post to be helpful and not just sound like a moan- I think we are all a bit harsh on ourselves sometimes, and so I’m hopeful we can find support by sharing our experiences.

      Thanks again, and here’s to the spring :)

      • Absolutely, I’m finding the psychological challenge just as tricky. But knowing you are not alone can be ever so helpful :) Wishing you all the best! x

  4. So true. No point in beating yourself up about it. Sometimes we have the mojo, sometimes we don’t. That’s just how life is.

  5. wonderful, wonderful – thank you for this beautiful posting Carly. You’re right; it’s important we talk about it, and share it. But the bravery needed is huge. Thank you and well done for being so brave.

    • Thank you so much! I was honestly going to delete this post but the responses have been overwhelmingly supportive and lovely so far. Happy to put this out onto the internet if it makes just one person who’s felt the same, feel more normal. Thank you so much for reading! Xx

  6. I love this, you’ve summed up perfectly how I feel without making it sound moaney or complainey. Just super honest and in a positive way! Thanks! :)

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