I Need Your Help.
It’s been a hell of a week.
From intense lows to unexpected highs, from hard work to hardly working, last week’s hustle had it all!
A fresh week on, a fresh month begun and finally, I feel like I can breathe again.
We’ll get to the awesome highs the hustle had over the next couple of days (because CELEBRATE), but today, I need to reflect on what I think is the most pressing and the most concerning. It’s been playing on my mind since 12.48pm last Monday.
If you read last Monday’s post, you’ll know I wasn’t feeling the best. I didn’t have many positive vibes to offer. I wasn’t feeling quite myself.
And despite my best efforts to push all of that to the side in order to be able to provide some form encouragement and empowerment that day, that feeling I was experiencing was, at the time, so consuming, so dominating, so all-encompassing that I physically couldn’t write about anything else.
You know the feeling I’m talking about, right?
Or, more aptly, you probably know the voice.
It’s the one that creeps into your consciousness unnoticed. It’s the one that fills the silence with doubt and insecurity. It’s the one that overrides reason and replaces it with reproach. It’s the one that tells you you’re not smart enough, you’re not good enough, you’ll never be good enough.
It’s the one that tells you all of this, and then plays devils advocate. It questions the very feeling it has created. It tells you that you have no right to feel that way. It tells you that you’re selfish. It tells you that you’re stupid. It tells you that if you had any scope, any compassion, any perspective, you’d only be feeling gratitude because your life is actually great.
Most offensively.. It asks you why you ever listened in the first place.
Have you ever met this voice?
I tell you what.. It has a face for radio.
After publishing the post, although I felt a little bit of weight lift off my shoulders, it wasn’t an instant recovery. I had to get out of my own head. So I went for an aimless walk to get some fresh air and to try to get myself back on track.
I returned back to the flat feeling flat, but also feeling ok, because I knew that I had taken the most difficult step in the feeling-back-on-top process. I had acknowledged the feeling. And even though that step seems so simple, it is often the most daunting.
Why is it so daunting?
I really wish I had the answer.
When I checked back in with my laptop, I was shocked.
That post was taking off. People were reading it. People were sharing it. People were commenting on it. I was receiving messages, texts, emails where people were selfless offering support, empathy, wisdom, and understanding.
Now remember.. Nothing had happened to make me feel the way I did. There was no single catalyst I could attribute causation to.. I was simply feeling shit.
So the interesting part of this narrative is the part where I am offered a huge level of understanding.
Why? I’ll get to that in a sec.
Monday came and went in a bit of a blur. I woke up on Tuesday feeling just as flat as the day before, but I had some unavoidable responsibility. I had somewhere to be. On Tuesday, I was booked to interview the lovely Matilda Rice.
Now, I woke up and my brain was screaming at me not to do it. It was telling me I couldn’t do it, that I’d never be able to pull it off. My body wanted nothing more than to stay in bed. I thought about pulling a sickie, about trying to postpone, about seeing if there was any way I could get out of it..
But luckily, my resilience had increased ever so slightly and I was able to drag myself out of bed and into action. If you’ve seen the interview, you’ll know that it went really well, and it seems as if I had nothing to worry about in the first place. Crazy to think that I was this close to not doing it at all.
Now, I believe that the only reason I was able to override that feeling on Tuesday was because I had taken that first step in feeling back on top. I had admitted that I felt low to both you, and to myself, and by doing so I had taken away some of the power it had over me. I had broken the silence that voice tries disingenuously to enforce.
And that, as we know, is half the battle.
Back to the understanding part..
See, writing that post and getting the feedback I did made me realize that almost every single person understands these moments of inexplicable weakness and vulnerability. Almost every single person, no matter their circumstance understands the fact that we can sometimes just feel worthless. Almost every single person, no matter their situation, understands what it’s like to feel isolated, alone, confused and conflicted.
Why? Because almost every single person, no matter who they are or what they have achieved, has experienced these feelings themselves.
The worst part about publishing this post wasn’t the fact that I felt low. The worst part about publishing this post was that it made me realize that, despite the fact that we all experience it, there is still a huge stigma when it comes to talking about this stuff. There is still a huge discomfort surrounding it. There is still fear of judgement, fear of perceived failure, a level of ‘woe is me’ when it comes to voicing these emotions.
But if we suppress these emotions at their most juvenile level, then they will only manifest into something even more ugly, even more toxic. And this is can be an extremely dangerous cycle to enter in to.
See, as hustlers, we try to put up a front of invincibility, of being totally on top of it, of appearing positive. But the fact is, as humans, it’s impossible to consistently exist in this state.
I posted a video on the Monday Hustle Facebook page where I mention the fact that I want to create some sort of space where people can feel comfortable talking about these lows in order to feel back on top as quickly as possible – and this is something I’m going to be working on from here on in.
If you have any ideas, know anyone who might like to get involved, or if you yourself are keen to be a part of this venture, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
It’s the least I can do to thank you for your support through both the good and the bad.
Also, between you and me, I’m going to be starting a giveaway on the Instagram page later this evening as a way to say thank-you, so make sure you’re following! It’s a collaboration I’ve been working on with the incredible graphic designer Megan Stephens, and will act as a reminder of everything you can and will be.
Until then.. Be kind to one another, and be kind to yourself. Remember that we all have our own journey to travel, our own demons to quash, our own battles to fight.
But it’s easier if we’re in it together.