It’s nearly midnight on a Friday night and I’m at my mum’s watching junk on Netflix and hating myself. I’ve spent the last week going through three shoe boxes of receipts dating back 18 months. All my spending habits there in black and white, on faded, scrunched up slips of paper.
When I cried my way through February, my month of Money, A Love Story, I vowed to change my ways and I did a bit but not enough. I got stuck into the Secret and figured that ‘abundant thoughts’ would translate into an abundant bank balance. They didn’t. Then there was two months of rejection therapy which made me so miserable I took to drink. Which is expensive. Then lovely trips to Italy with F**K It.
I’ve been doing bits of paid work but not enough. I keep thinking of something mum said to me years ago: ‘You’re living a life you can’t afford.’ Yup. If there was one thing I would change about myself it would be how I am with money. It’s the most consistent form of stress in my life and all my own doing. Every single penny of every single overdraft is my doing.
But it’s not just money stuff – various other issues have reared their ugly head over the last week in a way that makes me feel like the world is offering me a big magnifying mirror of all my flaws – my ego, my cowardice, my laziness, my fear of confrontation, my self-obsession and self-indulgence. Almost every interaction I’ve had with people this week has gone badly. I’m f**king up all over the joint.
I feel like a fraud doing this blog. What the hell do I know about self-improvement? It’s one step forward, five steps back.
My anxiety and self-loathing is such that today I cried on the Northern Line. A guy sat down opposite me, saw the big tears dripping down my pink face and panicked. He got up and moved down the carriage. Two girls smiled sympathetically. I’m sure they assumed it was man trouble. It’s not. It’s me trouble.
All F**K it zen and faith and belief in magic has gone. And I really thought I had life nailed after that week. I was weeping with joy over squirrels in the park for God’s sake. Everything looked so beautiful and seemed so lovely. I felt like nothing could touch me. I was fixed! Cured! I’d seen the light! I’d say F**K it to everything and all would be well.
Now I’m on to angels and they’re not helping. Probably on account of the fact I don’t believe in them. Sorry angels, sorry Doreen Virtue.
Last week I wrote a very ranty post about how much I hated angel therapy and said lots of critical things about the books but it made me feel a bit like a cow. So I’m not going to post that rant but I am going to ditch the angels. Wings and feathers are just not for me. Americanised exclamation marks and YOU CAN DO IT capitals, I’m totally happy with, F**K it humour and witty illustrations, hurrah! – but fairy dust and rainbows make me recoil. Each to their own.
But I have learnt a few things from angel therapy.
- ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than a dreamt of in your philosophy.’ Not quoting Ms Virtue here, obviously, but I am open to the fact that world is a strange, magical place and there’s stuff happening that I have no understanding of. Probably as a result of my rejection of the Church, I am not comfortable with the word God and I don’t believe that angels exist, but I think I believe in the powers of The Universe – which is basically the same thing. It’s all a matter of packaging, I guess.
- You don’t need to ask the angels what to do, you know what to do yourself. When Doreen suggests sitting quietly and asking your angels for guardian angels for guidance what she is doing is allowing you to sit still long enough to listen to your own intuition. At least that’s how I see it. Most of us are too busy running away from ourselves to ever do this. I went to a therapist when I was twenty something, lost and miserable. I was obsessed by some guy who was messing me around. She told me to close my eyes and take ten deep breaths. Then when my eyes were still closed she asked me if I really saw a future with this man. The answer came clear as day. ‘No.’ So why are you thinking about him so much? she asked. ‘Because I have to think about something.’ So there you go – he filled a void, that’s all. We all know the answers.
- Your friends and family are your angels. Reality is biting at the moment but it will pass. The truth is my life is more amazing than I could have expected and I am supported by real life angels every day, in the form of my mum, my two sisters, my wonderful aunties, Rebecca, Grainne, Sharon, Jo, Steve, Natasha and many others. New people have popped into my life just when I needed them (thank you, Mimi.)
- I am so grateful for everything I have, I really am and I hope this post doesn’t read like a self-indulgent moan. I don’t want sympathy. I just want to be honest about the highs and lows. It made me feel better to write it. And so did this: last night I finally got to sleep by thinking of all the things I’m grateful for. I counted friends and lovely moments instead of sheep. There were many. It helped to break the worry cycle. It’s now Saturday morning and I’m looking out the window with a cup of tea and mum’s homemade bread. I’m heading up to London in a bit to be with Rebecca, one of my real life angels and on Monday I’ll deal with whatever mess I’ve got myself into. It’s all a lesson.