How to give a shit

I pulled my back out on the toilet. Yes. I pulled my back out on the toilet, and I wasn’t even doing anything particularly strenuous per se. It wasn’t like running, lifting a box, or doing crunches. To be honest, I always seem to fuck up and hurt myself—Even when I started making moves towards being healthier (doing right by my body) and basically giving a shit. Trying to turn things around meant reforming all aspects of my life, but it didn’t quite make me eat salad either. I still managed to deep throat a Cadburys every night with full melted fellatio. And yet, I somehow wondered why the scale wept abuse every morning—having the ‘one last sugar night’ invariably ‘before the diet.’

I started trying to pull my shit together when I decided to give running a try. Having spiralled into a pit of self-loathing, the actual emotional feeling of wanting to run away had inspired me late on a Saturday night. I put my shoes on and ran. I got myself into the clothes—pretended to know how to stretch—and went for it. And for the first 15 steps, it was great. It did feel better. I felt I owned it—for those 15 solitary steps.

And then, giving a shit, started turning to shit. It broke me; the pain in my heart was matched equally to my mental strife. Emotions manifested in the act of my physicality— the thoughts in my head seemed to mirror the incapability of my body. Both tried to function through a riptide of molasses. They were pulling me back slower and slower in my 15 steps.

It was heavy on my chest, and it stung with the poor capacity of each breath. The tempo of my heart and the pressure of the angst related poignantly to the uncomfortable ‘too-small’ sports bra that I was wearing. (It had been hanging in my cupboard like-new for the past year) It burned, I felt bruised. I could physically feel my weight gain, forcing up and crashing down hard on the earth with intense strain on my feet. It’s amazing what a couple of pounds/drugs/drinking/smoking et al can do. And the cold air, coupled with the warmth of misery, forced tears from my eyes.

With my tits flat and my ass heaving behind me, it felt as though elderly people were rolling past in wheelchairs giving me the finger to hurry the fuck up. I felt like vomiting, my stomach hurt with every breath, and despite spending a good 20 minutes finding the right work out track, I found myself stopping to gather myself at every 15th step.

The tears ran to snot, the epic base drops in my ears were missed opportunities to ‘just kill it.’ I was not the Nike advert of Woman in charge. The road did not speak to me. If it could say anything, it would probably be, resounding laughter and jibes. Failure. I was trying to give a shit, but it felt like I was just epically eating shit.

And that’s just it; sometimes the shittiness is the motivator, at least that’s what the books tell you. It wasn’t glamorous, and I didn’t flounce past with a swinging ponytail. The instigation of drive didn’t outweigh the ever-present realisation that my health (and state of mind) were in a much bigger shambles than I thought. My heart struggled. To beat and to cry. It was a shit show, a shit parade to be fair—With all the trimmings of a full shit display.

Despite deciding to keep going, being shit, feeling shit—was shit. Giving a shit was a.. shit show. A shitty sprain strained in the side. It didnt make me fall into a deeper depression to be fair. I didn’t fall at all, which was a surprise. I didn’t even trip headfirst. I didn’t roll over or slide. But, as expected, I ended up with both feet somehow fucked equally after day two of trying.

It was after the doctor at A and E laughed at me when I showed him the shoes I wore. (Calling the fucking hideous shoes ‘fashion shoes’ and not running shoes) — He made me realise there was more to being a running professional than merely getting on the road. Notwithstanding simply just, being shit at it, I decided to spend a small fortune on shoes and read articles about how to breathe right— and how to run correctly— where to lean— how the pace could help the heart heal etc. I reflected if stretching and if pushing myself too hard the next day were to blame. (The self-hatred game) Both feet equally sprained. It was comical and ridiculous. Essentially giving a shit was the worst idea, to begin with.

After shuffling and the excruciating pain dragged on (quite literally) for a month, I found myself a day of reckoning. Finally, I could move; my Achilles were both no longer in pain. I could consider giving a shit, owning a shit, being the shit again! I’d done my research, I’d done the work and preparation. But like it always is with me—it was shit. Giving a shit was a.. shit show. Because on the day I wanted to give a shit, something as simple as taking a shit threw it all away. I pulled my back out on the toilet. Trying at life, working with it, giving a shit—meant nothing more than tension, tears, twinge and strain. Dealing with it, having a shit, was; for me… nothing more than shame.

How to give a shit

  1. Allow the self loathing to destroy you to the point of taking risks
  2. Prove to yourself how incredibly unhealthy you are
  3. Try avoid subconsciously self sabotaging your attempts with injuries
  4. Do some research on taking things at least 15 steps at a time
  5. Wear a cash helmet on the toilet

How to have Champagne

I wish I had an effervescent personality. You know the type: gushing, happy, sickeningly sweet. To; be an extrovert. To announce myself in every room, to be direct, to be ‘Bubbly’. I wish I weren’t inclined to be so nihilistic sometimes, and sit with a charismatic optimism, with that offensive perfume that lingers on trains. ‘Everything is meant to be.’ I wish I too could be tender and ‘nice’, even when looking at a ‘half-full’ champagne glass on NYE. But then, I remember who I am. I sit with a bit of realism. I hate champagne. At the very least, I hate ‘good’ champagne. I hate pretending to like it. I’m tired of bluffing and tired of sucking down shitty wine at weddings and festive occasions. Its a mutual fabricated buoyancy (or whatever it is that makes the bubbles)

I would rather moan bitterly over an Irish Whiskey with a pessimistic smile. An oxymoron of malt would lubricate my feelings with a slow-burning fire. But that’s just it isn’t it? I can’t pretend to be ‘that’, I can’t launch myself with exuberance at anything, I’m not vivacious. I can’t match the taste of champagne with my character and force up bubbles of charm in a glass. I’m just not.

The perpetual self-analysis came right around New Years. Things were, for lack of a better word, a little fucked up. Perhaps my lacklustre sarcasm helped in this regard, and with acceptance, I decided to have one last ‘hoorah’ on New Year’s eve. I intended to pack in the excess for a bit. My hardened exterior wielded the impending doom of my failures with the delusion of #newyearnewme. The idea of a final blow out and celebratory welcoming of a new ‘365 party’ seemed like a glamorous idea.

You’d expect images of party hats and sparkly dresses. Visuals of long-limbed beauties (fashion ready friends) wonderfully fit (after Christmas somehow?) They would be sleek seductive in every pic and snapshot. There would be evidence of my #blessedlife too, photographs of my head rolling back in laughter, sitting on some bean bag, tangled arms together, we’d all strike a pose.

The pictures would appear ghost-like on polaroids; my exuberant arms would stretch out to celebrate as we neared midnight. My eyes closed to focus ever presently on the lyrics of some epic track, and my outstretched champagne glass would be full to the brim. Toasting #bestlife #blessed.

Delusional? I know. I’m not effervescent; I’m not ‘Bubbly’, I’m not (as Dunham would say) ‘that kind of girl’. The everpresent gloom of my cynicism nudged me to reflect on myself, and with it, the realisation that my current state of being needed some review. It could have been the effects on my body and mental health that were key drivers, the thumping anxiety at 5 am was losing its appeal. Plus, the slipping blinkers avoiding debt also weighed on my psyche. The financial implication of ‘just buy it’ #youonlyliveonce was becoming even more real as we became more sucked into the abyss that is the ‘overdraft.’

The allurement of my fabricated illusion of an NYE party was so far from the truth. I sat at home, watching the fireworks on Sky News. Excessive drinking; The last hoorah! Sometimes I wish I was ‘Bubbly;’ I wish I could also be as brazen as the drunk idiots on the live stream. They were slurring over their resolute words to the broadcasters. They all seemed to be so optimistic. I wish I were effervescent. I wish I believed.

A “collerette” line of bubbles trained in my glass upwards. One in front of the other. One step at a time, failing moment to moment didn’t seem so bad. I could make the change. I could finally clean out the ‘bad’. As 2020 neared with Big Bens a witness to the drama, all of us waited, and I raised a glass with them too. I wish I were ‘Bubbly’, carbonation in my heart, an uplifting thought in my soul. But then I remember who I am. I sit with a bit of realism.; I remember it ‘half-empty.’ And the champagne tasted like piss.

How to have Champagne

  1. Buy Champagne or receive Champagne as a recycled gift from someone you know (dust on bottle included)
  2. Read Champagne bottle and pretend to know what it says while listening to someone talk about the region and their latest holiday to France (from someone afflicted with Dunning Kruger Effect)
  3. Pop cork and or if you are female, scream for no reason at all at the moment of cork popping.
  4. Then listen to a speech and or wait for a celebratory moment and raise your glass. Taste Champagne and smile/ grimace at present company.
  5. Pour champagne down the drain

How to fail in January

January had brought with it the reality that shit needs to get real, I have to clean out my handbag at some point, and all the collected trash of emotional baggage that goes with it to attempt at the very least to get my shit together.

Not only am I faking the sense of absolute control and security at work, a stable mysterious ooze of self-assurance measured by the crisp cut shirt and designer bag (second hand eBay…I thank you.)

Yet, I still manage to roll my ankle, (misspell ankle) cry in the toilet and sometimes (well most times) Yes sometimes – google so many astrology sites in one day (that all ultimately contradict each other.) Until I get one that eventually says the things that I want it to say.

And then with a sigh of disbelief, look over the top of my computer to the staff in the office working hard at the work I have assigned them and think to myself how amazingly scary and accurate the stars can be.

January has brought with it a few insights, the stars are pretty much going to cluster ass fuck me, without even the smallest hint of a casual drink or courtesy lubrication in the way of dry spit to the palm. (Thanks Uranus) So, knowing this, I have to be realistic and gear up to the reality of a few things.

Firstly, I have to stop being the person doing coke every weekend. (and the person judging people doing coke every weekend) Not merely to go out and rage – no, I mean the stay at home and bang two grams into my face to try and feel a sense of something in my life. Generally, when you and your dealer are sharing book recommendations things should be a red flag.

Secondly, this likely means I have to stop drinking, mainly because as soon as I do I want to party which invariably leaves me behind a duvet at 5 am hearing my heart beating in my throat, and wishing I’d never lied to that teacher back when I was 11.

The familiar spiralling into the hole of self-loathing and remorse means I end up hitting up Deliveroo. This is followed by promising myself I’ll get my work out routine together at some point, watching inspirational influencers yoga pose with camel toes while eating chocolate biscuits. Thinking to my self how I too feel empowered, I too, “Am woman.” I too want to bear the same confidence it takes to wear 2 x fit girl French plaits, and air punch my #Independence with hard nipples under a midriff top.

But then again, I can’t today, because today is the day I binged watch Goop and feel empowered to have a life-altering experience and change my life.

Turning 30 plus some other numbers in February brings with it a daunting realisation that 1. I do not have my shit together, 2. My financials are such a mess that Marie Kondo would just up and say, “Fuck this!” In the New York accent we all know she’s hiding. And 3; My psychological state of mind is so far gone, that I need to face up to the fact that I’ve been in a daze for the past 5 years after Dad died. (Yeah thanks for that one Universe, you owe Oprah and me an apology. Everyone has to apologise to Oprah, and you aren’t getting past this one either)

And lastly, if at some point the impending doom that is ‘the call to motherhood’ happens I will at some point have to be able to wear a new pair of underwear each day, live by the sell-by date, brush my teeth every night, and admit to picking my nose now and then.


How to fail in January

  1. Blame the stars for all things fucked up
  2. Appear to hold your shit together to the people you work with by looking busy and reading about Uranus
  3. Create a book club list with your drug dealer
  4. Apologise to Oprah and clean out your handbag
  5. Stop pretending to not be picking your nose