Swearing off advice and self-help was the most important thing I did in 2013. It was an agonizingly slow and painful year; I was at the end of my wits — and any input on how to cope made me grumpy. So, I systematically removed it from it from my Facebook feeds, default conversation topics and nightstand reading list.
Instead of reading blogs about how to feel better, I started reading blogs about how to produce radio stories. I listened to Marianne Elliott’s little “Taking Fucking Care of Yourself” rant often and decided to drink two cups of coffee each morning, instead of one. I returned to anti-depressants.
I read and re-read David Rakoff’s The Bleak Shall Inherit essay and then Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things. I went to the arcade and then the ice cream shop. I took a break from the news. I revisited Kanye West’s Graduation album and reveled in my obsession with Nina Simone and Son Lux.
I stopped trying to find fellow expats who would understand on Twitter — and, instead, found solace in Kurt Vonnegut’s A Man Without A Country and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah. I stopped writing poetry and started reading it. I blew steam and complained more than usual.
I embraced my natural tendency toward defensive pessimism and the wry humor that comes with it. I laid on the floor for 20 minutes every morning and called it yoga. I accepted limes in my cheap beer as a suitable alternative for my beloved Left Hand Milk Stout.
I asked myself, “What can you do, kid?”
And I let myself answer, “Nothing.”
No more fighting.
No more looking for answers.
No more trying to be brave.
Listening to Trouble In Mind.
I’ve never been more relieved — or kind to myself.
This post is part of the Thriving Blog Tour, which is spreading self-kindness to the masses. From Coping to Thriving is a six-week journey that will teach you how to turn your coping strategies into self-caring behaviours, leaving behind struggle and learning to thrive. To learn more, click here.Comments