Once again I find myself at your feet. Begging you to forgive me for abandoning you. It’s not that I haven’t tried, for the past two weeks I’ve created draft upon draft, different subjects, different themes… But none have been able to push through.
You see, I’ve hit that slump. Yes, that one. The one that leaves you crippled in bed, pretending that your lack of enthusiasm stems from the cold that is muffling your brain as well as your nose, throat, and ears. The slump that comes from being unemployed. The slump that comes from the hideous curse of loneliness. The slump that punches you in the gut over and over again until you cave and believe you deserve all the bad things that have been coming your way.
The other day, I managed to secure a two day temp job in London where I was supposed to be a hospitality assistant for a corporate event. I had a bit of a cold but I was excited. Feeling hopeful that the job would give me the boost of motivation I needed to continue writing and continue my job hunt.
I had struggled to sleep that night, the stuffiness in my nose and tickle in my throat kept me awake till at least 2am and then I woke half an hour before my 5am alarm. I dosed myself up on cold and flu tablets and grabbed a pink lemonade Lucozade to keep me awake. After making myself presentable, I shuffled out into the drizzly early morning air. Feeling as though the darkness of night might swallow me whole at any moment, I moved quietly up the road to the bus stop.
I sat waiting, shivering in the cold, grateful for the shelter that protected me from the worst of the bitter wind and rain. I watched foxes stumble sleepily through bushes and the early morning songbirds jump around, teasing them from above. The occasional person passed by, some jogging, some barely awake, each giving me a gentle nod of hello.
As the time ticked on, I began to wonder if the bus was ever going to arrive. I was getting nervous as I knew I had no hope at arriving early like I had planned. When the bus did eventually trudge along, I got on board and began searching on my phone for a quicker way to get to where I needed to be.
Eventually, I arrived at the train station, I had 20 minutes till 7am and the time I was supposed to be starting my job and I knew it would take 20 minutes on the train to get to Canary Wharf. I, therefore, decided to look at carpool Uber’s as I didn’t want to be cutting time too close. Uber said there was a carpool 1 minute away and it would be a 10 minute drive so I happily made the booking at sat outside the station to wait.
That 1 minute quite literally lasted 7 minutes before the driver phoned me saying I would be the only person he would be picking up so it will cost more. I said it was fine – because at this point, what other choice did I have? He then said he couldn’t pick me up at my location so I would have to walk further up the road. Feeling slightly annoyed I started to walk up in the rain, asking the driver whereabouts I would find him. I could hear him getting agitated himself as I struggled to figure out where he would be. He was giving me road names of an area I didn’t know and I just felt lost and confused. Eventually, we hung up on each other and I hurried back to the station, glad that the rain was helping to cover up the tears I was fighting to hold back.
I managed to jump on the next train and I arrived at Canary Wharf at 7.15am. I hurried over to the reception desk and stumbled out an apology for being late and explained who I was. The receptionist was a lovely woman and calmed me down for a brief moment, saying these things happen all the time and I’m only 15 minutes late so it’s not the end of the world. She made some phone calls in an attempt to find out what floor I was supposed to be working on, but when she couldn’t get through to anyone, she told me to go an wait in the lobby.
The wait was agonising. For 45 minutes I sat texting my friends for support. I was surrounded by people in smart suits looking very grown up and put together in this shiny and businessy world while I gripped my denim jacket with sweaty palms and tried to sit up straight without compromising the strain of my shirt. Eventually, a stern woman came over and introduced herself to me before asking why I was late. I stumbled out an apology about the late bus and uber which I could tell she wasn’t interested in hearing. She then explained that this job wasn’t the hospitality role I had been told about, but rather helping out in the catering department. She then handed me a visitor’s past and shot off jogging to the elevators.
Grabbing my stuff, I shot off after her, trying to ignore the side glances from the suited people wondering where we were running off too. After showing me briefly around the canteen and taking my things, she introduced me to a team leader to put me to work. This new woman set me up to half an hour of folding up take away boxes, followed by 2 and a half hours of switching between cleaning tables in the canteen and polishing cutlery until I was told my help way no longer needed and I could go home.
I trudged back out into the rain to head home when I realised I had forgotten my keys at home and since I had been let go early, there would be no one at home to let me in. After a couple of attempts, I managed to get hold of my mum who was able to meet me briefly in Costa for lunch and to give me her set of keys.
After getting home, I stripped off my rain-soaked clothes and curled up under the warmth of the shower to wash away the stress of the day. The rain and lack of sleep had wrecked havoc on my cold and the emotional outburst I was fighting back was adding to the strain. I was struggling to breathe from my nose, my throat was swollen and felt like sandpaper, and where previously I just had one ear hurting, now both were throbbing in pain.
I decided to dose myself up with more cold and flu relief and spent two hours napping only to wake up with an extreme pain in my right ear. I was feeling pathetic and tried to convince myself that I was imagining the pain to be worse than it was so I just took some painkillers and rested a hot water bottle on the side of my swelling face and went downstairs for dinner.
My mum picked up on my discomfort and knowing my history of ear infections, she asked about the pain which I tried to play down despite the tears that were so clearly swimming in my eyes. After a couple of attempts, she managed to persuade me to phone the NHS 111 helpline from which the nurse I spoke to agreed that I needed to be seen.
At 9.30pm, I was wrapping up and heading to the car with my mum to drive down to the urgent care unit at the hospital. I would say now, if anyone needs to go to A&E for anything, I would recommend phoning 111 first and having them book you an appointment. Barely minutes after we had arrived and checked in, I was called in to see a wonderful – if not slightly tired – doctor who spoke about my symptoms and checked me over.
It’s always reassuring when a doctor has a look at your throat and ears and his response is “oh wow!” Turns out I have a slightly perforated eardrum and a fair bit of swelling in my throat from the infection. I’ve been prescribed some pretty strong antibiotics and some night and day cold and flu tablets in order to help me sleep.
I’m slowly on the mend but the drama hasn’t really helped to improve my mood. Writing has been pretty much non-existent and I didn’t really want to bring this misery to my blog…I suppose you’re wondering what changed my mind? You see, I have this wonderful little bloggers community chat on Twitter and the other day I admitted to them that I don’t know what I’m doing. That I’ve had so many bad days lately and I want to write about it but it’s not really what I want this blog to be about. They managed to convince me that my blog should be whatever I need it to be and I don’t need to confine it to one thing.
The thing that makes this blog special is that it is part of me, no matter how long-winded and dramatic I can be, I’m still me and the blog needs to reflect that. If writing about my bad days gets me writing and feeling better, then that is what I should be doing, not forcing out something I don’t feel passionate about just because I’m trying to fit a pre-existing mold.
My blog is me, no matter what kind of day I’m having, and I can’t keep abandoning myself.