In Praise of the Negative

I don’t know, seems to me that everyone these days is all about the positive and not nearly enough credence gets given to the good old negative.

The truly immeasurable, therapeutic value of a spectacular moan is often lost in a chorus of, “Yes but, look at it this way…”

The thing is – I don’t want to.


Not even close.

If I wanted to I would not be having this conversation with you.

If I wanted to appreciate the silver lining then that is what I would be looking at and praising right about now.

I would be all like, “Hey!!! Check out this amazing silver lining I just found. Isn’t it just wonderful and marvellous and the bestest thing ever?” and other such annoying things.

What I want to do is have a good old moan, so please, please, for all that is good and holy in this life, do not start sprouting off telling me to be positive about the situation.

Because I am not stupid.

I will get round to feeling positive when I am good and ready

Right now, what I need is some mutual appreciation of the shittiness of my current situation.

Some permission to not want to do the thing…

Some hand holding and cuddling. Some cheerleading and understanding.

Some remembering that we are all human here – still. In spite of our best endeavours.

Don’t worry – I will do the thing, I just want to be allowed not to want to.

It is shitty – why do I have to pretend that it is lovely and pretty and pink and covered in bows?

Shit covered in bows and pinkness looks like… shit covered in bows and pinkness. Brown and pink…

Which is just stupid if you ask me.

Because it is shit and there is no harm in calling it shit if you ask me.

(You are reading my blog, so I am going to assume you are asking me okay? Okay.)

Actually – doing just that may have prevented cholera in quite a few instances.

Look where dressing that up as “we don’t have a problem here” got people.

Dead mostly.

Huh? Huh? You see – I do have a point after all.


So there.


Re-encounters with Comfort Eating

The New Year has brought an insane amount of newness for me which, although expected, has thrown me into chaos.

The New Job

You see – it was totally expected. Eventually, eventually they gave me my start date and it was in the new year and not before Christmas as originally expected.

So now I’m working shifts – which I have NEVER done before.

And I’m working in a cafe – which I have NEVER done before.

In a climbing centre – which, to be fair, I know quite well, but…. as a climber not a worker bee.

There are a thousand things which have thrown me off whack.

Mostly it is the newness of all the new things I’m doing and having to adjust to them.

There’s realising that although this company and its people are incredible (we have meetings on beanbags, with lollipops – what is not to love about that pray tell?) the work I am doing for it is so totally no up my street that it may as well be in another city.

Struggling to adjust

The newness and the change are difficult for me to adjust to, because on one hand I need this job and I know that this is an amazing experience and on the other hand knowing that this is just so not right for me is making it hard to keep going in every day.

And then there’s the shifts – which have just thrown my days into disarray and along with that my social life.

Like I never get to see my housemate any more. The woman is one of my closest, dearest friends and I never get to see her anymore.

Where I used to see her every day, at least for a little bit before we fell asleep.

Heading back into old territory

So on my days off last week, where I had no one to spend my time with, I discovered this much about me:

When I am left alone and am struggling to adjust to something, I spend my days in bed, watching telly and eating. Mostly eating.

Old comforts.

Food is something I used to have a very tangled relationship with and I spent a very intense year about nine years ago learning about how much I was using food as a comfort instead of listening to the needs behind my feelings.

But the change

Since spending a year journaling away my relationship with comfort eating I have a new way of interacting with it.

It involves allowing it to happen but also picking up my journal and listening to what is going on behind the scenes.

No judgement.

What I found this time was such a huge change in my ways of interacting with myself that it took me by surprise.

I remember the days before when there was so much guilt and anxiety over feeling what I was feeling, this time however what was there was permission.

Comfort and Joy

Yeah, I discovered that the reason I was eating was because it was bringing me comfort and joy where I was feeling these things were lacking greatly from my day to day.

My other sources of these are scarcer now – my friends, my QS job, my colleagues, the known – and so I was turning to once source which was readily available.

Furthermore, I was able to give myself permission to need comfort and joy in a difficult situation, committing to finding some different, healthier ways of giving this to me.

Whilst I’m not sure what these are just yet, it does mean that every time I fancy eating when I’m not hungry and especially when it’s something sugar laden, I can recognise a need for a bit of comfort and then I can give myself an invisible hug and permission to need some comfort.

And so I say this

Comfort eating is a complex issue and the reasons behind it differ for everyone, but most often I believe it exists because there are some unmet needs lurking which are scarier than putting on weight or whatever negative connotations there are to comfort eating for you.

I have found that gently asking myself what’s up during these times, whilst still giving myself permission to need the crutch invariably leads to me being able to give myself what I really need without worrying that I am depriving myself of a source of comfort.

Food is less scary than asking for help in many, many situations.

Unless you’re asking for help from yourself, and in my experience, that’s the source that’s most often the most helpful.

Most of all permission to need is key.

Snow is just MAGICAL

All you need is some heavy duty plastic bags, a snow covered mountain and good friends to make a most magical day.

2010 – In a word

Last year I chose a word, rather than a resolution. I chose Love and I certainly learnt a lot about it.

I imagine there are still a lifetime’s worth of lessons to learn about it, but I think I got at least some stuff straight in my mind.

This year I meant to choose confidence, because I wanted to take what I had learned about love and use it to biggify myself beyond comprehension.

However instead I find myself choosing two different words:

Simplicity and Truth

Because I think these two are in fact, the key to the confidence.

To learn about the truth and to learn that it is simple.

To learn to express the truth and not be afraid of it, even if that sometimes means admitting that there are things that are not perfect.

Simplicity because when you strip back the layers you learn that needs are simple, but wants are complex.

Often in trying to meet the wants you neglect to meet the needs and then all kinds of hard arises.

So I would like to bring in the essence of simplicity and to encourage myself to see the truth in all things, to express the truth, my truth in all cheesiness.


2009 seemed unbelievably complicated.

It was full of unexpected challenges and emotion that seemed to overwhelm.

I am not sad to say goodbye to it, even though all the complication seemed to be out done by huge amounts of loveliness.

At the end of it, I am aware not so much of a chance for a new start as having been set up for 2010.

In which things will be born

For sure, from the uncertainty of 2009 has come the need to ensure that I can be more in control of things which need to be more certain.

I will learn to live simply because if I do not, I will not be able to juggle all the balls I need/ want to juggle in 2010.

I face the start of 2010 with a sense of being required to step into some shoes and fill them.

I sense that simplicity and truth are the two things which will help me do so.