My hat says lady-gaga-a-star-is-born-vibes, my overalls are a cross between a toddler’s outfit and looking like I’m about to go hoe some weeds in the garden.
It all looks pretty simple, but this is a deceptively important photo of me. Today I had a bad mental health day, I felt a LOT of emotions, and I tried squash them by cramming my day with meetings and high energy work situations under the guise of “working hard” and “hustling”.
I was a total coward and hid behind the comforting blanket of “being very busy”. All the while I could feel my physical and emotional exhaustion growing, and my brain getting closer and closer to a meltdown.
When I closed my laptop at 1pm forcing myself to stop after 6 back to back hours of meetings and work, I started to go into emotional crisis mode.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. Worst of all, I wanted to go to the nearest bar and drink straight vodka. Recently I made the decision to stop drinking due to an having developed an incredibly unhealthy relationship with alcohol in my early-mid 20’s, and the force of the craving to numb my emotions was almost totally consuming.
But instead of doing that, I reached out to my wife, I put my hand up and said “I am not okay.” She acknowledged me. She heard me. She helped me decide not to make a decision I would regret, and helped me focus on doing something for my selfcare immediately.
So I drove home, I put a movie, I cuddled up with my puppies and let their unconditional love wash over me. I let myself cry and feel the emotions I had been trying to squash all day. I rested my body. I rested my mind.
I got back up.
I made a coffee in my favourite ever dog mug, I put on my favourite hat because it makes me happy, even though I know it looked ridiculous with my outfit. I put a smile on my face and I asked my wife to take a photo.
Because it’s proof that bad days happen but I’ll always come to the other side. I needed to stand there a be in that photo because I needed to prove to myself that I was stronger than my head. That I was THERE and I was showing up for my life.
I needed to have that photo taken because next time I have a hard day and I want to quit on myself, or my family, or my life, I’m going to look at this photo and remind the weakest parts of me; what the strongest parts look like.