...Some of you will know that we have "Wind & The Wellies" Fay to thank for the title of this one. She coined it originally - that thing when all the thoughts in your head are whizzing around and around like a washing machine on a fast spin and it's impossible to interrupt the cycle in order to make any sense of anything. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was trying to work through some personal stuff, and that still applies (and no it's still not serious - well not to anyone other than the people it affects, and yes I'm still fine, thank you) - it's been lingering around for a while now and has developed into a full blown case of Washing Machine Head as a result.
When I've suffered with this in the past there have been a few things I've found that have helped. Having the ability to express exactly what is bothering me in writing helps me hugely - this blog has been useful for that to an extent, but even more so is using one of those websites where you can write completely anonymously and then choose whether to make it public or not. Most definitely not, in my case! Other options could be a completely private blog, a blog limited to just those friends you choose to invite to view it, or a "secret" Twitter account that only you know about, or even a combination of all of them - the key thing is finding what works for you and then making use of it when you need to. Writing a list of everything that is in your head in the order it spews out can also work, and one I've found massively useful - the good old "To Do" list. When your head is full of "stuff" then the fear of the important stuff getting lost amongst everything else can increase the stress levels horribly, the very last thing you need - so a simple To Do list can reduce them right back down again.
For me the biggest help by far though has been friendship. The people who know the detail of what's going on in my head at the moment have been just amazing - from being willing to listen to me rambling on (yes, sorry about that!), to knowing that if I just wander off for a bit mumbling only the sketchiest of explanations the right thing to do is leave me be for a few minutes to collect myself together and then to come and find me with a cuppa and a doughnut (Well, doughnuts fix everything, no? *grin*). The people who understand that, when I suddenly just go quiet, I need a few moments with them saying nothing, but just being there. They're the ones that know that being *too* sympathetic to me in person when I'm like that will result in an embarrassing (for me, at least) soggy-tissue situation. (Why, when we're feeling emotionally vulnerable, does people being lovely to us have the ability to reduce us to tears? I mean how the hell is THAT fair?!) Beyond that tiny group are another lot - who while they don't know *what* is up, know that something is, and so have been taking the time to message me to check I'm OK, or simply to distract me with laughs and cheeriness and the promise of more fun to come through the summer. When the black dog lands on your shoulder it can be tricky as hell to shake off, but without question one of the best ways I know of doing so is to find a way to clip on its lead and take it for a walk in the sunshine!
This is very possibly one of the scariest blog posts I've ever written - and at the moment I have no idea if it will ever see the light of day. I certainly won't be tweeting about it if I do hit publish, so if you've found it it's probably because you're a regular reader - bless you for that. Although I sometimes have a moan or a rant on here I very rarely lay myself quite so bare as this post feels like it has and I'm wary of people trying to second guess stuff, or putting two and two together to make six...like I said this is categorically not anything terrible, or life changing, or anything like that, it's just some *stuff* that I'm needing to work through, ok? I'm not looking for advice, or "poor you" or anything like that (hence comments are disabled for this one), it was just suggested to me that sometimes answering "Everything OK?" with the standard "Yes, fine" is counterproductive. And it is - sometimes you need to stand up and say - even if only to yourself - no, you know what, everything is NOT OK. After all, if you can't be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with?