When someone asks you how you are, how often do you tell the truth? I HATE being the one to whinge and I always feel guilty about putting my negative thoughts on to others. I hate the idea of being a burden to anybody and I usually just paste on a happy face to power through it. But I’ve recently learnt there’s such a thing as toxic positivity and I’m trying not to do the fake positive thing so much anymore. Feelings are feelings and we should normalise giving them the space they deserve, even if the feeling is supreme sadness or anger.

Toxic positivity doesn’t help anyone – it’s in the way we tell people struggling to “Cheer up” or to “Think positively”. I get that these buzz phrases are repeated with good intention but not allowing people to ride their emotions isn’t right – and it all builds on the idea that certain feelings are wrong or worse, ‘weak’. God knows the men in our lives live with enough pressure to be the right kind of ‘man’ – constantly told to ‘man up’ and that ‘boys don’t cry’. I’ve spoken to so many men dealing with the fallout of that rhetoric over this six month period and I’m just glad they can ask for help, even if it just to talk.

I am not okay right now and I don’t think any of us are. I mean, I’m okay in the sense that I am fed, watered, clothed and dry. I am loved. I am privileged in so many ways but it’s hard right now and it’s been like wading through the ocean in a heavy dress with stones in the pockets. Every day a challenge, if only mentally. Everything is uncertain still and for the first time in our lives, we haven’t been able to escape it. No amount of positive thinking memes can change the fact everything’s seriously fucked up. I don’t think it will be forever and I am hoping against hope that come Spring we’ll have a better idea of where we’re going as a nation – and as a collective sharing this world.

I really want to start exploring my options for a new job and to throw myself enthusiastically into my copywriting course but I have barely enough energy to move from the sofa to the dining room table to work, let alone set the world on fire. I’m also full of anxiety for my husband who’s finding the job search pretty depressing himself. Times are tough, yo and I don’t think anybody’s exempt.

Moaning about how restless I feel at the moment isn’t going to change anything though and I know so many people are feeling that six-month dip as much as I am. I just think the more we share the less we’ll feel isolated in our own thoughts. No man is an island and all that jazz. On the plus side, Blogtober is going well and I’m on track with a horror movie a day so far (more than one in some cases but shhhh).

The house is wonderfully comforting in this wet, cold weather and I’m not sad the evenings are drawing in. The cat continues to be a pain in the backside but one you just can’t stay mad at. And my daily ritual to make my wishes and send them out into the universe are keeping me sane.

So, how are YOU? Really?