It’s not a lie, but it feels dishonest, when it’s your mind and not your body that’s holding you back and you say you aren’t feeling well. Tonight I was meant to go to two different friend’s birthday’s. I had a busy day and finished the afternoon with two beers (probably one and a half more than I need to get reasonably tipsy). I had a nap while my boyfriend walked to the first party and I was meant to join him an hour or two later when they moved to the bar. Instead I slept for two and a half hours (optimistically setting my alarm for an extra half an hour each time it woke me up in case I was ready to get up this time). When I woke up properly I couldn’t think of anything worse than putting on outside-the-house clothes, rugging up with my coat and boots and catching the bus into the bar. I was feeling a bit sad, a bit anxious and generally just in a bit of a funk. I thought it might just be post-nap brain (where you feel like even the simplest task is a struggle because your body was confused about why you went to sleep at 5pm and woke up at 7:30pm – why would you do that to me?!) so I stayed in bed looking at some photos and reading some articles while I waited for my brain to wake up. It really didn’t want to.
I think I’ve gotten a bit run down over the past week and my brain instead of my body was telling me to slow down, have a cup of tea, eat a grilled cheese and do sweet fuck all. So I did. And it made me feel so much better. I told my friends I was sorry but “I’m not feeling well” and it’s not a lie. Mental health has a shame and stigma attached to it but it affects us just as bodily as a cold or food poisoning does. Even just making the decision to stay at home and do not much at all made me feel better – sometimes we need to realise that our brain doesn’t want anymore social interaction for the day. And as a blatant extrovert I’m only just starting to learn how to recognise this. It’s powerful to know when your brain and your body aren’t feeling the best and let them recover. At least I got it right today.