say no to january
Depression is a cheat. It doesn't play by the rules, it will twist and manipulate anything and everything to support its cause. It devalues all you do and makes you only pay attention to the things that fit with the 'you're crap' narrative.
If on Monday you feel it is particularly hard to get out of bed and that the day ahead is bound to be hard, depressing and miserable, then there could be a reason why. The 16th January is "Blue Monday", dubbed the most "miserable day of the year".
Dry January was never really too daunting, given three-quarters of October, November and December all passed in a state of complete sobriety. My dirty little secret - drinking coca cola at parties and telling white lies by hinting I had already had enough that night - is well and truly and out. I'm as sober as a judge, people.
So as each and every one of you will know, this month has been Veganuary - a 31 day long promise to the birds and bees and cows and pigs and sheep and prawns and former racehorses that for the duration of January 2015 I will comply with a more compassionate lifestyle that diminishes their need to suffer.
When I speak to people about my sobriety, they imagine either that I am fighting a constant battle against temptation or that I no longer have any thoughts about drinking at all. The reality is somewhere in between. The best way to describe it is through the metaphor of something most of us can relate to - a relationship with an ex-partner, from the initial meet, to the aftermath of the break-up.
I wrote before about Coming Out Ginger and embracing that part of myself, but in addition to that, I am a gothically pale, Shrek-loving, beer-hating Brit, who - if perfectly honest - is quite partial to 90% of pop music.
Unfortunately we are not all programmed to be gym-bunnies and live off green juice, so come the first of February the gym regulars tend to get their normal routine back, while many of us might find ourselves with a glass of wine in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other, not really understanding how it happened.
After the excesses of December, which now seem to take over the whole month, not just Christmas, I have actually found myself craving my own company, reading books, catching-up on films I haven't seen yet and focusing on eating healthily and moving more.
I felt fine yesterday so why am I being told that I'm depressed today? Even if you are feeling the January blues, there are still plenty of reasons to be feeling quite the opposite. Let's not start the year on a sour note, let's push on and make the best of the first month of the year.