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A Day in the Life - The Downward Spiral from Distraction to Disconnection

Updated: Mar 22

Do you ever get distracted?

Brown wooden door in a grey concrete building with a small window of light
A Version of Chaos

I'll be on my way with a strong intention to make myself a cup of tea. On my way through my living room, I'll notice the throw of my sofa looks a tad dishevelled - I'll pause to fold it, still with the intent to get to the kitchen for a cuppa. I'll be halfway through folding the throw and my eye gets drawn to the dusty sideboard, I'll then find a duster to dust it. For a split second, I remember my original tea-making task. Thinking I'm back on task, I'll make a beeline for the kitchen once more, I'll put the kettle on - I'm thinking - great, I'm on task. Waiting for the kettle to boil, I notice the hob's a mess from last night's dinner, without a second, I spin around to grab the Dettol and the steal wool and I begin to scrub the hob. I hear the kettle boil. I'll have every intention to start making my tea, but look, the hob spotlight highlights a grease mark on the cabinet and I figure, I may as well clean that too. Ten minutes later, I'm in the fridge, cleaning a spilled jar of something resembling jam that had previously gone undetected. A moment later, something innocuous like seeing the milk carton in the door of the fridge sparks a memory of my original task, making tea. Refocusing, I close the fridge, pick up a teabag, and grab a cup from the dishrack. On picking up the cup, I clock the somewhat rusty, watery residue on the drain, this simultaneously triggers a disgust reflex and a surge of adrenaline which laser focuses my urge to clean - not just clean - an all-consuming urge to deep clean the entire kitchen from top to bottom. Moving the cup to wipe the surfaces reminds me to make my tea. At this point, the kettle is no longer boiling, it's barely warm, so I go to re-boil the kettle. The oven clock catches my eye and I abruptly realise I am a couple of minutes shy of a meeting, I also realise, that what I got up from my desk to do - make a cup of tea - had not only fallen by the wayside, but I had been away from my keyboard for two hours. In a somewhat frantic manner, I make it back to my desk, just in time for my meeting. No tea to be seen, a sparklingly clean section of hob, and razor-sharp, adrenalin-fuelled, somewhat manic, energy, I enter my meeting. The meeting wrapped up. A second later, in that melancholy moment when you leave a virtual meeting - the screen, filled with people only moments ago is now blank. That moment when reality hits, and you come down from the high of having people there to the sudden hit of loneliness. The residual adrenaline fuelling rapid navigation through uncomfortable, unsettling feelings, that remind you, no, you are in the house on your own, it is all down to you to get shit done, it is you who wasted precious time earlier, putting more pressure to do more with the time left in your day. The exhaustion hits when you hit the last of your energy reserves. The crash comes, and the guilt kicks in right on cue, alongside an overwhelming feeling of not being good enough. You make a promise to yourself that tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow, you will tackle all the tasks that have spilled over, plus new ones on the roster for tomorrow. You wake, way before the alarm, anxiously lying there, triggering involuntary shaking of my left foot, dreading the day ahead. The alarm sounds, sparking panic, and Adrenaline surges, but this is different, this is more, this skips hyper-focus mode, going directly to a deer caught in headlights mode, together with an overwhelming fear and discomfort. If you're not careful to facilitate calm, you experience what I can only describe as a disconnect - a powerful procrastination that can hold you in contempt. These moments take an exhaustive amount of mental energy to pull you back from. Even when you get to the surface, the depletion of energy is palpable. It's here where rest and recuperation are vital. It is here where we must be kind to ourselves. So, although from the outside, it may look like a fairly innocuous series of little disrupters, it is these little disrupters that can impact the foundations of the self-worth and wellbeing of a person. If frequently tested, the fragility of these foundations can lead to seismic fractures that become more and more difficult to piece together again.

If this resonates, please know that you are not alone. I hope my free flow of consciousness doesn’t overwhelm you. I am mindful of the huge bulk of the text above. It is, however, reminiscent of the thought chaos that I experience daily.


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