You know that moment when you are introduced to someone new and the conversation starts to turn to a lull….
And then they go there and ask THE question. You know the one, I think 75% of the population are with me on this.
Not where are you from? or should all drones be filled with jelly donuts…. ? Nope those are easy questions. They ask ‘so what do you do’?
And I always warn, ‘it’s a buzzkill, lets not go there.’ But then people think I’m a special agent or a circus clown.
I work as a domestic and sexual violence commissioner at a London borough. That means I handle all the strategic stuff, contracts and spend on our response to reducing domestic and sexual violence- that includes sex work and female genital mutilation. See buzz kill.
I’m not a missionary and/or counsellor. I don’t even work directly with survivors of abuse anymore. Instead I manage the services that do that work, which means I only really get involved in the lives of survivors if it goes really wrong and there has been a homicide. Because unlike other fields of work, the reality with domestic violence is it can go wrong. 1/5 of all murders in London are because of domestic violence.
And this summer has been horrible… there have been wayyyyyyyy too many homicides- Making my tea and bath intake go through the roof.
So because its been a shitty death summer I thought I’d give you my top 5 coping tips for when it all seems to much. I’m not going to put booze on the list, not because it doesn’t work- it really helps some people. But I’ve found that for me, a depressant is the last thing I need when I’m feeling low. But bottoms up if its your coping mechanism.
Tips for when the world seems shitty
Nothing can help you take your mind off things like scorching hot water and bubbles. I’ve recently gotten into the habit of taking a bath almost every night. I think Will now reckons he is living with that mermaid in Splash.
2. Drink Copious Amounts of Tea
Ok I might not be a Brit, but those Limeys are sooo right. Tea calms the soul. It makes everything a little bit better. Coffee can’t do the same, I have no idea why but someone needs to do a PhD on this stuff. In times of calamity drink tea. Preferably in the bath.
3. Avoid the News
Avoid all newspapers- you already know the world is mean- you need some positivity. This is probably not the way some people handle sad times, but for me I always feel like there is no need to be knowledgable about world problems when I’m trying to sort out my own.
4. Paint a Wall
This is my coping mechanism. Painting a wall, a cupboard or really anything to do with nesting, helps me. It gives me a little bit of control in my world when I can’t control all the other nasty stuff. I once painted our bedroom with chalkboard paint after a particularly damning week. One of the last weeks at our London flat, I painted a wall and radiator bright yellow. Poor Dobble puts up with it so well.
5. Hug your Lovers
I mean really hug them. These peeps are your lifeline back to normality. I would be crying in a ditch/pub every night if it wasn’t for Will and others. You can’t make it through this world on your own- you need friends and family.
You especially need the classy ones who are up for anything. Check out Yaz and me being naughty last time she was back home (which happen to be the same day as a homicide- hence the makeup free face).
If all else fails…