When things go wrong in your life, you feel like you're spiralling down, down, down. Out of control. You can't see daylight when you look up (assuming you can actually look up), and beneath you it's all dark and scary. It's not a good feeling at all, and it's one that I've been all too familiar with in the course of my life.
There have been - so it seems to me - so many times when things have been less than perfect. Less than "just OK", actually. I know I moan a lot, and complain a lot, and I know that despite all the crap that goes down I do still have much to be thankful for, and am thankful for, yet it would be a very unfair to say that I have (and have had) an easy life, because it's not true.
These last few months (err... two years? three years? it's hard to know when the latest round of crap kicked off because the early stages were insidious and progressive) have been a new low period in my life. I don't think I've gone out of control, but I've certainly had that impression. I've certainly felt that I was falling, sinking down into the depths of a dark, dark hole. I've certainly struggled to keep my sanity. And I know I've been more miserable than I've been in a long, long time.
The bad times aren't over, and there's still a way to go. Just last night, I was so far off the end of my tether that I ended up getting up from the dinner table and going to bed, leaving the girls (aged 10 and almost-almost-almost 8, remember) to finish their meal, clear the table and get themselves ready for bed, then into bed, all by themselves. No story, no goodnight kiss, nothing. They did it, but both spent part of the night sobbing, which always makes me feel spectacular, as you can imagine. And my lifestyle is currently verging on out of control - insomnia, poor eating habits (basically "not eating", actually), too much crying. But I'm hoping, as I finally succeed in getting one bank account into the black and the other overdrawn by less than €100, that maybe, just maybe, I'm at the bottom now. Maybe this is as far down as I'm going to go. I barely dare write this because I'm scared of tempting fate, but financially at least, there seems to be a glimmer of hope. It's still weak and distant, but perceptible.
So what that really means is that from here on out, the only way is UP. And I don't remember the last time I was in "up" mode. It was hard to imagine, even 2 or 3 weeks ago, but now, I am starting to be able to imagine that things might actually not be so dark and miserable in the future. As I said, there's still a way to go, and I'm not a natural "glass half full" kind of person, but it's there. That tiny, tiny glimmer is there.
It seems kind of appropriate that Up is also one of my very favourite animated films. I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it more than the girls did. The opening sequence (which lasts about 20 minutes if I remember correctly) is stunning, an amazing risk - it's about old people, it's incredibly sad, and ultimately very downbeat. Quite an opening for a kids' film. But then it picks up and is really very amusing. And touching. And yes, I cried - at the beginning and at the end. If you haven't seen it, go see it! It's a kids' film, for sure, but definitely worth watching as an adult!