Death, despair and the downward spiral of overthinking

Written by SJ Covey

99% of the time I am an Ever Ready bunny bundle of happiness, joy and positivity. So why is it that randomly out of the blue a dark cloud can sneak into my sunny outlook, and what does this look like?

By Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

I love working from home, don’t get me wrong I miss the comaradery of my colleagues in the office. But, an office is not a fixed abode anymore. My friends in work are spread the length and breadth of the country. My writing community friends are spread even further around the globe.

The benefits of home working, I spend all day with my dog. I get to use my commute time to write. I never get road rage, or stuck in traffic, flat tyre, run out of fuel—The last one used to happen A LOT, when I first passed my test. The breakdown recovery guy didn’t need to ask where I lived.

A firm believer in gratitude, and the writings of Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, The Power etc, I also subscribe to motivational speakers like the mighty Bob Proctor (RIP) and others. Therefore, I understand having the right attitude is half the battle and keeping it this way is key. I avoid negativity where possible, and use many of the methods I have read, or been taught, (mostly by my husband who is a business coach) to remain this way.

By Umar ben on Unsplash

Having had a particularly tough day on Monday I analysed why this was and have come to the following conclusions. There is a caveat, I am not a professional and this is not going to be the same for everyone. This is purely what works, or doesn’t for me. What are my catalysts of the dark and gloomy cloud descending.

My weekend was great, we caught up with friends, visited the garden centre and got lots of plants for the garden. Waking up on Monday, too tired to go for a run as I had a very restless night’s sleep. I huff looking at the clock that I can’t grab another thirty minutes. Here is the first step towards the cloud, rather than welcoming the new week I resent it from ending a fantastic weekend.

By Hansjörg Keller on Unsplash

My day involves, without boring you with too much detail, a few report deadlines, some work on excel. Two meetings, one of which is cancelled, mostly alone work which means very little human interaction.

Alexa is told to pick up an audio book I have been listening to in the background as I log on and start to work. A phonecall makes me pause the story, and I forget to restart it as I get more and more engrossed in what I am doing. This is my second step, complete silence with only an un-talkative dog for company.

Everyone I need to speak to is busy or on calls according to the oracle which is Microsoft Teams. Another sigh and the niggle of frustration of not being able to get the answers which I require.

By charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

A walk at lunch in the beautiful countryside does little to lift my mood, I should have done this sooner before I was slipping into this mood.

The rest of the afternoon my mind starts travelling a dark path, asking questions I don’t want to answer. Most of these relate to losing people I love and how would I cope without them.

By the end of the working day I am not in a good place so I whip out the contents of the fridge and batch cook two vats of spag bol. I also prep a crispy beef stirfry for dinner. This is where the day gets worse, by 6pm my husband isn’t home and all manner of horrific scenarios are running free in my brain, spiking me with their little sticks of doubt and misery.

By Icons8 Team on Unsplash

By the time the dog starts whining at the door to signal my husbands return I’ve acted out telephone calls to people, selling the house because I can’t live here alone and other craziness.

Leaping into his arms and squeezing him tight I tell him the silliness of my thoughts.

“Why didn’t you call me?” He asks, face full of concern.

“Because that is logical and I simply wasn’t in that space by then,” I reply.

Hence my analizing of why that is. There are a number of factors, I was tired and my brain was trying to find problems to kick start itself into action. Like most people I am a problem solver, so brain thought it was helping.

Add to this the incredible weekend with people to being sat alone in silence and not being able to speak to anyone. Brain was having a ball. The motorway was closed so everyone where we live and surrounding 20 mile radius are trying to get home the same way causing bad traffic and my husband to be late home.

Solution for me, and I stress as previously mentioned this is just for me but I hope it helps at least one person, in recognising these signs and acting on them. As I said, home working is great if you do this and have an awesome support network.

My solution is to have music playing in the background. A work-out before starting the day, along with doing some writing when I wake up to get my creative hit that I need every day. Fresh air and exercise also help to reset my mood. But most importantly picking up the wretched phone and speaking to real people.


Thank you for reading this piece, if you enjoyed it please tap on the heart. I’d love you to subscribe and see more of my work. If you’re feeling generous a tip or pledge is always appreciated. You can follow me on the below platforms, and sign up for my newsletter to keep you updated on news of the release of my books.



Get weekly short stories about my favourite characters to your inbox.

You will get one email every week with 7 short stories. You can unsubscribe any time.