“Are you okay?” The concerned man behind the counter at Pret asks me, as I order a miniature birthday cake and eat it in two bites like a sandwich. What flavour was it? Was it nice? I don’t know, because I was too busy trying to stuff it inside my body like a nice cake-based clog in my sadness.
For me there are two default ways I try to cheer myself up during depression. One of the ways I try to cheer myself up is eating. The other is shopping for clothes. I know. You couldn’t tell looking at me, lumbering around with a baggy baseball sweater more snot than sleeve, spackled with cat hair over a sports bra that I’ve worn since I bought it last November because I can’t bring myself to put on a real bra.
The problem with this is that when I’m depressed, my face looks like this, especially if I’m eating particularly poor imitation-brand cereal:
Therefore I know that when I try clothes on, I feel like I don’t get a very accurate representation of how they might actually look.
For example, this top seemed okay when I plucked it off a shelf as I wandered aimlessly around Forever 21 on Oxford Street.
Holding it up to my body, I don’t need a first from the school of Gok Wan to see that it’s not my colour. Or my shape, probably because I don’t know how it goes on. I’m not going to take it into the changing rooms to try it on either, as then I’ll definitely have to buy it because I’m too embarrassed to hand it back to the attendant.
I’m refusing to go into Topshop anymore because their leotards remind me of one swimming lesson in primary school where I executed the Knicker Trick poorly and ended up with one of my lips poking out from my swimming costume and a teacher had to tell me.
I managed to burn my forehead. I’ve had to walk around this whole week with a big burn on my face like a shit Harry Potter, if Voldemort had tried to attack my mother with a Babyliss Curling Wand Pro 2285CU. If I’ve learnt anything from this, it’s that you can easily scratch the skin flakes off a scar if you’re determined enough. Rendering the whole of the Potter series complete and utter bollocks.
I want to explain to the security men working the doors that I’m not homeless, just sad today, before shakily holding up floaty flowery clothes to my droopy body, thinking that they might look nice on me if charred skin wasn’t peeling off my forehead. The shop assistant in Forever 21 looks at me with pity as I try to pay for some cat socks I genuinely believe might be the one thing I was missing in my life, whilst attempting to subtly lick the weeping pus from a leaking spot on my lip.
This morning I put the same jeans back on that I wore yesterday and realised that an entire egg yolk is smeared across the front. I had an egg for breakfast yesterday, which means that I’d been at work for a full day with an egg yolk attached to my thigh. Not even like a little bit of egg, a big bit of egg speckled with orange and white, and my jeans are black and I watched the entirety of Carshalton Carnival parade down the high street, and now they all know I can’t eat an egg properly.
Also, we’ve hit the season where a lot of people have finished their final year and are celebrating. Many jubilations for you. It’s great. The real world is absolutely great. Honestly.