Sonia Said: The worst week of my life

By Sonia Hadj Said

This week, I had really bad thoughts. Ones you're not supposed to have when you live in a first world country, you have a roof over your head, money, food, friends, family, clothes you like to wear and things you are free to do. Yet, somehow, there I was, in a coffee shop, shaking and thinking: I will burn this place down. Then I will walk home and burn it too. Then do the same with my work. Or maybe I won't do any of those things because nothing makes sense and life is a joke and what's the point if we're here for a mere second anyway?

God. This can't be it. How do you get there? Well...

I think that maybe when you put pressure on yourself every day, if something isn’t working out you can get stressed out. But if every single aspect of your being is going to shit then you probably have the right to break down. Now, I don't like breaking down. This is why I'm probably mildly addicted to alcohol and armodafinil. This is why I'm trying to be so much better every day. That, and the stupid new trends of keeping fit, not eating meat, drinking less, blah blah blah....

When on a Monday I did my 5km run and felt an imaginable pain in my foot, I thought, okay, this means you're pushing it, that's a good sign! You had a long year of sacrificing everything to do your MA course and know you need to pay for it. Where does this idea that we have to punish ourselves for being weak and letting go for our own good come from, I have no idea.

Tuesday came, I couldn't walk and had a big purple bruise on my foot and I was so pissed. Not because I was hurt and every step felt like climbing Mount Everest but because I wouldn't be able to run that day and there was so much to do and so much weight to lose so that my mum could see I'm strong and since I don't have a good job or a nice flat, or a boyfriend, at least I look good. That day the internet went to shit in the house as well and as always, it happened when I had so much to do, all these changes to make for Why Magazine… and I just sat there, unable to move anywhere, and swearing to myself.

Wednesday, still without internet and my foot swollen, I felt like I was straight out of Girlboss. Googling my condition, apparently, I had stress fracture and could only get treatment by the NHS if my GP recommended it. I called the GP who informed me I had been kicked out because I changed my address and well, I'm not sick too often so... I unintentionally poured all my anger out on my mum, like a spoiled little brat, saying ‘I don't have time to book tickets home, you said you would do it, I'm busy with everything’, and she replied, patient at first, ‘it's okay, just have a look later and tell me how much it is, and I'll transfer you money’. Can you imagine, I still said: ‘you were supposed to do it, not now!’ I tried to carry on with the changes for the magazine, figuring out my foot situation, and working on that foot which really killed me, so I thought okay: give me two paid days off, a holiday since we never get a cover for anyone anyway so I can recover.

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I was put on this Earth for a mere second and I intend to live it well and happy

There I was on Thursday. Internet still not working, I went to a coffee shop and sat down with a nice coffee for a change. I was working, feeling better already. But of course, it was that week, it couldn't just be fine. The internet stopped working a few minutes after I ordered chips. The chips came, they were 5 quid and the most disgusting thing you’ve ever tried (I kept them and gave them to people to try, so it's confirmed). I forgot about hunger and waited for internet but it wasn't working. A message came from work. I had to come in because if I was sick I had to call in sick, therefore I would not be paid and be in trouble from not having a doctor’s note since I didn't have a doctor and was waiting to be registered, then to have an appointment and then maybe to be referred to a specialist. At the same time, an e-mail came: the agent that was considering representing me and my new book wasn't interested after all. Then my sister messaged sounding very confused, she said ‘mum is being weird, she’s locked herself in a room and doesn't care about my grades’. She was sick of us. And I was sick of everything.

I thought there was no way around this shit week or at that time, life. Luckily, there is stuff we have to do. Go to work, eat, drink. So I did that and nothing more. Friday I went to work out of my house again, this time everything went perfectly. I could work on the magazine, my foot was getting better. I called my mum and let her yell at me. I went to work and didn't think about the bullshit office people and how much I hated their fucking rules that were nothing but a big sign of: WE DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT YOU. I also didn't think about that book, crying to me, asking ‘am I not enough?’. I remembered that this was life, the one I chose and unless something changes...

We will have to deal with asshole landlords who do what they want because the rent is cheap and they know you won't move out and that if you do they'll find someone straight away.
We will depend on useless public health so let's just pray we're well and healthy and if shit goes down, that we don't end up in emergency where they’ll tell us ‘Phh, it's up to you if you want to go to work’.
We will snap at those who would probably die for us because apparently that's the way things are, as long as we remember to backtrack, take a deep breath and just say sorry.
We will live in a constant fear of things never changing, but going through so much shit that in the end we’ll be like, fucking hell man, nothing will hurt me now, I've had a bad week, I'll go to sleep at 10 pm on Saturday, have a bath on Sunday, recharge and start again because I was put on this Earth for a mere second and I intend to live it well and happy.