First thing’s first. Happy Easter. I spent Good Friday trying my best to make myself better. I had a choice of a 20 minute wait for the train into town or a leisurely wander overlooking the shore.
Nope, I didn’t choose the former either. It was lovely, the walk. Just the thing I needed to blow away the cobwebs. Then when I returned home I used the phone – a real step forward for me – to get help with my bills, and then set up a facebook page for this.
I’ve already started up a twitter account too, @magnoliatreeluv . If I can help just one person prevent what I’ve been through (and even then my woes have been nothing compared to others) it’s been so, so worthwhile. As far as Good Fridays, go, it’s been very good.
I’m sure however that, like me, you encounter not just negative thinking, but overly negative thoughts, that threaten or do overwhelm you. Days like today would have been a pipedream just a few short weeks ago. Until I learned of some type of blocking technique. Goodness knows where it came from. Yet somehow it works.
In the mid to late 90’s, nobody could have failed to have been irritated by five fairly talentless women, with varying degrees of attractiveness being outweighed by the inanity and boorishness of their personality. The perfect ingredients for pop superstardom.
That’s exactly what the Spice Girls were too, superstars across the globe, conquering America in a way not seen since the Beatles. Who they outsold and had more consecutive chart topping singles than.
I’m not sure what rankled me more. Their eagerness to be gobby and full of misguided self confidence. Their awful voices in their abysmal videos where they strutted arrogantly throughout. The dreadful but catchy songs, forcing you to hum it subconsciously. Or that, despite it all, I still felt an attraction to at least one of them, hating myself it in the process.
There was no escape, either, having a toddler with my long term partner at the time, who when sat in front of the tv, watched nothing but Tweenies, Steps, Teletubbies and the Spice Girls. Christmas 1997 was one of the worst ever, purely because the latter two were vying for the number one single.
Any therapist worth their salt will tell you, though, that having so much antipathy towards something or someone belies a subconscious appreciation. Which manifested itself in the most unlikely of ways a couple of months ago.
Another day started grimly and was getting worse as it wore on. I’d not long started therapy and was trying various things to counteract it, trying to get my mind and body occupied. I was determined to say no to my mind while it threatened to overrun me.
I was halfway through my first suicidal thought, when from nowhere came an image in my mind. Five talentless Spice Girls, all in a row, smiling, giggling, with their palms outstretched in front of them, screeching : –
“Stop right now, thank you very much, I need somebody with a human touch now.”
My initial thought was “Where the hell did that come from??!!” But, for whatever reason, the suicidal thought dissipated. All of a sudden, I felt a tiny bit better so made a mental note of trying to do that with every self critical or other negative reflection I had.
The next time, a short while later that day, up they came again, doing their Stop routine from that classic Scorsese film, Spiceworld. Once more it worked. The negative vibe went. I smiled to myself and became curious. Why?
I began to look at things from another slant. These five women clearly knew that they were far from great singers, couldn’t play a note of any instrument, and had dance moves more wooden than the set of Crossroads.
They also must have realised they were just another angle for other, extremely rich people already, to become even richer. To be more of a PR machine than a pop group.
But why did they have to care? They were young (maybe apart from one), were seeing the world, riding the crest of a wave of teenage and junior school popularity, so never had to take themselves seriously. They could, and did, just enjoy the ride, and earn more money than they could ever spend in the process.
No wonder they were always so confident, always so happy, always so positive. Dammit, I even fancied the pants off Ginger. It was those green suede knee high boots that probably did it. Or that she was very likely older than me.
I re-evaluated myself, and I saw that I was wrong all those years ago. Sure, they were musically woefully inadequate, but they were relentlessly cheerful and positive, and showing you can achieve anything, no matter what anyone said or thought about you.
And thanks to them now, that terrible dance in the poor video from a dire film, their ‘positivity’ has become a constantly successful tool in my daily battle with negative thinking. As far as I’m concerned, they’ve kept me sane.
I’ll say Viva Forever to that.