As it is Children’s Mental Health Week, it is an ideal opportunity to share a guest blog from Jack Kurland who shares the background to his book, The Cat who couldn’t be bothered.
There are often days when I can’t be bothered. To do anything at all. On one of these doing nothing days I managed to draw a visual representation of this feeling, in cat form.
That was the birth of Greg. He represents something I found myself doing at a lot at a time I was struggling with my mental health… It’s frustrating when you ask a friend if they want to join a fun event, activity, or general opportunity to socialise and the response is always an excuse not to, or plainly ‘I can’t be bothered’, especially when it’s well intended. Maybe to try to encourage that person who you know is struggling to go outside into the world and socialise. It can come across and rudeness and/or laziness but trying to do anything at all let alone socialising is overwhelming to someone struggling.
At the same time, I don’t think wanting to do nothing always mean you’re sad. It can be undervalued as a time to recharge, procrastinate. Whilst doing nothing (literally absolutely nothing, just staring into space), I’ve felt these have often been the times the best ideas pop into my head.
It feels like there’s a popular rhetoric that you should say yes to everything that comes your way, see everything as an opportunity. But we also know that if you are depressed or anxious, this can feel impossible.
We’re all well-versed in this topic now, or better-versed at least, but it’s my intention with this book to get the message across to the young reader that: It’s ok to feel sad, and it’s ok to feel like all you can do is nothing. It’s important to notice that, whether it’s you or someone else. To talk, listen, and support those closest to you. To do that you have to share how you feel, and people need ask. Communicating this can feel difficult, so if you recognise someone who’s feeling sad, initiating the conversation, and showing they have support around them can really help.
But I’ve tried to express it through the medium of a seemingly miserable and (hopefully) funny cat called Greg. And there’s a dog urinating on a table, not sure why.