Do excuse me bleating on on my blog. It is my blog though. For me it is cathartic to get it all out by prodding at my keyboard. It ain’t self-pity but the first time I have properly acknowledged something. I feel like I need to say it out loud (on the blog) to make it a valid acknowledgment.
I am writing the following to try and share what it is like to be in apparent outward control yet in reasonably significant inner-turmoil.
No one has ever accused me of being sympathetic or understanding about mental health issues and nor should they. I have adhered to the “dry your eyes, Princess” school of thought. Possibly incorrectly as it turns out.
I seem to be touched – it is inexplicable to me and I remain truly baffled, really really uncomprehending – by lapses of depression. It may have some fancy schmancy name but for me it is feeling completely unmotivated, life is a bit shit, I have made ALL the wrong choices, where am I going, what am I doing etc et-bloody-cetera.
I realise that we all have these thoughts. What distinguishes these for me is that they seem to be able to take a much blacker and more insidious hold on my mind and are not shaken free with a jolly good self talking-to, as has been the habit in the past. “Dry your eyes, Princess” has always worked. And now it doesn’t seem sufficient.
Looking back I can – possibly? – see the roots of this in my seemingly self destructive behaviour over the last 3 years or so. However, this smacks to me of somehow shirking responsibility by citing a 3rd party – my odd mind – as being partly culpable. Shirking responsibility is just not the done thing. If it’s your fault then admit it, apologise and move on. What do you do when it is all from within? Apologise to yourself? Move on from yourself?
I have always despised mental weakness and I view this inability to shake off these feelings as just that. Weakness. I hate being weak but I am also wondering what role, if any, the wretched MS is having and it is totally out of my control. What is worse than being too weak to control things? Reaching out for help when it is tough to even admit to yourself that you cannot control your own mind is hard. I have awful images of annoyingly saccharin “therapists” of some description. Hugs, holding hands, telling your problems and talking about one’s relationship with Mother. Ergh.
I try to get through it by focusing on process and minutiae. This seems to manifest itself in grasping onto and controlling to the n’th degree that things that I can still influence easily. I have a really clean flat, my bike is well serviced and so on and so forth. What I would really like is for the wiring in my brain to reset itself so that my overriding priority was my uni work. Here I am writing this twaddle and there is an essay that I have 3/4 completed avoiding all my attention until I have to cram it all in and rush it. It will be o k but if I had given it sufficient time it would have been awesome.
I had hints of these feelings when I had Only Organic but selling it was a temporary relief. They were much worse when I couldn’t get a meaningful job afterwards and I ate myself up and was quite unpleasant to everyone around me. Especially my then wife. I was snappy towards my daughter and though I tried to appear so I couldn’t really give a toss about others. To try and prove my invincibility (despite having a chronic neurological condition) I got back into smoking roll-ups and it is something I haven’t really shaken since having Only Organic. I exercise as much as I can in an attempt to prove to myself I am unaffected by smoking. I am going to Uni to try and prove to myself that I am not dumb. I try not to seem as if my bad cycling accident affects me much (though I still can’t walk properly nor for very far) and I have a lovely girlfriend (who is ever so kind to me) as I am trying to prove to myself that you can move on when it all crashes down around you. My logical mind approves of all this (not the smoking) yet I just can’t shake the feeling of weakness.
This is the debilitating bit of the mind going to mush. I know what is the right thing to be doing but I can fritter away time doing anything but. I am an olympic gold medallist at diversionary activity.
And now I start to appreciate that maybe it is something insidious inside ones own head that does this. I just can’t be fucked to shave, eat much, do work, or anything. I know I ought to and looking in from the outside it just seems so screamingly obvious. That alone is driving me nuts.
If it wasn’t for the trauma for Heloise the easy way out seems very attractive at times. Argh, he’s going to off himself? Not at present. I was meaning that I’d move into a hut in the wilds of Canada and live there on my own until the money ran out and then do as the Australian Aborigines do and go for a long one-way walk. That’d suit nicely as long as I could get Radio 4 or the World Service in the meantime.
The onset of winter brings the inevitable start of perennial rounds of man-flu. Usually it times itself to coincide w. the start of a holiday, a fact that can be explained by my atheism. It’s a well known fact that God hates us and he/she/it has singled me out to be a particular bastard to. I mean, why wouldn’t he/she/it? Us Atheists are easy targets because there are relatively few of us amongst the population, so it must be a target-rich environment for a vengeful deity.
To ensure I am being totally accurate in my assertion I must check with my favourite Atheist – a Northern farm boy – if he feels similarly picked on. Possibly just a persecution complex of mine but two of us ought to constitute a scientific fact. Any fule knos that.
Let me demonstrate what I mean about bad science: I was asked for a hot-toddy by a colleague the other day and was then upbraided for making it w. boiling water because, and I quote here, “you’ll kill the all the vitamins in the lemon juice”. When I tried to explain that vitamins are a chemical entity and not living things I was met w. a pitying look, a resigned headshake and the pronouncement that it was a well known fact, go look on the internet. That’s me corrected then. I started to protest by invoking boring things like science etc and was then struck by the saying, “Never argue with an idiot as they’ll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” I was going to point out that it is possible to remove the vit-C w. boiling water, but providing one drank said water you’d still get it. The facts are just so boring when they contradict folklore.
Right-ho. Cancelled my tutorial and now need whisky, honey and lemons for hot-toddy. Am off to Google some facts, pray for good health and murder some vitamins.