Counting blessings

grievingI’m back at work.

Well, I’m back working. A few months. Blessed income, blessed progress, blessed not sitting at home bored or – worse – sinking into myself. And it’s a job I’ve done before, in a place I’ve worked before, and it’s a nice place and nice people and it’s no stress, no stress at all. Collect papers, sit. Punch numbers into database. File papers. Repeat.

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‘lexa

This last episode was horrible.

I mean they all are, obviously. I wonder if they’re getting worse or I just forget, each time, how brutal and cold they are.

Anyway.

I thought I’d share a memory from it.

It’s not a happy memory, which you could probably have assumed given I was suicidally depressed at the time. But it’s a memory which plays on me still, and it’s typical experience that anyone who has been through severe depression will probably relate to.

I thought I’d share it. As catharsis, maybe? For education? Because misery loves company?

I dunno.

It haunts me, this memory. This memory is grey, and cruel. It makes me feel cold, shameful, angry.

Just like depression.

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Tang!

I’m re-discovering food.

Most people with serious depression stop eating when they’re ill, but I have the fattening version. I turn into a fun mashup stereotype of ‘gay man eating his feelings with ice cream’ and ‘batchelor surrounded by pizza’. Neither of these are stereotypes I aspire to but here we are.

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And flying I still will not move

I’m rushing.

I’m rushing and it’s beautiful.

Beautiful like fire and lashing rain and thunder and howling howling wind, I’m rushing and it’s beautiful and it’s taking my breath away.

Thank Christ at last I’m rushing and it’s beautiful, rather than hell.

Ideas whip into my head and hardly settle before being picked up spun around, turned about; impatient with myself and the world, plans that come to half a page of scribbled lines. And it feels good it feels good, you have no idea.

I want to just stay dancing in this whirlwind and laugh, and enjoy the storm.

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Horrorscope

“It always seems to be spring, with you”

Dad had stopped slicing potatoes for dinner and looked at me, old eyes wary and full of care. We don’t often talk like this – about this – but today it’s inescapable. Sent home from work, nearly to A&E. Out of a job, again. Bedraggled in trousers and a creased blue shirt, work lanyard still hanging from my collar. It had all been going so well.

“You’re right”

I’d been thinking the same. Past few years, it’s hit or accelerated in spring.

“Ever since you were 14”

Jesus. I’d not thought back that far.


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Rice paper

I’m not doing great. The world’s a scary place and right now I keep thinking of the kids, keep getting scared for them, for the future, their future.

Being scared don’t do anything, does it? Silly Phil.

Nor does ignoring it all. But at least ignoring it all you get to live a happy life. Get to live a life.

And I think too much about these things, get to thinking what’s the point, get to thinking those same old dark dark thoughts. Who wants to watch the world burn, after all?

I shouldn’t think those dark dark thoughts, I’m told.

How is it life can be so brutally real yet so rice paper thin?

In the terrible dawn of grief you see the world stripped bare of stories, stripped bare of distractions and you want to laugh, or scream, or beat your fists against the chests of other humans and howl that it’s all dust and whispers and all these lives we build up and tear down and worry and fear and hope over are just stories we tell ourselves to distract from the gaping truth that we’re all just words spoken briefly by the world then lost with breath on the wind.

The world at once so brutally real yet rice paper thin.

I worry over things I can’t change, I’ll never be able to change, watching a humanity careening closer and closer to environmental ruin and social destruction and I worry, I worry over the future my future, their future. Silly Phil.

Sometimes I can blot it out, it takes effort and a few magic tricks but sometimes I can, but not right now. Not as the world looks set to burn.

I’m not doing great. The world’s a scary place right now and I’m not doing great.