There was a period at some point on Saturday night where I stare out in front of me and couldn’t see anything. Not the people around me, not the busy pub surrounding I was slap bang in the middle of, not even two of my very best friends who had especially come up to see me this past weekend. Nothing.
Just a blur.
This wasn’t an issue with vision, beyond my own typical narrow minded bleakness of the sort that prevents me writing for lengthy periods of time due to sheer unwelcome self-loathing. This was my old friend, manic depression, making its self all too present and known – not just to me, but no doubt anybody around me who saw my suddenly no doubt sunken, haunted miserable fissog.
The day itself had started well – a glorious sunny day, my tidying all done by 11am, Liza Tarbuck and Adam Buxton entertaining me on Radio 2, my friends were en route and I even had a new Cookie Monster T-shirt to wear. And when people arrived, it was a lot of fun – banter, beer and burgers – the sort of thing people like me are easily sated by.
Some could blame the alcohol in question as an expedient on my depression and they may have a point although the blank, blind moment which opened this piece of self-aggrandizing prose misery came in a period I had given up on drinking in lieu of pop due to a rather sudden, pounding headache for which seemingly not one of the fifty or so human beings within the same space as me had any Paracetamol which they could lend.
The headaches have been more frequent this year. I’m led to believe it’s a side effect from thinking too much but you don’t have to be Dr Richard Donkey (from Shrek 2) to know this is a load of rubbish. Regardless, when I think of the medication I take for my depression, it’s always in terms of slowing down the endless thoughts that endlessly flitter through my brain rather than perking my mood up any.
There was a period between 2006 and 2007 where I wrote a lot of material. Several radio series, a blog, an aborted novel, sketches for other people’s radio programmes. Being a professional mental self-harmer, I don’t think that much to a deal of this work but none the less it seems to be a body of work that has defined who I am as a writer. My personal John Barrowman-obsessed The Catcher In The Rye by definition if not quality.
Ever since then, I seem to have been endlessly trying to catch up – or more specifically, bother myself to be interested enough in making more of it. Its why this blog died, why my most recent podcast series collapsed after three episodes and the real reason I didn’t bother contributing to the open door BBC7 show pretty much begging for the sort of jokes I was writing.
And this failure just produces more stress which in turn loops me back to the beginning for an endless spiral of nothingness which is occasionally redirected into useless blog posts like this one, which 95% of the 30 or so readers will have already given up on before they made as far as the Dr Richard Donkey line. The added fact that the man I would bounce my ideas off with wont even even answer an email from me now is just icing on an already ruined cake.
I panic even more that the high level of material I wrote was for the majority before I started getting treatment for the depression, which makes me think I should give up on it. I’m still depressed so why not just surf it on the off-chance I write something possibly useful? After all, I tell anyone asks that I’m a “writer”, not a “mentally ill unemployed bum”. Or better still, “suicidal wreck”.
I’ve worked how I’ll do it though. Rope from the banister. I figure the wood’s bad enough that if I change my mind midway, I can probably just break it off. I think about all the books and DVDs I bought that I’ve not got round to yet. Are they worth the wait? Will my life be saved by “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”? Or finally bothering to watch Sam Raimi’s “Crimewave”?
I hate that feel so bloody lonely surrounded by people I know. Together alone. If anything, this weekend has reminded me with painful clarity how little I enjoy being on my own. I don’t like the company, for one.
This is what goes on my head when you see me staring into space.
The blur. The blur is everything.
And it’s killing me.
Its Happiness Patrol time again – a 30 minute mix of upbeat, happy nonsense that you may or may not have heard before. Thanks to everyone (and I mean ‘one’ – Christopher Bate, a gentleman as always) who gave feedback on the last one. Its been a lot of fun finding the tracks to put in. So download, play tonight before you go out – or maybe Monday on the gruelling trek to work – or Christmas Day as the kids open their meat hampers – and (hopefully) enjoy.
Tracklist as before in the comments box.
Things you don’t expect to see at the bottom of your road #813: A Hog Roast Machine
Apparently the pub just round the corner did a special hog roast raising money for Sport Relief on Saturday. Quite how eating mass amounts of roasted hog flesh is promoting the healthy values of the BBC’s third most boring extended telethon is beyond me but hey, at least its not fucking karaoke. Again…
Picked up a copy of Stuart Maconie‘s “Adventures On The High Teas” today in ASDA for a rather oddly-priced £3.86 (Or 2 for £7 but the rest was dreary romantic fiction or stomach-churning grisly murders, both real and fictional. Oh and of course “Tragic Life Stories” such as “It Doesn’t Go In There Daddy”, “When Tickle Fights Go Wrong” and “We Need To Talk About Fingering”…) but was extremely bemused by the additional sticker added to the front cover…of Maconie‘s face.
“Hmm, its alright I suppose but what could we give it to push it just that little bit further?”
“How about a big not especially flattering photograph of Maconie’s face?”
“Brilliant! And put it over the quote too so no-one knows what he’s as wise as!”
“Is it Hitler, sir?”
“We’ll never know, underling. We’ll never know…”
Although for those interested, its actually “as wise as Sara Crowe”. Thanks..
For those three and a half people concerned, I probably wont be doing any further Saturday Six compilations. It was supposed to be an easy posting for the weekend but I felt I needed to do each track justice with a good write-up – and I am rotten at reviewing things, especially things I like. What I have done though to fill the Ben pop gap in your souls is revived my old mix compilation “brand” The Happiness Patrol, which attempts to bring cheer for the week ahead with upbeat tunes you may or may not have heard of.
The very first of this new run is available right now!