World Mental Health Day, 2013

Goddammit, I was doing really well for a minute there! I was proactive, I was writing, I even went to the gym and bought salad. Then it all went slowly into shit.sticker,375x360.u2

It happens. Shit happens. And as I see the hastags for WMHD2013, I realise that whilst I may be under the Black Dogs Paw for a while, it’s not as heavy as some. But it’s there..just a bit.

 

I don’t think it’s depression, or at lest, I don’t like calling it depression. I think that’s a disservice to people who lives are destroyed by it. It’s just a little moment of the blues, a dead duck day, the curse of being eccentirc and outgoing 90% of the time, but still feeling like you’re alone in a full room the rest. See, whilst I’m lying in bed refusing to believe there’s a world outside of my duvet, my cat, and the closed curtains, I really don’t want to kill myself. I like my life! I like my duvet, my cat, and my closed curtains. The problem is I like them too much for about two weeks solid.

 

It almost always happens in September. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the changing seasons, the rough ride from the world being doused in yellow (well, as much yellow as you can get from an English summer) rays to surrounded by brown and orange (never anyone’s favourite colour scheme. It reminds me of curtains in 80’s primary schools)

But I sit and look at what I’m doing, and realise I need a change. A ‘real’ job. A holiday. A boyfriend. A new business. This always leads to trouble.

 

I apply for jobs, fuzzily filling in the 7 year gap with ‘Freelancing’ and ‘Volunteering’ and ‘Work Break for Family reasons’. I then send it to positions well below or well above my paygrade. I start with the admin assistants; realise way too many people are going to go for that job, so I humbly work down to switchboard operators. Then I decide that minimum wage isn’t for me, so I head up to CEO. I get invited for zero interviews (because, ultimately, no one ever got a job from applying on job sites. Imagine how many hundreds of emails must they get? Whatever happened to walking into a temp agency, smiling and giving a bright hello before they think ‘Yeah, that’s our gal!’ Instead, you have to get your whole personality over in 2 sheets of A4. How depressing.) and go back to bed for another two weeks.

 

Slowly but surely, my finances drain. This leads to even more duvet time – or an overwhelming desire to just spend, spend, spend! Cos.. y’know…YOLO!

Yes, yolo. That one phrase that ensures countless of skint OAPs in the years to come. So I buy a holiday, something to look forward to. Last year it was a trip to the West Coast of America. A road trip down the Pacific coast highway! Yeah-boi! We were gonna be Californian girls and hit the surf! Only when the time actually came, it was the last thing I wanted to do. A script still had to be written for the show, sketches for another show. I was celebrating my friends 30th the day we left -during which I’d had a massive row with the girl I was going with – and had to go straight to Edinburgh from the flight home.

All of which made for 2 weeks of..well… regret, really. It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, but booked in haste whilst the September black dog panted over my shoulder.

 

Speaking of panting, that leads me to my third ridiculous coping strategy – dating. I decide ‘No-one loves me!’ so I scrape the depths of dating sites and wonder a) Why the hell no one is replying to my pithy messages and b) Just where the hell are these guys going to find the Supermodel with a PhD they so obviously desire. I quickly grow bored/infuriated/sorry for the girls who actually reply to the more moronic messages (and, indeed, the men who send them) and just go for a date with the first sucker who can string a sentence together.

 

I realise 5 minutes in this whole evening is going to be a bit of a chore, as they’re looking at me with a mixture of pity and regret, we both get smashed to make things run smoother, end up in bed, I die in the morning, and try to explain that I have a hangover the size of Mount Fuji and morning breath that’ll kill a man at 20 paces. So romantic. I never hear from them again.

 

So I figure the best way to get out into the world, make some cash, and possibly meet the Neil Gaimen to my Amanda Palmer, is to be an entrepreneur! To start a new venture. It’s always awesome, something no-one’s done before. It’ll be the best because it’s so in demand. There’s a whole world out there who needs this, I promise! Then, when it fails to take over the world and land me on the front of Time magazine in two weeks, I’ve failed (I haven’t)

This means the world to people! (It doesn’t)

They’re relying on me to make it good! (They’re not)

I totally fucked up (I haven’t)

There’s no coming back from this (There is. It’s not gone anywhere)

My whole reputation is ruined (It’s not. I don’t really have one)

So..back to the duvet.

 

I kind of have to go through all of these things to come out the other end and realise it’s OK to fuck up. It’s OK to just want to turn it off, as long as you turn it back on again. Really, there’s things that I need to keep myself buoyant. I need to excersise. I need to eat right. I need to be a bit creative now and again. And I need to sit down and start typing. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse of my mind. The four things that’ll make everything stop, and go back to normality. Also the four hardest things to do in the world at that time.

 

But having a blog helps. Just sitting and writing a stream on consciousness like this is a way to start. I’ll make a cup of tea, and move on to the next Well Overdue Thing To Do. And good friends. I know I can call on mine to shake me into a pro-active writing session, a swim, or bully me back to some slimming club we’ll join for approximately 3 weeks.

 

So wherever you are on the scale, and whatever you might be doing right now – whether it’s taking over the world or sitting in your pyjamas – there’s always help. I’m not an expert, but I see so many supportive sites, schemes and societies out there that I think that should I fall, there’ll be someone out there to catch me.

 

 

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One Response to “World Mental Health Day, 2013”

  1. Stacey Says:

    Isn’t it funny, I’m feeling exactly the same. Like you I always get a bit blue this time of year, mainly because my birthday is in September and I always start questioning what I haven’t achieved.

    It’s easy for us to focus on the negatives isn’t it? No boyfriend, no ‘proper job’, skint, Yadda Yadda Yadda..and yet…let’s not forget who we are. We are strong women with a wealth of life experience. We are good people, we are surviving.

    You, in particular are making a difference. You are highlighting what us working girls do, and bringing a positive slant to it. You are making people laugh and think. And that in itself is a gift.

    So, any guy who doesn’t want you? His loss. Anyone who doesn’t want to employ you? You have had a lucky escape. Not being a size 10? Who wants to shag a stick anyway?

    Eat cake and stay fabulous.

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