Thursday, 2 March 2017

A Short Memoir Of Feeling Better

Two days ago I had one of my now legendary down days. I couldn't see the positive in anything and I had to sit, basically chained to my desk, and contemplate all of this negativity and a level of pointlessness that would have Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman spontaneously combusting. It was the purest, most wretched agony. But if I'm quick to always tell you about that either on my social media accounts or on these pages, then I think it is only fair that I throw you a quick few words on how things don't always have to be that way. You know, in the interests of balance and all that.

It is rather strange that today I feel better than I can remember feeling in a long time. On your average working day I mean. I am usually a whole lot chirpier at weekends, or if Emma and I are away somewhere during the week or if I'm out boozing with friends from home or work. Today though, today is just an ordinary day when all of the same things that whirred around and around in my head and made me miserable on Tuesday are exactly as they were then. And yet I feel fine, better than fine maybe. Although maybe we shouldn't push it.

This started last night. I said something passably funny on Facebook. All of which may not seem significant, but I could not have come up with it on Tuesday. You can't crack weak but undeniably funny gags about disability when it's a down day. You can't be all you can be or any of that positivity fascist bullshit. It's all you can do to get through the day, which I did and by the end I even found myself in a fair enough mental state to enjoy the utterly glorious pancakes that Emma made. There's another religious festival I've stolen from the God Botherers while I continue to chortle at them for their faith in their all-powerful imaginary friend.

By the way if you are interested the joke was about International Wheelchair Day which, believe it or not is A Thing. Every year on March 1, like St David's day. It's when wheelchair users 'celebrate the positive impact that their wheelchair has on their daily lives'. So I made a joke about celebrating the positive impact that a kick in the bollocks has on your daily life on International Kick In The Bollocks Day. Trust me, it was funny. There were people laughing in baths and everything. I get what are trying to do with this but if you asked the average wheelchair user whether said wheelchair has a positive impact on their lives or whether they feel like they just get on with life in spite of it then I think you would get a pretty mixed response. Tellingly, not many wheelchair users found it funny so maybe I touched a nerve with some. I can only speak for myself and I can't see how my wheelchair has positively impacted my life in any way since I was about 14. Everything I have done, which isn't much since I'm a depressed frustrated writer working in a low-level admin job, has been done despite my disability not because of it. You could argue that I wouldn't have had wheelchair basketball without my disability (although that is not strictly true now that able bodied people are perfectly free to get involved providing they can get their hands on a wheelchair) but the flip side of that of course is that I would have had football and rugby league and....oh I don't know, climbing trees and stealing birds eggs like a pre-pubescent shitbag does. Or used to before X-Box Live.

Anyway, just because I feel better I don't want you to think that I'm crowing about having conquered depression. I'm fairly certain that it will come back and bite me on the arse again soon but for now I'm just going to try and enjoy the break that it is giving me. Besides, everyone's depression is different. What works for me may not work for others and so forth and there are very varying degrees of it all of which have various effects on the individual sufferer. I think my own depression is merely the absence of delusion. I know that there are certain things about life that are utterly, irretrievably shite but if I can convince myself that it doesn't really matter and that I can be happy anyway then I'll feel like I do today. Considerably better. But if I can't, if I remember all of that negative stuff and dwell on it and let it consume me then I get days like Tuesday and the others I have written about here, some of which was powerful enough to upset some people. Funny that, you don't realise when you are mashing away at your keyboard that what you are writing might make someone else feel sad or anything. That's another thing about depression though. When it's got you it's all about you and there are very few boundaries in terms of what you think you can or cannot say out loud or write on these pages. Depression effects the filter.

So there we go. Short but sweet this one and I'm sure you will agree a pleasant diversion from the kind of incessant moaning about disability issues that normally goes on in Memoirs Of A Fire Hazard. I hope you enjoyed it in any case because who knows? Tomorrow I could be face down on my desk refusing to speak to anyone who tries to convince me that I should be happy that it's Friday. And even if I'm not depressed tomorrow I still have the bittersweet chore of watching Saints at home to Wakefield to look forward to in the evening. Have you seen Saints play recently? If you are prone to depression you perhaps shouldn't bother.....

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