Lets not be silly, I’m not depressed. I’m not a manic depressive. I’m not bi-polar orsuffering from mental illness. I know people who have suffered all of these things and I wouldn’t be as glib to suggest that I was in that particular ball park. But I get very sad sometimes. Melancholic, I am enveloped in ennui.
But then invariably something fabulous happens and I’m bonzer again. But it gives me a glimpse, a squinty eyed view of what it must be to suffer from depression. I feel sometimes like I’m teetering on the edge, but with a hefty harness holding me up. But I can see the bottom. I can feel the slimy tentacles pawing at my ankles. But they can’t quite reach. Because of my friends, my family, my job, my godsons. And food, music, writing. Even The Wire. But to submit, to allow the icy grip to pull you deep into that mire. Well I can barely bring myself to think about that. I can’t bear it.
I get sad, not because of a chemical imbalance in my head, not because of genuine illness, but because of things. Real situations, occurrences. Loss, pain and loneliness. I get sad because I am single, but that’s been largely my choice- certainly recently. And its not being single- I actually love being single- it’s that I haven’t yet found a partner in the truest sense of the word. And it seems a waste. I get sad because I don’t own a nice house, that I am approaching my mid thirties and am renting. But…. I have foregone a steady career and salary to find my little place in the world and do something that I love. Still makes me sad though. My sister makes me sad. And the fact that she won’t let her children see their uncles, auntie and grandparents who love them so very much. And, whisper it softly, I get sad sometimes when I get jealous of the people I love. Because it’s a horrible negative emotion and stems from my human weakness and not from anything they have said or done.
But I don’t want to stay in bed all day. I don’t cry myself to sleep. I don’t wake up wondering if this is the day when I end it all. I LOVE my life in the main- it is creatively fulfilling, rich in humour and love and general japes and I earn enough to keep me in Aviators. And no doubt there will be some of you reading this who think this is self-indulgent twaddle penned by a middle class twit. To which I say of course it is you great steaming turd. Its MY blog and its got my name on it- why would I write about something that interests you. I KNOW that in the great scheme of things I’m doing just fine. But its relative. If you are consumed with sadness, it doesn’t make you feel better to know that someones wife has just died of cancer. Or that there are people dying in floods in Pakistan. You are just sad. And sometimes I think we forget about sadness in the frenzied media maelstrom of depression. Its not going to star in its own documentary, have celebrity officianados or a charity ball. But if you know someone who is a bit sad; phone them now, out of the blue and tell them something stupid. That made you laugh. Invite them to dinner or go round with a pie. Because depression doesn’t get everyone, most can kick up and away from the darkening depths. But sadness. Sadness is universal, omnipotent and there. Just around the corner, like so much London Autumn mist.
What do you eat when you are sad?
I think my ultimate comfort food would be a ham hock- gently simmered in stock for hours until just, JUST clinging to the bone. And then covered from head to foot in creamy, white, old-fashioned parsley sauce. With some overcooked new potatoes to mash in to the resultant mess. And then a WHOLE tinned treacle sponge with a WHOLE tin of ambrosia custard. The sponge must be nuclear hot and the custard fridge cold.