Denial of Mental Illness

When I was about 15, one of our teachers (maybe Mr Pinnock – Economics) told us that by the age of forty (or something like that), twenty-five percent of the people in that room would have received psychiatric help for some kind of mental illness, and I remember thinking ‘that is not going to be me’.

And it was not.

I have held on to that thought my whole life. I have looked at my behaviour, my moods, my rants and raves and thought ‘not me’. And it has prevented me from seeking help. And still, as I type this. I am thinking ‘no, I am not going to confess to being mentally ill. I am just not.’

I believe in the power of belief. I believe that I am what I think I am. I believe that if I believe that I am mentally well, then that is what I am. And it stops me from talking about my mental states. And I can feel myself resisting the urge to talk about them now.

‘Not me.’

Right now = I feel down. I feel dark. I feel dull. But I know that these will pass. By tomorrow, or the day after, I will feel up, light and sharp. I always do. I just ride up and down these waves. I dip and I crest. Nothing new.

So in a sense, there is nothing to tell you. This is a no-story post. Except that it’s Christmas, and those around me have to cope with me. They have to cope with my silence. They have to deal with the blank expression on my face. They have to come to terms with my terse replies. And I cannot imagine that it is easy for them.

And yes, I know that I should ‘snap out of it’, and I know that I could if I wanted to. But I do not. I am waiting.

For what?

For the mood to lift all by itself.

Ha, I just noticed the ‘Grammarly Tone Detector’ at the bottom of this text I am typing. It comes in the form of an emoticon. When I hover over it I see the text I get a message: ‘Here’s how your text sounds: Sad.’

So there you go. Enough said. Mission accomplished.

Merry Christmas.

When Love is not Love

I am not concerned for myself but when I think of all the twinkies out there who are hanging these words as sung by Justin B then … well, actually – I am still not concerned.

‘Cause if you like the way you look that much
Ohhhh baby you should go and füçk yourself
And if you think that I’m still holdin’ on to somethin’
You should go and füçk yourself.

Today, I went to the top of the hill and screamed her name into the wind – just to see if it felt like she said it should. It didn’t. She and I inhabit different worlds.

JB Has To Go

Reading serious literature lights me up. Darkness does the same. I went to the river at midnight with a torch. I took a book.

Better to be out in the dark and know I was there than to wake up in the morning and not know. Not remember.

Sitting reading in a corner. Tall fences behind me, but far enough behind me that that I could not have heard a voice from the other side.

I heard a voice.

I knew that there was no-one there. I would have seen them walking. Even wrapped up in the tiny pool of light, alone with the book – I would still have seen them.

The voice told me that JB has to go. I start preparations now.

Giving In

There is night time and then there is darkness. My nights are shrouded by something blacker than the absence of sun.

They call it impulse control. I have none. I am giving in. There are urges that I do not understand. I do know that these impulses call to me under the cover of night. I do not remember what they tell me. I just hear the echoes of their whispers.

You do not want to experience waking up in the morning on the sofa with no clothes on. It is not appropriate for the climate. My skin was blue. A hot shower helped with the shivering but the rusty-looking water falling into the bath disturbed me.

Then there is the matter of the washing machine. I needed to wash towels. The machine was already full. I did not fill it. I did not wash those clothes. I did not empty the detergent so that there was only enough for these towels.

Why is the machine making this grinding noise? What is caught in the mechanism?

I need to watch myself more closely. But how?

If Justin Bieber Were to Die

There is a darkness in Justin Beiber’s  eyes. He claims that he is not afraid to die. What if he were to disappear into his own darkness and never again emerge? Should we mourn or should we say that he has gone to a place where he feels more at home. I pray that he loves himself more than he seems to. It would be a shame if the dark and lonely path he is on ends in silence.

The Fall

If I had a pill to take away the shadows …

It happened again last night. I almost never used to dream. Just a scatter of shattered images in shades of red and black. I tried to turn on the light but it became darker.

If I could only take a sweet medicine …

The shine of her eyes with the mask of my face reflected in them. She seemed to want it even more than I did. She didn’t struggle. Her face haunts my dreams more often now.

If there was some way to stop.

This is a darker dance. We turn gracefully, now with eyes closed and fall in slow-motion as the floor swallows us. Pray you never experience the fall. Pray hard my friend.

Sleepwalking in the Dark

I begin to suspect that I am a sleepwalker.

When I showered this morning I found a dark-brown substance crusted around my fingernails and deep scratches on my face. Part of me hopes that the two are directly related, but the fact that I have no nails speaks to some other explanation.

I have no memory of anything but deep, dreamless sleep.

I trust you understand me.

After Midnight

The bang in the study was late tonight. It is usually midnight when I hear that crack in the corner of the room. It was later than that as I sat on the bed waiting for the noise.

When it came it echoed strangely in my head. It took me back to when it started.

Her skull was more fragile than you would have thought. Who would have believed that there could have been so much blood.

When I open my eyes and see her again I lick my lips. I see her again. And the corner says ‘broken, broken, broken.’