a particularly petulant post

I feel battered by my life, my history. I used to feel rather fiercely proud that I was never one of those people who declared they’d never trust again, or love again; nowadays I feel as though I’m sitting in a particularly muddy trench, clutching an inadequate pisspot helmet and weeping. I’m not blaming anyone for it, it’s circumstance and happenstance and my own egregious mismanagement of it all. Plenty of people have endured far, far worse than I have and emerged victorious. Me, I’m tired and frightened and I have zero faith or hope for the future.

Last February, some of you literally pulled me through a month full of grief. This February will be the third anniversary of my mother’s death, and shrink two tells me it’s a more than adequate reason to be feeling so fucked up and broken now. I’m as moody as an adolescent, I’m tired, I’m tired, I’m so fucking tired.

I messaged shrink two on Sunday to update her about a couple of side effects and a little light self harm. She replied today saying she’ll find out the fastest way to get me on to olanzapine via the public healthcare sector, so it’ll be farewell clozapine soon. I feel zero hope in that direction too.

Most of my 45 years have been depressed ones – that is not an exaggeration. I’ve tried a lot of medication and meditation and in general, I’ve fought it hard. The last four or five years though…. I think they can be filed as ‘the last straw’.

Ag actually, whatever.


Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen and Melvyn Bragg share stories of how literature can help with mental health problems.

Stephen Fry on depression and  bipolar disorder

Fry chose two poems that have helped him in dark times: John Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale” and Philip Larkin’s “Aubade”.

Keats’s poem was written the year after his brother Tom died of tuberculosis, and Keats was anxious about his own health. Larkin’s poem was written towards the end of his life, when he struggled with writer’s block.

“Oddly enough, they do [cheer me up]. I suppose it’s because there’s an authenticity about them. They have really been to places that I’ve been, but they’ve made something of it, something permanent and remarkable. Two incredible poems.”

Go here for online courses.

I’m not going to commit suicide

There’s another aspect to the general concept of not talking about suicide, and that’s the total freakout that sometimes ensues. I’ve been told very clearly on more occasions that I care to remember, not to mention suicide.

I can’t listen to this,
You shouldn’t have said it.

One person just said I can’t, and stormed off.

Funny thing is, none of those who reacted that way to me have had any experience with it beyond that. And I haven’t threatened suicide dammit, I’ve said

I want to die,
I don’t want to be alive,
I can’t cope with life.

Those are not statements of intent. The upshot of negative reactions is me keeping quiet about those things. It’s a nasty, twisted, frightening, lonely, painful silence too. And now even I feel selfish, petulant, fraudulent about the fact that all I want is an ending. There is no fucking empirical evidence for any of it getting better and while there’s no evidence the other way either, I do have a solid 45yrs of experience that says I’m worn the fuck right out and that the odds of a vastly improved future just aren’t encouraging.

I’m sick to the gills of the slogans too –

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

No. It’s a desperate act in the face of a  hell that, frankly, you might not ever be able to understand.

It’s just a cry for help.

Oh yeah baby that’s it, it’s just a cry for help from a society that thinks crying = weakness. Strangely, the very society that sees suicidality as weakness, sees failed suicide attempts as weakness too.

Here’s what I want. I want assisted suicide to be option, a safe and careful one. And not only for those with allegedly more noble and valid physical issues either, I’d like society to admit that we the mentally neurobiologically ill also have the capacity to measure our own pain against our quality of life.

Or, you know, as I’ve said about 45481845 times already, how about working on some better palliative care for us, so that suicide would be less of an issue in the first place?

I’m not going to commit suicide. It’s 04h17 and I’m going to the beach.

clockwise round mt eyelash

My first ever counselling psychologist (shoowahhh maaaan back round the millennium, on the toes of Table Mountain) said some things that stuck (to my hungry, velcro ego)…

“in primitive times you’d have been called something like old – woman – who – carries – the – sorrow, and people would go to you, to tell you their pain so you could hold it for them”

“you’re like a redcoat on an African ridge, standing up saying, ‘shoot here chaps‘”

He was a sharp and compassionate man, and he lost me completely around the time he asked if I’d considered drumming as a way of getting in touch with myself. Nuh uh, negative and nope to that – but I’d invested a fair amount in chemicals to get out of touch. Such warm and pretty escapes, so many of them. Such horrible, rusty, jagged edges around it all, behind it all. So blurry and bleary and faraway now. I am so very fucking tired. Hold your own sodding pain and what’s more, fire at will.

I’ve self harmed twice in the past few weeks, both times in the afternoons, when the chemical safety net has dropped suddenly. Shrink one suggested splitting the dose, which helps. Well, it helps to keep me sedated longer and a little more gently. The chemical cosh, amirite?

Self pity is ugly. I know. I know.

truths too far

How does it feel?

Well it feels like… *insert all the things here*

Oh I know those feels, we all have those feels, amirite? Because we all have feels, for reals; we’re all in it together matey, licketty split in our rickety ship.


We’re not.

That’s like saying that you understand psoriasis because you have skin… Telling a guitar that you know how it feels to be highly strung… I crafted a simile for you back there bruh, that’s all.

Ask me again.

How does it feel?

It’s impossible to describe, but I really do appreciate the fact that you care enough to ask.

And if you please…

Can we just respect each other’s pain without this seemingly global driving need to claim the other’s for ourselves and then fix it by redefining it.

Ask me.

How are you feeling?

I feel the need to preface my answer by telling you that this isn’t a threat, just a statement (a weather report, if you will) – I don’t want to be alive. Oh dear, I shouldn’t have said that, I should never say that. Yes I hear you…. It freaks you right out, it’s unfair on you, it breaks your heart, it’s not a rational conclusion, it’s selfish, it’s… It’s all of that and more and now you’re hurting too. Ah I’m sorry, I’m sorry. You care because you love me and I open up because I love you, but this particular conversation only ever has one conclusion. It causes you distress and me loneliness.

I’m sorry.

*old school cassette tape rewind sounds*

How are you feeling?

I’m okay.