An Empty Pot…
We all have good days. We all have bad days. But on the whole most days are average and go by unnoticed. We awake, rise, plod through our routines, eat, watch TV, maybe chat to friends, go to bed, sleep. We get little highs, and little lows, but days, by and large, life and it’s grind goes by without any significant events.
No one upsets you, you upset no one. You bring a little light into the lives of people you touch by smiles, hellos and goodbyes. You hold a door for someone. Someone maybe catches the lift doors so you can jump in. The world, whilst not being an eternal endless beach party, is not a dark and lonely place.
For some people it is not like that. To some people, those average days are the good days. To some, those days when someone smiles at them, and they can smile back and mean it, are the days of endless summer. And, to them, the bad days that others have are the average days, and worse their bad days are horrible. Those days gnaw at their bones, close them in, lock them inside a bubble of hell that closes in, squashing their personality, changing them, making them into something smaller than themselves and turning them into something that they don’t want to be.
Lately I have been having a couple of good days. Good for me. Average for you…the sort of day where you get your jobs done, and you sit and relax and just not think about the day – just another day. But these last couple of days were the days of wine and roses for me. Days when I thought was getting better. But then I get a day like today. And I realise that I am not. Back to square one.
Today is a day when I feel like everyone and everything is closing in on me. That there is too much to do, that I can’t even think of how to tackle it all. I have paperwork to fill in, jobs to do, work to get on with, but I can’t face it. I can’t face other people, because all I do is upset them. I don’t want anyone around me as I will just be horrible and snappy at them and then that will make me feel worse about me.
It’s taken me long enough to bring myself to write this, and I am doing it because after I have written I feel a lot better. This writing, you see, is cathartic for me. Unburdening myself. Like the feeling I got in Afghan when taking off the body armour at the end of a patrol. Of a weight lifting. Which is why I have to do it.
I’ve been horrible this morning. No patience. Everyone has been in my way. Too much is on my mind, too much is going round – and none of it will sort itself out. The cloud of depression doesn’t allow any clarity of thought. It masks the solutions that everyone else can see. The worst thing about it is the realisation, just a minute later of what you have done. You know that you have irrationally snapped. The facade has fallen and you have exploded and made whatever situation you were in a million times worse – worse for others involved, but the impact upon yourself…the realisation, the hate, the anger. The feeling that you can’t go on like this any more, but that there is nothing you can do about it.
The feeling that you are ‘Slip Sliding Away’ as Paul Simon put it. It’s funny how when you are depressed that you can see somethings so clearly – but find it impossible to see other things. My depression has allowed me to see when things are about depression. I see art and hear music and know that the artist was feeling the same way as me. That the deep melancholy they suffered is the same as mine. I see that so much. It is often the only time I will smile at a thought of my own.
A knowing sniff and hunch of the shoulders. And a thought that is comforting for a second – I am not alone. Someone else felt this way. But then that resonance is broken and I am stuck in that internal world again. I am trapped; voiceless, expressionless. Like I want to scream and shout, but the words…the words don’t come. Not even a guttural sound. Nothing is inside you. And it certainly isn’t able to come out.
An empty pot makes the most noise they say…