How not to be a dick to your loved ones


It’s amazing how much energy I expend these days in the simple act of trying not to be an utter penis to the people I love.

You wouldn’t think it would be too difficult to be nice to people.¬†Unfortunately I spend so much time locked inside my own head that sometimes it’s a genuine herculean effort. And I’m exhausted, which doesn’t help.

How do you tell your best mates that you’d rather cut your ears off with a spoon than spend the evening with them? Not because they’ve done anything wrong, but because you just need some time alone.

Currently I’m resting up at my parents’ house for a while, as the white-knuckle fear and soaring adrenaline edge of my moods seems to have given way to complete and utter exhaustion. I got so over-tired I stopped being able to sleep or eat, which for someone who can usually happily inhale all ten slices of a large Dominos pizza in one sitting, means serious trouble. I needed looking after.

After a few sleeping pill aided nights of rest I feel less like I’m stumbling through Dante’s seventh circle of hell, but as far as functioning like a normal human being goes, I’m not up to much. In the immortal words of Bernard Black; I can feel bits of my brain falling away like a wet cake.

So I find myself in the unfortunate position of trying to be grateful for the avalanche of love and kindness bestowed upon me by my lovely parents – who cut a holiday short to look after me – while battling searing rage and frustration at my situation, and frazzled, sleep-deprived nerve endings. Translation? I’m being a big ol’ bitch to those that care about me the most.

And as for my friends, I’m in touch with a select few over the phone and am keeping the rest at a distance with a metaphorical ten-mile pole. Because, the way I am at the moment, the only way to not be a dick to my loved ones, is to stay away from them.

Hopefully given time and further rest I’ll be less grizzly bear and more fluffy bunny. Until then, I’m staying in my box.

Panic on the central line


I must have taken hundreds, if not thousands, of trips on the London Underground. I’ve endured sweaty mornings on the northern line with my nose wedged into a strangers armpit. I’ve sat through thirty minute spells of being trapped underground between stations, nonchalantly flicking through the Metro, bored, but not distressed. I can’t count the number of times I’ve queued for ages in a hot, boisterous crowd to get onto an escalator and back above ground, without batting an eyelid.

Yet when I’ve been sick with depression a mere seven minute journey on the tube is enough to catapault me into the most extreme stages of hysteria. My mouth turns to sawdust, suddenly it’s like an otter is lodged in my thoat; I can’t breathe, I sweat, shiver, choke and the walls begin closing in. Going underground literally feels like being held underwater.

My ability to join the rest of my city’s rat-race rabble in the daily scramble to get from A to B wasn’t something I ever questioned, until it disappeared. Now I think about those lucky buggers skipping about beneath the pavements, narrowly avoiding getting shoved off the platform by a fellow commuter, or trapping their skull in a closing door, and strange as it might sound I can’t believe how good they have it.

I’m learning that it’s not a right to be able to go about your day without giving a second thought to how you’re going to get through that bus journey without having a meltdown, or how you’ll figure out which platform to change trains at without crying. It’s a privilege. And the ability to navigate your way through mildly stressful situations is something you completely take for granted until it’s gone.

So the next time I descend into the pungent depths of London’s underground transport network and make it through the journey in one piece, I’ll know for sure that I’m kicking depression in the balls. I’ll be ecstatic to once again be just like any other nutter that chooses to leave the comfortable oxygen levels and safety of the world above ground, for an overcrowded, subterranean train that smells like wee.

I can’t bloody wait.