Each generation thinks their parents have screwed up the world. The teen's job is to clean up his parent's mistakes and blame them for being selfish, greedy bastards who just think about themselves and are to blame for the world being a mess, the ice cap melting and the fact that there are no jobs or money because we've spent it all. (On these points they're right on all fronts).
Mental health campaigner and OBE recipient Ruby Wax recently told The Times: "When people say, 'Should you tell them at work?', I say: 'Are you crazy?' You have to lie. If you have someone who is physically ill, they can't fire you. They can't fire you for mental health problems but they'll say it's for another reason. Just say you have emphysema."
If you went down a manhole and sat there in the dark, what's swarming around up there in your brain sums up whom you really are. I'm not saying don't think about redecorating your house but in the big scheme of things the rehaul won't make your experience of the world any different, even in a new chair.
When I wasn't working in the past I'd feel obligated to start cramming myself with information; what disasters are happening in the world war-wise, airplane-crash wise, inflation-wise, hurricane-wise and Jeremy Clarkson-wise; the list is endless. When I don't work I start feeling like, "Dear God, who will want to see me if I don't have news or gossip to spew out?"
I love performing my show, mostly because of the second half where I have the privilege of sitting on stage and letting the audience take over to ask, answer or discuss whatever. For those 20-30 minutes it feels like I'm with my people that we're the same under our fronts with all our vulnerabilities we need to hide.
I've decided, in the deluded spirit of making resolutions in the new year, to try and change an aspect of my lifestyle; I'm going to dip my toe in the water of an attempt to be kind to myself. My problem is I can't tell when I'm being nice to myself and when am I just being a lazy pig, so I never stop with the self-flagellation to keep going. If I thought about what's the greatest thing I could do for myself, I'd tell you it was 'to never have to get out of bed'. I'm my happiest when I have a virus and have an excuse to lie there without the nagging mother in my brain screaming, "Get your ass up and out".
I know I sound nihilistic but I do try to make peace with my pessimism. Even in childhood, my thoughts were never cuddly and warm. They were mostly unforgiving and I know no one is as cruel to me as me. I've always lobbed grenades at myself. If I try and stop, the thoughts get more persistent. The only thing I have to ease the situation is that I practice mindfulness and have done for many years. Every morning I sit in one place and it's agony because my mind is screaming for me to get up, do something...
I've been in the fog for about a week. In a way it feels like I've been reunited with an evil, lost relative. Someone from my past I can vaguely recognize - and then it comes to me, oh yes, it's depression. I remember now... This time it's different than any of my past episodes, At this point when I had depression in the past I'd be panicking that my old self is gone - my old personality gone and this new deader one to replace it. But even in this chaos I sort of know this is temporary, I just happen to have this disease and this loss of identity is part of it; my mind is just out of the office for a minute.
It's hard for me to write this and come up with words and sentences because it feels like no one is at the wheel of the ship - so who's writing this? I'm pushing myself to keep going so I can remember what it looks like when it's written down and for everyone else who suffers with this to say this is not your imagination, you are not being self indulgent (I'm fighting my mind on that one). It's exactly what it says on the bottle, it's poison, terrifying and a complete mummification in nothingness.