Stream of yellow stuff down the centre of the tunnel…

     I’m sitting here looking at a blank screen… well; when I say blank, I mean apart from all the usual buttons, links and confusing icons that surround the WordPress new post page… And there we go, starting as we mean to go on… by going all around the houses… Something tells me that this is going to be one of those stream-of-semi-consciousness pieces that I recently mentioned in my updated “About Me” page… So may I suggest you grab yourself a drink, strap yourself in and get ready for a torch-lit stroll through the murky corridors of what I laughingly call my mind…

     I doubt very much if this is going to read by anybody other than those of you that subscribe so I have no reason to hide anything (apart from my passport, bank details, dead bodies and toenail clippings) [Bet you wish you hadn’t started reading this one, aren’t you? Bet you are afraid of where it’s going to go now… yeah, you know you are. Ed.]… So, yeah… erm… I’m waffling again ain’t I? Right, so I’m currently suffering from depression. Hah, and you thought I was always this surly and anti-social… well actually I probably am but believe me, it’s heightened by the depression… I know it’s not the first time I’ve felt these shadows closing in on me… Isn’t it interesting the phrases we use to euphemise (is that a word? Who cares? You know what I mean, right?) depression… I suppose it’s still almost as taboo as sex in polite circles… so glad I travel in uncouth dodecahedron… Churchill (the dead prime minister not the insurance company) used to refer to his depression as having the Black Dog… something my beautiful, long-suffering, amazing, fantastic [Please stop. Before they call the superlative police.] Angel has adopted for herself… Don’t believe me? Go HERE then. See? Told you!

     Like I said, it’s not the first time I’ve lived with the encroaching shadows. Most of my teens were rather dark from what I can remember… I know that I self medicated throughout my twenties – which makes remembering anything between about 17 and 31-2 very difficult 😉 {Boy, is this hard to write…} [Don’t worry, dude… just take your time…] {Oh great, that’s all I need… a patronising inner editor} [I’m not patronising you, I’m trying to help. I’m sure your readers will understand{Won’t you boys and girls?}… Oh that was uncalled for] {Great, now I’ve gone and pissed him off… I don’t mind having these voices in my head,  just wish they wouldn’t argue all the time ~My client would like to make perfectly clear that his last sentence was intended as a witticism and not an indication of some sort of mental illness resulting in his “hearing voices”. Legal Dept~ Keeryst-onna-bike, who else is in here?}

     So why am I writing this now? I suppose the easiest answer is, it seemed about the right time. I could go into a more complex answer, I suppose but that would involve seeking permissions and getting signed affidavits and so on and so forth [Like they are going to believe that] {Oh, you’re talking to me now?}[GULP,…                  ] {Damn! Scared him off. Oh well he’ll come back when he’s ready…} Easy answer then… Cliche Alert!!!… Life’s Funny Sometimes. I know that probably doesn’t sound particularly “depression-like” but it’s the best way I could describe things right now. I think it bit of background would be useful at this point… Ok, so let’s jump back a bit [I am not going to play the part of a cigar-chomping, sex mad hologram constantly slapping my widget for anyone, got that?!] {Told you ;)}

     Ok, so here we go (all together now… wibbly-wobbly-wibbly-wobbly…whooOOOoooHOOooooOOoo...)

     As most of you know I “work” for the BRC (I would give them their full title but I would have to get their permission and I can’t be arsed)… For a few years I worked at the Penge branch – not the most salubrious of shops but I rather liked it. I had a great manager and (for the most part) a fantastic volunteer crew. Things started to change when a new Area Manager was appointed. I had got along with the previous ARMs but this one wanted to live up to his brief of New Broom, with all that implies… I won’t bore you again with all of the details (most of you already know anyway) but suffice to say, through the machinations of a couple of my volunteers and the collusion (I believe ~ Thank you ~) of said area manager and Human Remains I was removed from my shop and transferred to another. At first, I took this all very personally and with a considerable amount of anger. After some soul-searching (and quite a few talkings-to by someone who shall remain nameless) I came to realise that my new position was actually better for me and the crevasse I had fallen into didn’t seem so bad. Notice the word Crevasse there? Well, that’s what it was. A steep drop into a shadow haunted hole with ice-slick sides and no rope. My depression was back. So where do I go now? There was no way I was going to return to self medication. Too much to lose for me to be that stupid. A couple of weeks off work and talk to the worlds most boring man for £40 an hour once a week? Break down and cry on the shoulder of one of my best friends at the end of a party? Nah, did that at my stag do 🙂

     Ok, so this time I was going to do this properly… enter prevarication monster… but eventually I seek professional help… and the routine of morning meds enters my life… and repeat prescriptions and a lessening of the overt symptoms…

    Things were going rather well for a while… I have been working at my current shop for over a year, I’ve had good days and bad… I’m coping (most of the time)… and then a couple of months ago I get the news I’ve always known was coming… I’m to be made redundant. Now I can see the reasoning for this decision by my ARM… I haven’t been at “my” shop for over a year (something I was prepared to do but only after receiving an apology for the lies told about me) and as a consequence they have been paying me for my regular hours (and all the overtime I’ve been doing) as well as the new manager’s hours (and overtime) [Did you mention that the new manager is the one that told lies about you to get you kicked out of your shop in the first place?] {Please, let us just leave that dead and buried… I’m learning not to get upset by stuff I can’t change, so why keep revisiting it?} [But isn’t that what this whole blog is about?] {Look I told you, I don’t know what this blog is about yet…}

     So, yeah. I’m to be made redundant. (Cue shadows…) Now here comes the funny bit ~ My client would like to clarify at this point that by funny they meant peculiar, not witty or humourous in any way ~ {Yeah thanks for that, I think they would’ve worked that for themselves} My current line-manager doesn’t want me to go. She thinks I’m amazing. [Go figure] {Oi, you could go off some people you know!} [Oh yeah? I’d like to see you walk away from me…] Ok, so my boss doesn’t want me to go and actually did something about it 🙂 Here’s why I say Life’s Funny Sometimes… All year I have been trying to get two weeks off in September but because my current manager knows that it’s the traditional “change of seasons” in the fashion industry (and that we will therefore be inundated with donations) she has been fighting about it… I had pretty much given up… But then this redundancy thing came up… “Simon, you will be made redundant from the 7th of September 2012″… Oh crap… on the scrap heap… 40 years old, no qualifications, a PoshGit government… You can see my future can’t you… But no! With a little bit of sleight of hand and (I suspect) a bit of bullying on my behalf I am told that yes, I will be redundant from the first week in Sept. but that after two weeks enforced leave I am to return to my current shop as a “casual worker” until they can reshuffle the staffing structure to employ me again properly.

     So where does my depression go from here? I mean, I’m gonna be redundant but I’m not. I’m going to continue to work but have no job security. I can continue to study but for how long? I get the fortnight’s holiday I wanted in September but not in the way I wanted it.

    So here I am, looking at a screen filled with words. The shadows are fluttering back and forth, depending on which way I happen to be facing. I’ve just bored you rigid. And to top it all, I’ve just watched Agora and am now mourning the loss of the Library of Alexandria all over again.

    I thank you for sitting there and putting up with this drivel. I know I warned you it was going to be a stream of semiconsciousness when I started but I didn’t expect it to be so bloody maudlin… I tell you what, next time I’ll try to pick a lighter subject (or maybe some fiction)… Just so you know though, your endurance and sacrifice have not been in vain… This has helped me … Even the interruptions from my internal social filters <hey, what=”” about=”” me?=””> {Oh Fu……..}

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One comment on “Stream of yellow stuff down the centre of the tunnel…

  1. I wonder if it’s A time of age, post 40 reflection. I have. Been writing a lot of stuff recently, and last week was able to write and tell a close friend about the fateful night of my breakdown. It was bizarre it just came out while I was typing, I didnt know it was about to come out. It felt good to write, so you can write as much as you like, I geddit xxx

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