One year ago… 

This time last year I wrote this – 

I didn’t sleep much last night.. Lily was bitten by an imaginary spider at about 2am. I am well practiced at losing sleep over imaginary things, and so I did. She was fine of course, curled up beside me with a small menagerie of fluffy animals that were required to get her back to sleep. Unfortunately I don’t have any small fluffy animals to distract me, so I stayed wide awake, watching a small human breath and snuffle, while I spent the hours before sunrise overthinking, planning, rehashing and regretting. You know all the typical mental soundtracks you play on the insomnia Roadtrip. It’s been a rough few years, with a lot more downs than ups. Drinking, smoking, enough anti-depressants to recreate most of the extras for a season of the walking dead… Broken hearts, friendships that fell by the wayside, frustration, self indulgence/destruction, seven good times, seventy seven bad times and fifteen hundred moments in between.

It’s been quite a while now since I got off the ironically named ‘happy pills’ and quite a while since I gave up smoking (this time), even the drinking that was a fixture of my late teens and most of my twenties is something that doesn’t happen these days…. For the last time in the four years or so I can honestly say there is a tiny spark of hope that, things might get better. That thought hasn’t really been there for quite a while, actually it seems like it hasn’t really been there since I was a kid, but there are no thoughts of ‘flicking my pick-up off the interstate’ at all. My doctor was not overly worried that I would, because he knows I have one (or two in this case) reasons to get up and function everyday. He told me often that ‘anyone in my situation that wasn’t depressed just wasn’t paying attention’… It wasn’t something that I believed at the time, but he is a clever man and has a nice certificate on his wall, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

Now with great insomnia comes great need for a nap. Well I say nap, but I passed out, face down on the couch…. Four hours… As anybody who has taken the unintentional, unplanned daynap knows, you wake up with the full, Where am I?!!! What’s going on? Where are my pants?!!! Well not the last one, it was replaced by the “ow, I fell like I’ve been shanked!!”, this turned out to be due to the pen in my pocket (see pen pictured)… Location established, pen found and removed and a quick head check of house hold members settled my panicky tendencies. The kids had feed themselves and have been involved in some complicated version of stratego that involves shooting each other with nerf guns if they lose a piece (I would be concerned but they are wearing sunglasses for safety)… I have brewed myself a pot of the good coffee and sat on the back step for an hour… There is a shitload (now an official measurement) of stuff going on in the world and people around me at the moment, and I am woefully unqualified to offer advice and emotionally useless when it comes to support. I’ve always been a bit shit at getting the support out in the open.. The concept of the “it’s the vibe” doesn’t seem to translate to the world outside my head.. I am getting better at it, I would hope my children never doubt for a second that I am there for them, and that I will live for them, a recent change in mindset there over the tradition and overly dramatic ‘die for’.. 

So as we head into another Xmas, a time of introspection and resentment of forced jollity for some, my thoughts turn to those that are going to struggle through it, like I have done. I battled through much of it alone, not because people didn’t want to help, but because of my own bloody mindedness and my well practiced art of pushing people away.. So this Xmas I will try and be thankful for the things that have gone right, forgive myself and others for the things that went wrong, and try not be a miserable sod even if someone makes me wear a stupid paper hat.

PS- I found this today, someone cared enough for Elsie to engrave her name on this tin in 1936, and then she cared enough to keep it for the rest of her life… Love, it should be as simple as that…

I’m feeling a good 47% better this year, well I’m not sure about that number exactly, like most statistics I just pulled it out of my arse. Fingers crossed by December next year I can post another profit in the “getting better” column… 

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