Right at the back of your mind lives a small house in which you have put every fairy tale, Disney film and TV show ending. A world in which we all get our “Happily ever after” – rewarded for the hard work and attempts at being a decent person (even though we fail on a regular basis). The problem is that that world is a lie and it takes several severe kickings from reality to start to hide that path from the rest of our brains.
I think it’s the reason we play the lottery – that ridiculous belief that it will be your turn one day even though the odds are infinitesimal. We hold on to that hope regardless how many millions to one it is your little piece of pink paper will write you a cheque for a life changing sum of money. I’ve played every single draw for the main lottery (except one) since it launched in 1994 and the most I’ve ever won was £109, which I picked up from Woolies. Shows you how long ago that was.
And the same foolishness exists in the rest of my life. I am a pessimist by nature; I expect the worst of life. I tell myself that at least I will only ever be pleasantly surprised living like this, but instead it just underlines how fucking miserable I am being reminded of failure constantly. When a negative thing happens it just underlines the mind-set I live with. I’m not sure if the bipolar plays a part here and the view of the world comes from that; a view of the world tinted and tainted by a chemical imbalance.
Even in my dreams I am failing at things – never quite reaching the goals I want, seeing things or people I want to get to only for them to slip past me. Even my subconscious is a miserable bastard that expects the worst – what hope have I got.
And like the depressive side of my illness it doesn’t really add up. There is no logical reason for me to feel the way I do about life. I’ve been hugely lucky to have come through so many difficult experiences and to still be standing. I know just how fortunate I am to have a beautiful loving family around me and great friends who would do anything for me – even if we don’t see each other as often as I’d like. But still there is a shadow over me like Eeyore and his raincloud.
Every year for the last four, I have found myself in difficult and dark places. Not all of them were my fault but I was the one at the centre of the storm. I can’t really go into detail here for various reasons, but ultimately I find myself – for the fourth year running – in a veritable shitstorm and no protective clothing to wear. You do start to ask yourself if this is your lot. Are you the exact opposite of the winning lottery ticket? An everlasting wooden spoon stirring up trouble at every turn?
I know I’m not the only person in the world with problems and when I turn on the news and see the sadness, tragedy and misery from around the world I get the perspective needed. Only I get the added guilt that the anxiety and depression combine to make. Why am I sitting here feeling sorry for myself when kids in Aleppo are dying needlessly? Sure my issues are nothing in comparison, but you have to deal with the cards you are dealt and right now I just appear to have a bad hand. Again.
Throw in a pinch of Bipolar, a soupcon of guilt, a side salad of depression and finish off with the runaway buffet cart of fate and here we are. Another indigestible feast that will leave a bitter taste behind again. You do start thinking that you’ve done something wrong – and maybe I have. If reincarnation does exist I think I was a right wrongun last time round.
As always you batter on thinking that it can’t get any worse but at the bottom of your gut you know that something else will appear within a few months and replace the current problem. So is this my lot? Is an unending conveyor belt of bollocks the pattern that will continue? Because there will be a point where I have to hold my hands up and say “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore”.
And that worries me.