Douglas Bastard's Rants of Rage


This article was written on 26 Jun 2014, and is filled under Uncategorized.

The margin


The first thing I need to do is to point out that this post may contain triggers for those who are suicidal or have suicidal feelings. My advice would be to read no further. Anyone who finds that they have these thoughts is really, really earnestly advised to seek help from one of the support services in their country. In the UK it’s The Samaritans and their number is 08457 909090. I’ll carry on, but please, please stop if it’s difficult.

There is a huge and yawning gap between how I feel and how a ‘normal’ person would feel in the same array of situations is vast, even if you allow for the fact that normal sits in fairly hefty inverted commas. It’s elastic, this gap. Sometimes narrows so that I can see life on the other side and at other times, it expands until it’s vast.

First thing in the morning is when the gap is at its biggest. I’m alone, on an open patch of waste ground, and mentally crawling for shelter. This can last for hours or it can last for minutes, but while I’m here, I feel as bad as I’ve ever felt and there are times when, if you gave me a pistol and I had the courage, I’d kill myself in a heartbeat.

And then, slowly, the day starts. It tends to start with me taking 40mg of Citalopram and then, either because it’s psychosomatic, because it works or because my body is firing into life, I start feeling better and can think about work and leaving the house. But for all that I look normal when I’m out and for all that I’m able to hold conversations and be entertaining, depression seems to have caused an utter hollowing out of who I am.

It’s as though the person has gone, and been replaced by an actor who does the tricky ‘in the world’ stuff and by someone who can’t do pretty much anything at all in the meantime, other than write. Where the bits that make up the rest of my personality have gone, I don’t know, but for the time being, someone seems to have packed them into a crate and sent them away.

And now, here’s the honest and very dark bit.

The only thing that stops me from killing myself is hope. And right now, hope is the rickety, shit bridge that doesn’t even stretch all the way across the gap and looks as though a large fart could blow it up. However. It’s the square root of all that I have. Hope. Hugely imperfect, frequently absent and yet still the thing that keeps me here.




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