Saturday 3 May 2008

Feeling needlessly needy

13st 12lb for God’s sake; 3.0 units of alcohol yesterday; 1,371 or possibly just one if I get any more miserable; Despond.

I wouldn’t bother reading this post if I were you. It won’t give you anything to laugh about and, if you are feeling a bit down to start with, it might just push you over the edge. Now there’s a thought. Maybe I’ll e-mail it to Gordon Brown, marked for his personal attention and under a header like “How you can still win the next election, you obsessive, bad-tempered, indecisive, nail-biting Scotch twat.” No, on reflection, it might have more of a chance of getting through if I lose that last bit.

Somehow, at a time when I should be really happy, I have reverted to craving alcohol, over-eating, and falling asleep in middle of the evenings; I can also feel my blood pressure heading back up. In short, all the old symptoms of misery are there, and the only reason I can identify is the prospect of beginning another relationship, and perhaps more precisely the fear that I will f*** it up, as I have always done up to now. Which makes it not so much a fear as an expectation, focusing the fear onto how I will do it, and how much misery I will cause in the process.

I conclude that the only thing to do is to dump the LTCB (as she likes to be known) before I hurt her, even though dumping her will also hurt her, so … ah. A bit of a conundrum there, then. Luckily she is staying in a remote part of North Wales for the weekend, where mobile reception is patchy at best, so I am unable to do anything rash. I e-mail a couple of friends who have expressed concern about my welfare, describing my mental condition and asking for their advice. They both assure me that I am what is technically known as a complete ****, and they’re both highly intelligent, so they are probably right. People have been telling me to “go with the flow” for so many decades that I am beginning to think there must be something in it, even though all my instincts are to leap like a migrating salmon for the pool marked “Social Exclusion and Misery.”

Fortunately I am soon distracted from all this by the mysterious and painful black lump has appeared on the second finger of my left hand. A perfect illustration of Hazlitt’s perceptive claim that “The least pain in our little finger gives us more concern and uneasiness than the destruction of millions of our fellow-beings.” As I poke the lump with a pin on the off-chance that there is a splinter embedded at the heart of it, countless thousands are perishing in a cyclone in Burma. There’s no contest for which engages more of my brain.

I had a couple of pints of beer at lunchtime. I’m not sure that other forms of alcohol do the slightest bit of good, but I always recommend a glass or two of English ale to fellow depressives, as a spirit raiser with more of an immediate kick than Prozac, and doubtless also with fewer long term side effects. Though I suppose I’ve never seen anyone with a Prozac gut, now I come to think of it. It certainly worked for me as I sat down at my desk when I’d been roused from my post-lunch nap by some berk with a chainsaw, and started writing again. Whether this has done anything for the long term benefit of civilization is hardly for me to judge.

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