The black dog has left the building. I’m back to myself; returned to the living. I swear next time when this happens (if it happens again), I’ll be more on the lookout for signs. I looked back in my diary and read what I was doing just before I had a major depression. It seems amusing but these events happened just before I slid into Hell. This is an entry from 2010:
I’m in the Ritz Hotel in London, my mind is in a kind of haze; a thick grey fog; I’m not sure what brings me to this event or even how I got there. I ask what the charity is in aid of? A large moustached woman in a cat hair cardigan tells me “Save the Puffin”. She happens to be the spokesperson for the charity and later gets up to give a moving speech in that ‘wee’ Scottish brogue about how difficult it is for Puffins to land on the rocks in the Orkneys because of the strong winds so they have big problems laying their eggs without them blowing away. No mention of the global warming problem, just the fact the birds can’t land anymore. The world is melting down and I’m listening to the problems puffins have. I had to restrain myself from shouting, “Why don’t you just fucking shoot them? End of problem.” Shortly after the Puffin event that November, I decided to take up scuba diving to get my diver’s license. I found myself under the Brighton pier, frozen blue, teeth clanging having weights added to my belt until I dropped in a straight line 30 feet below looking at a shopping cart and a flip flop. Where were the reefs? The parrotfish?
I got a flip flop. Just before another depression I found myself signed up to a night course to learn short hand in Los Angeles, for no particular reason other than I was crazy. I never missed a night for six weeks. There I was, taking notes, studying the books and then at the last class of the course we had our test. The teacher rang the bell and we had to take shorthand from a letter she was read out loud. At the end of the 20 minutes we handed in our papers. A week later she called me in to ask me what I thought I was doing. She pointed to my paper and all it had on it was loops – big ones, small ones – just loops and loops. Shortly after that I was institutionalized and, even worse, never learned shorthand.
I’m at the St James’ Theatre in London with my Sane New World show 2-14 March 2015
If you are struggling with depression or mental health issues, please contact your local Mind service. They are there to help.