In this brilliant piece, Charlie talks about the feeling of depression and the way it can be expressed in frustration and obsession.
It’s like everyone is on a cruiser at sea and then everyone points at me and says ‘you are no good’, I’m banished to this raft and they untie the rope and I’m just left to float adrift and fuck off. I’m put on a raft and told to fuck off on my own basically, ostracised from society with a cloud over my head, like one of those cartoons.
Meanwhile the sun is shining on the boat while a cloud hangs over my head. Nobody is taking any notice of the fact it is always pissing rain on me whilst the sun is always shining on the ‘righteous’ on the boat because there is always the feeling that I deserve the cloud that is floating above my head. I deserve to be rained on.
It’s depression isn’t it, the feeling that all the shit going on in the world is turned in on myself. Depression and that, is all the shit turned inwards. That’s what it is though, self-recrimination. Everything that happens becomes my fault when I’m depressed, it doesn’t matter if it’s down the road or in Outer Mongolia, if it’s negative and there is some form of blame to be attached, then it becomes my fault.
Anything that is shit becomes inward. I’ll tell you a little story, a true story this one. I’d been in the night-shelter, working with a counsellor. I used to write everything down, all the stories that happened to me I used to write down so I guess you could say I’ve always wanted to record these stories. The big difference now is I’m getting to share them now with a wider audience – honestly if you had told me then that I would be getting these stories posted on a website and people were reading them and listening to them I would never have believed it. Not in a million years.
Anyway, I had this jacket with like 9000 pockets and I had this pen that I used to write everything with. I used to write loads of shit and I lost this pen. It was a shit pen mind you, it was only a fucking shit pen, there was nothing special about this pen. It was s shit pen, a Bic pen. There was nothing more to it than that.
But I couldn’t find it anywhere and I looked everywhere for it. I looked over and over again through my 9000 pockets and I was devastated because I couldn’t find it anywhere. It was the pen I wrote all my stories with and I was beside myself with rage and anxiety because I couldn’t find it and I felt like the universe had been destroyed because I couldn’t find the pen that marked my narrative, that registered the things that were happening to me.
It was the tool by which I registered some control over what was happening to me and it felt good to write with. People knew how upset I was and they offered to buy me a new one, not just any pen mind you but a Parker pen, a proper pen, a really nice pen but I didn’t want those pens I wanted my pen. It was a shit pen, like I said, but it was nice to write with. I didn’t want those pens I wanted the pen that I had used to write everything with.
I had to have this pen because this is the pen that I write my stuff with and it feels good to write with. I mean, it’s only a Bic pen but I’m literally dissolving in a mental health crisis and a while later I’m looking through one of my own zillion pockets to find a Rizla and there it was – the Bic pen. I had found it. ‘I THREW IT INTO THE RIVER’.
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