Home > depression, humanity, mental health, solidarity > So here it is…

So here it is…

Things were very different this time a year ago. Fucked over by corrupt management and chased into my pit by the Black Dog, I jumped at Christmas as a chance to be elsewhere. I saw it as an alternate reality, a bubble where normality was excluded and I, conversely, could be ‘normal’ for a while as everyone else entered the otherness of the festivities. The snow helped as it changes the world we live in. Some simple precipitation making everything look and sound different, somehow better. At least until it hardens, goes slushy, and makes getting anywhere or doing anything a pain. Then it finished and I spent the limbo we are plunged into betwixt Christmas and New Year deciding to take redundancy – I had no option, the actions of my employers were endangering my health. I loved my job and worked with fantastic people, but I needed to take back control of my life.

I wish that I could go back a year and tell me that I was definitely making the right choice at the time. It certainly didn’t feel right for most of this year. Yes, I rid myself of the daily attack on my sanity that my work had become, but it was replaced by the numbing mix of unemployment and depression sprinkled with an ever present feeling of anger at what had been done to me.

But I did make the right choice. Things haven’t improved at the old place from what my friends still there tell me and I was right to get out. Two weeks ago I started my new job and I’m loving it. I’m earning considerably less and it’s not in housing which has become almost vocational for me since the mid 90s, but I’m still in the public sector and providing a service I very much believe in – the help I provide is perhaps less tangible, but it’s still essential as our footfall of 1000 people a day shows. And my new colleagues have welcomed me and made me feel at home in a very short space of time. The work is more physical than I’d anticipated but there’s a satisfaction from coming home tired after a days work, and the routine it provides does my mental health a world of good. Yesterday evening I did a printout for a girl of about six or seven, a few minutes later her father sent her scampering back over to me and with a huge smile she thanked me and wished me a happy Christmas. A simple thing that can make a moment in your day sparkle.

And so it is that I’m entering the festive bubble from a much different angle this year. For the first time in nearly three years I feel something close to personal happiness, and I’m extremely grateful for that. I’ve been going to work, went to see Daniel Kitson on Wednesday, saw friends last night and visiting another tomorrow, and none of it is a strain. I have no illusions that life or my illness won’t throw more obstacles in my way, but for now, y’know, fuck that shit.

I’m still angry, though, on a personal level at my ex employers who I may still take legal action against, but very much more so on a general level at the shit that’s been thrown at us over the past year (over the past few decades) in the name of neoliberal capitalism. Perhaps I should be grateful for the fact that the various campaigns and networks I have taken part in (mainly through the Twitters) have provided me with an alternate focus when not working, but such an angry focus. It has also inspired me to write – 30-odd blog posts this year, mainly on matters political with the occasional divergence into self analysis such as this one.

I may be ‘alright’, Jack, but as a society, as a world, WE are not. This is why I will continue to fight with and support those trying to make things better and life liveable for us ALL. I will continue to campaign with and write about Occupy, Broken of Britain, Save the NHS, housing, UK Uncut and trying to change the system, not work with the corrupt and morally bankrupt one we have in place. Futile? Maybe. Idealistic? Maybe. But we’ve gotta try, haven’t we, we’ve at least got to do that.

So here it is, Merry Christmas, Solstice, Saturnalia, Channukah, however you’re being festive at this time of year. Stay funky, good people, I’ll see you on the other side!

Dedicated to all my friends, real and cyber, and all others who have helped me, made me smile, informed me and just generally been somewhere there over the past year.

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  1. Mary
    December 23, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    soo happy that life is being good to you at last x see you tomorrow xxx

  2. December 23, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Congratulations on the new job! Sorry, have not been on Twitter or reading blogs much as have been silly busy but am so glad you are enjoying working again 🙂 It’s been great to make contact on Twitter, even though brief, and to know that ‘we’ are out there, trying to do the right thing and fight back. xxx

  3. December 23, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Thank you, both 🙂

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