Sunday 1 January 2012

Post Natal Depression

Ah yes, Christmas. A period of sustained inactivity in which I hand all the responsibilities I can over to Mum and take up some epic fantasy game or another. I tend to play until it's late enough that I actually believe I'm riding around on horseback, swinging an enormous sword.
When I was little, I would walk home from my Primary School through a park. Alongside the path that I would take were two boulders. I don't know why they were there - I presume that when the park was levelled, someone found them and set them to one side, intending to move them and then never getting round to it. I doubt they were there for aesthetic reasons in any case.
I would stand on the flatter of the two rocks, flicking my hair in an attempt to make it blow in the wind. I'm not sure where I learned about romantic-wind-swept hair from, being as how I was only about six years old, but there you have it. Somehow the whole illusion hinged on the impossible task of getting my mullet-like 'do' to flutter majestically. Pirates of Dark Water or Prince Valiant is probably to blame. Anyway, on that rock I would pretend to be a great warrior looking out across a stormy sea with an army behind me. Again, I can only imagine that late 80s/early 90s cartoons are responsible*.
Even back then, my imagination had an enormous sword and an inflated sense of responsibility. I remember feeling overwhelmed and frightened, yet strangely resolute as I thought of my current - always fleeting - invented task at hand.
I have Post Natal Depression. It's not something I'd planned to write about but I feel that I've made my current state conspicuous by my absence. And in said current state, I feel that same mixture of horror and resolution that I would subject myself and my imaginary sword to whilst on that rock, all those years ago.
I think my current penchant for fantasy games stems from that - this would, after all, be a damn sight easier if I had a sword in hand, rather than a packet of innocuously named Citalopram and a PS3 controller. I told my (amazing) friends about my condition and asked that we didn't bring it up. They all offered a shoulder regardless and left the ball in my court. I guess this is my cowardly way of not only saying "thanks" but offering something more of an insight into why I might not be acting like myself.
Any eloquence I might once have had has left me, but as always, the internet has provided a voice in the form of Hyperbole and a Half. I laughed and cried in equal measures when I read this because it sums the whole ludicrous situation up perfectly. I'm yet to have an "I'll rent a horror movie" epiphany, but I have taken to defying road signs - venturing down all lanes with "Road Closed" markers in a small effort to rebel. It's a form of self destruction. Since I can't drink I have to do something.
*I didn't get on with most girls - they wanted to play "Mummies and Daddies" whilst I wanted to play "Mummies", referring to the ancient Egyptian variety. When we did manage to settle on a Disney film to re-enact, I would inevitably volunteer to be the villain, because they were at least interesting and I wouldn't have to fight with the others over who got to be Princess-Whatever.

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