Tuesday 15 January 2008

I'm going slightly mad...

Generally speaking, I have a fairly positive disposition. I rarely get annoyed or stressed.

Occasionally though, I suffer mini bouts of depression... or maybe, bouts of mini depression. For no discernable reason, I will spend a day or two feeling withdrawn, insipid, lethargic and uninspired. Tiny things gnaw away, generating a level of annoyance hugely disproportionate to their significance. I develop an insatiable urge to "do something" - but never know exactly what that "something" might be. Today and yesterday have been overshadowed by one of these apparently inexplicable bouts.

(Before I paint myself as some sort of self-centred, drama queen, I should clarify that its not so much a Falling Down scenario as a minor internal, but very persistent, annoyance. Presumably everybody experiences similar moods from time to time and, as I eventually snap out of it, I don't fret over it or seek any kind of fawning attention.)

While ruminating on these periodic troughs in mood, I was reminded of something I read in a Spike Milligan biography some time ago.....

Milligan, a great hero of mine, suffered from bipolar disorder. In his lifetime he experienced a number of mental breakdowns and prolonged periods of depression* during which he would lock himself in his office (often for months on end) churning out reams of new material, jokes, poems and Goon show scripts. His long suffering wife who, for the duration of the episode, would not see him or speak with him, would leave meals on the floor outside his door, knock twice and walk away.

According to her, the first indication she would have that Milligan was coming out of his depression, was the delivery of a telegram to the door, sent from his office upstairs, that simply said "Put the kettle on - at once".

* While I don't for one second think my little troughs are anywhere as severe, I sometimes like to kid myself that sudden bouts of depression are obviously the hallmark of comic genius.


Thriftcriminal said...

Ah, Falling Down, a flick of much excellence that really should alert managers everywhere to the dangers of pissing off engineers. In my last job I had the poster as my wallpaper. Now I have the Fight Club soap :-)

Stonedog said...

As requested, no fawning attention will be forthcoming.