This being ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ (MHAW), I suppose I should be asking, ‘how are you’? After all, we’re supposed to be encouraging everyone to open up about their mental health, aren’t we? If we just pay lip service to it, we might as well do nothing, which is, in my humble opinion, pretty well all we’ve done since mental illness was first invented a few years ago. I should add, at this point, that it wasn’t really invented a few years ago – it’s been around ever since people realised that some people were apparently mad for a reason and not because of sheer bad luck.
It’s too early to draw conclusions about the success, or otherwise, about MHAW but looking at it in the cold – and it is bloody cold, and wet, and dark (more about that in a minute) this morning – light of day I’d say it’s a mixed picture. As ever, I am relying on anecdotes rather than actual facts to come to my view. From speaking with people, and taking into account my personal experience, few employers have bothered to do anything about it. The BBC, when not acting as a publicity machine for Boris Johnson and his awful government, has definitely been aware of MHAW. Other media outlets, including newspapers, I have no idea. Judging from the front pages, it’s not the big news of the week and it wouldn’t be unless one of Ant and Dec had gone into rehab, something that would be impossible for the lumpen proletariat to afford.
In any event, life is a bit of a struggle at the moment, due I suspect to a combination of historically poor mental health, the continued existence of COVID-19, the huge popularity of Boris Johnson and these awful dark clouds, which continue to pour gallons of rain over my world. I didn’t need an annual campaign to tell me that stuff.
I have made the reluctant decision to never again seek therapy. This will only change if I completely lose my mind, as I did in 2017 when – oh no, here comes that fucking age-old reference to the British Red Cross again – the British Red Cross bullies and abusers made me lose my mind. (Can I, at this point, add a quick ‘fuck you’ to BRC CEO Mike Adamson? Fuck you, Mike.) Where the drugs – I am on the maximum possible dosage now – do take the edge off things, therapy and counselling simply don’t beyond the length of the session. By the way, this is just me talking: if your head is in a bad way, do not assume therapy won’t work for you.
So, we are more aware of MHAW than perhaps I thought, but we won’t be for long. Next week, it will be something else and the week after it will be something else. Each week will disappear into the ether because mental health is, according to the government, of no importance.
It’s of no importance because beyond basic therapy and drugs, there is virtually nothing. And I am resigned to the inevitable, which is that the last 50 years were not a temporary aberration: this is my life.
Maybe if the sun comes out later on, I might feel better about the world. For now, it keeps on spinning for no real purpose other than to keep on living, which for the time being beats the alternative. Anyway, how are you? Keep taking the tablets, as one vindictive former acquaintance told me last week.