Well, this morning was a slap in the face.
I mean, seriously, Robin Williams? He’s a bundle of fun, a ball if energy, always bouncing from place to place, always over the top, centre of attention, awkward and erudite and blessed with being funny.
Then I thought about it a bit more, about why this morning I didn’t want to get up, why I spent my morning watching clips of Aladdin and his stand up and laughing and the crying and the laughing again. Robin Williams has always reminded me of me. Yes I’m not funny, but the rest? Me.
It’s hard to admit publicly sometimes that you’re scared of yourself. I was going to post today about Nine Worlds, about how much fun I had. About how included I felt, about how proud I was to have helped, in my own small way. About Macarenas and Sharknados and people who make me smile.
I’ll save that for tomorrow.
Often, if you see me and I act the fool, if I bounce around and am overloud and I underthink – it’s an act. It’s not a conscious act, but it’s an act. I’m fucking terrified of how people perceive me. I know I’m naturally socially stupid at time – I have aspergers, at least mildly. So I play it up. I dressed in a ridiculous Sharknado costume at nine worlds, at least in part to show off: when people responded I was ecstatic, but until I wore it, and people enjoyed it, I built it up beforehand to try and make the inevitable failure (in my head) more palatable. If people knew I was trying they wouldn’t judge, wouldn’t comment negatively.
I recognise this as one of the biggest parts of my depression. Fear. I want to write. I make no secret of it. I’m not bad at it, but I’m terrified of it, so I do it … pretty much never. I lie. I make up reasons why I haven’t done things, when the reality is I’m scared if failing, of being judged, of my personal fears becoming public fears becoming public condemnation. And then I’m caught out and I’ve made it worse.
I read my twitter stream this morning, and I saw a lot of discussion of depression. Bringing that up is fantastic. Something as terrible as suicide shouldn’t be the thing to do it.
I walked to the tube this morning, to go to work, and all I wanted to do was go back to bed and cry. I wrote this on my phone, between home and work, and had to stop twice, three times, as my eyesight blurred, and I had to control myself. I see a lot of myself in Robin Williams persona. I see the precipice I find myself walking along sometimes. I’m lucky. I have people who care. They don’t understand, often, but they care. When I’m feeling shit, I’ll take it out on them and slowly, slowly, I’ll come around to the root of it and the switch will flip and they will hold me or make me tea, or just let me rant and uglycry and it will make it a little bit better.
I don’t make any supposition on the cause of today’s news. I don’t think anyone can know. I’ve seen depression first hand in others – my mum, my best friend – and in myself. It’s a shit thing. Truly, unbearably shit. I scare myself thinking sometimes: not just the big what-if, but the small things like what I was talking about above. The social failures, the falsities, the days when I watch my empty email inbox and flip between it and the OCD spreadsheet I’ve got of all the jobs I’ve applied for since graduating, and think ‘What the fuck do I have to do, it must be me’ even as the rational voice tells me it’s just the market and the industry and Jesus Christ you’re doing a fucking internship right now someone must like you. Even then, when you find out it’s because someone in front of you dropped out you question yourself again, and again, and again, until you find yourself questioning whether your suitable capable worthy worth-fucking-while, and it expands from job to life itself and you just want to sit down and cry.
That’s jobs. I do the same with love, with friends, with the things I enjoy: refereeing, writing, reading, my friends, my girlfriend, those people at Nine Worlds who in my heart are my friends and I worry are not, am I doing enough here, there, am I annoying, am I overbearing, am I am I am I
And now I’m nearly at work. And I’ll put on my happy face. I’ll smile, crack bad jokes, ask too many questions, try too hard. I hope I’ll make people slightly happier. But inside? Inside will sometimes suck.