No Surprises


This post is an attempt to help myself. It may come across as rambling and over indulgent. But, please, humour me. Right at this moment I need to vent and to wallow. Because it’s through this wallowing that I can wade through the mud and stagger out the other side, covered in crap, but all the better for it, for I will have left most of the crap behind, left my Black Dog rolling around in the mud for a time.


What a 24 hours I had from Friday to Saturday.

The height of joy on Friday evening – I took a risk (I shan’t go into details) and I thought that a corner had been turned in this loathsome existence I call my life. By Saturday night that incipient emotion popped as quickly as it had expanded in my mind. A complete turnaround. To paraphrase from Fight Club, I am Jack’s total lack of surprise. And yet I am surprised. The definition of madness is doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result. By that definition I am off-the-scale loopy!

They say life’s what you make it. But there are some things that you can’t “make” happen. And acceptance is great and all, but what happens when you don’t want to accept, what can be done then to end the unrelenting, unmerciful flow of pain? Seriously, what?

Dear Diary, when will life ever come good? (And, yes, I am aware that I sound like a pitiful, pissy, prissy little fuck, but hey, whaddya gonna do? I am all of those things. Sue me. I don’t care anymore.) By ‘come good’ I mean in my head. I don’t care about money or possessions, I never have. All I’ve ever wanted is to be loved and to love myself. To have a mind that doesn’t try its hardest to kill me. Is that too much to ask?

Right now, as I type these words, to make me feel a little better, Radiohead’s album OK Computer plays. It’s come to something when Radiohead’s (wonderful) music is the feel good happy soundtrack counterpoint to my depression.

And there, OMG… I’ve said it. O.M.G. The first time I’ve ever admitted it to anyone who isn’t myself. I’ve been depressed for my whole shitty life. It just gets worse sometimes. Winston Churchill famously called his depression his Black Dog. I seem to have gained one of those unwanted pets, too. It has grown with me: from puppy to vicious feral beast, its teeth pricking at my windpipe, nipping at my carotid artery. Toying with its prey.


I called this post “No Surprises” in salute to the Radiohead track of the same name. Its lyrics seem appropriate, particularly this part:

I’ll take a quiet life
A handshake of carbon monoxide

Emphasis on the quiet life. Amen to that.

And this:

This is my final fit
My final bellyache

I bellyache all the time. Only to myself, though. I hate myself way more than anyone else does. I’m my own worst friend.

And this:

No alarms and no surprises, please

Love the understated use of the word ‘please’ at the end there.

Back in the nineties I wrote some poetry. It was your standard emo stuff. All about my ‘deep’ emotions and crap like that. They were pretty awful, if I’m honest. But for a while they were the only mooring I had on existence. Those bitter, resentful, pathetic musings were what kept me this side of sane. They kept me going, one breath to the next. Inhale. Exhale. Don’t die. Repeat.

Two poems. Get this, from foolish 21 year old me:

I Want To Die

I want to die
I want to perish beneath the gloomy sky
To become a carcass, like a Winter’s fly

I want to die
To terminate this loathsome trip
And end my amply lonesome rhetoric

I want to die
Forever cease to breathe this foul air
Where my soul sinks I no longer care

I want to die
No more will life in these veins flow
Never to wake just to suffer tomorrow

Oh but to end this heartache
To end this heartache
To end

Not the most chirpy fare for a Christmas Eve. Readers, I apologise. (Whoah, almost mistyped ‘apologise’ as ‘eulogise’ – I’m not dead yet.)

From that same boy, but a few months later. I was feeling a lot better. Not quite so much self-loathing, bless me:

Words On My Release

Alone but not lonely,
Gazing, hypnotic, the candle flame
Draws me, sucks me in

Strangely empty, yet content.
Purged finally, peace in the flame,
Happy, happy, happy again.

She’s lost, as was I,
Go, going, gone lover, I found me
Empty but alive, breathing and free.

Right now, I feel like the first poem. I look forward to the time when I feel like the second poem, when the Black Dog releases its jaws from my throat.

Oh, for some peace. Oh, for a life with no alarms and no surprises. Please.

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