ME, MUM AND MADNESS
I suppose I think – I hope (fingers tightly white-crossed) – that if I write about it, Depression won’t bite.
Depression’s a bitch. A big black stalking dog with swallowing jaws and a stealthy tread.
It’s been a part of my life for longer than it hasn’t.
A part of Mum’s for longer than she cares to remember.
It’s not always there, isn’t always skulking around her back door, casting long, gloomy shadows. Sometimes she manages to aim a well-placed kick and send it reeling backwards or outwards or downwards to wherever it came from in the first place.
I can’t remember why I started writing about it. To understand it better myself, perhaps? For to fathom the monster was to comprehend my sometimes-sad-lost Mum. To dissect a bit of me? I don’t know. It just seemed important.
But once I began, it became a habit. An obsession. A quest. A daily prophylaxis. I hope. Fingers crossed.
I submitted my CV to an editor at The Telegraph. The word Depression was written across it often. At Cosmopolitan. Marie Claire. The Times. Australian Women’s Weekly.
Is Depression all this bloody woman writes about he asked? And foolishly copied me into the email intended for a colleague.
I did laugh.
No it’s not! I wrote back (with, I hoped, enough humour and just a trace of Piss Off indignation).
He apologised and promised to commission a story. But he wasn’t that sorry.
And I wasn’t that offended that I gave up.
Giving up would be giving in.
And it might mean lonely hours grew lonelier without words that help to keep me busy. And keep black dogs firmly at bay.
So. I keep writing.