Spike Milligan wrote that his most inventive material was written during his depressive phases. Dostoevsky is credited with writing most of his work in mania – long tracts written in one single sitting. Creativity is the realm of the insane – or at least in the Western world. And as someone who grow up (largely) as a product of the world, I should feel the same way. Instead my experiences lead to hours of hitting my head against that old metaphorical brick wall.
Let me explain. Ulrich Beck has argued that this is the time of reflexive modernity – the great realisation of the “unknown unknowns” – but from what I read, most people don’t seem to be thinking that way at all. The more I read the more I find the old wall bloody – once again, none of it makes any sense. Beck may have been able to describe the state of the Western world (or the hegemonic world order), but I was brought up to see this world as maya – everything material is illusional. So not knowing anything makes perfect sense. The difficulty comes in trying to translate that deeply embedded structure into the English language.
I’ve been trying for the last few years to try and explain why I feel like such an outcast in this world. For a while I though it was because I had no social skills, then I thought it was because I wasn’t interesting or cool enough, and then I thought it was because I simply didn’t have enough time. But it’s not all those things – it’s because I’m exhausted in trying to act as if I fit into a world where I cannot just be myself.
Last year, I lost a friend of mine. A friend I valued so much, but was never quite able to tell her so. It wasn’t really her thing to get up close and personal. She’s still alive, but she stopped talking to her old world – it was too painful and we couldn’t provide her with the support she needed. Opening up, I think, made her too vulnerable. But she got it – the games that people play, the madness of humanity, and the beauty of the tiny things. But she, like I, is lost.
I know every time I mention I have a mental health condition I’m chasing away future friends, jobs and relationships, but I can’t remain silent. Because as much as mental ill health is supposed to help us find the core of our being, it’s not a fun place to be in. And the drugs – well, they’re just a way of masking the truth.
Fact is, this world is a game of silence, voice and hearing. Some of us are silenced by not being heard. Most of us our silenced by believing we have nothing to say. And for the rest of us – well let’s just say they’re just voices on repeat.
This game of worlds is rigged. And frankly, I’m sick of playing.
1 thought on “That ol’ metaphorical brick wall”
Don’t believe the stories. Milligan had such difficulty writing The Goon Show that the BBC had to draft in Eric Sykes. van Gogh’s depressive periods made him incapable of painting. The Game is crippling, and it is difficult. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth playing.