I have black moods. We all probably have black moods. I can’t speak for the rest of you and neither would you expect me to. I sometimes wonder what it must be like to not have them. In my black world I hate those supposedly most close to me. I hate radio presenters with their endless wit and jollity. It reminds me of Saturday morning television in the 80’s. All false cheerfulness and shallow. I look around and see everyone who is richer, more successful, attractive than me. I really hate people who have money, happiness and excitement. I think on reflection I just hate everyone and thing. It is a frequent occurrence which settles over me rather like a blanket. It wraps you up in loathing and despair. I have no one to lift the blanket off me as I have pissed everyone close to me off so much. The problem with dark moods is that no one wants to help because your natural response is hostile or silent. Either way that is no way to win friends.
So what to do then? Well my parents generation would suggest you snap out of it and stop feeling sorry for yourself. This is a largely discredited approach as it suggests that the advice giver is just impatient and couldn’t give a shit really. There is some merit in it however. Trying to understand or be empathic can reinforce the misery and focuses on it. Being active is a good way of dealing with black moods as the sufferer is thinking about something else (distraction). Creativity is also seen as an outlet. Writing, painting, music has been used by countless artists as a means of self expression. In my world I like to think that my creative leanings account for this. This though is a form of distraction as well.
Black moods are hard to shake off as the owner can see no light at the end of the tunnel. There is a future and its filled with emptiness, debt, and then you die. There is a way out though that does not involve rope, pills or exhaust fumes. This is not the solution, trust me.
I don’t want the reader to think that the author’s life is one grinding trip down gloom street. Friends are a large tonic (with ice and a slice) especially when they talk about trivia. Trivia can rescue the sufferer as it does not require ownership or emotional attachment. It gives the sufferer the chance to laugh. I love laughing, hopefully not at me you understand, unless I am trying to be funny. Laughing releases the knot in your stomach and lowers the shoulders. The sufferer should also focus on the little things that make life rich. A cup of tea, a good book (mine when I get published), a cuddle with your children, walking the dog, a good song or piece of music.
Acts of kindness have a huge curative affect and are very underrated as is ‘being there’. Being there allows the gloomee to feel that they matter enough for someone to stick around.
So what is the message from all of this. The next time you see a friend or family member in a dark place, don’t turn the light out or shut the door behind you. Sit down, have a cuppa and try to smile. You never know it may just rub off on old gloomy pants.
Listen to Nick Drake. I found him many years ago thanks to my late brother in law. He gave me two second hand Island Records compilations, one of which had the title track of ‘Time Has Told Me’ on. I was captivated by his music. Many years later I talked to a musician who had done the folk clubs with Nick in the late sixties and early seventies. Without any irony described him as a miserable sod! He spent much of his short life in a very dark place, yet wrote some of the most beautiful, haunting, poignant music ever. Sadly, it didn’t help him enough in the end. Let that be a lesson to all fellow gloomee’s. Enjoy the little things in life that make it really worth getting up for and don’t stay under the blanket. Oh by the way, never support Leeds United as they will always let you down.