It’s around quarter past six in the evening and I’m driving home after the kind of day, that leaves your head in agony, after banging it against various walls. Repeatedly. Rapidly.
It’s summer and a very warm evening, I’d quite like a pint in one of the pubs I pass on the way home. But I can’t. After almost 12hrs in the office, I need to get home to my family.
I think about driving into an oncoming car. Ending my existence. Finally succumbing to the voices in my head that ask me to put out my own light. The urge is powerful, weighing each car up and wondering if it would be enough to extinguish me.
This is not an unusual event. It is however, becoming more frequent. Three things stop me. My son. My wife. And a fabulous dress shirt I don’t want ruined.
For my entire life, I’ve been in control. I decided where I lived, worked, ate and washed my pants. Now that’s all changed. I have to put my growing family before me. The spontaneity has evaporated like that pint, I wished for. In the past, when I got bored at work, I would find another job. In another city or country. It was exciting to be able to live so free.
After almost six months of not sleeping, constant worry, panic, the occasional millisecond of knowing what I’m doing, my inner core is demanding a stop be put to this madness.
I can’t write from a woman’s perspective. Apart from the occasional weekend in heels, calling myself ‘Mandy’ – I’m male. And we find it hard to speak. We can talk bollox and football and tales of chasing ladies in earlier years, but on the whole, our feelings, our mental health, is a no go zone. It’s buried. Concreted over. In another time zone. Protected by dinosaurs.
That was probably my lowest point. I pulled over and had a cry about it. Proper wailed like a loony tune. But it helped. I started writing again, actually wanting to write. That scene of me crying, is in Comedic Depression and I have absolutely no shame in admitting how I fell apart.
I wrote this book because I didn’t want to stop my life and end up in purgatory, trying to undo the things I couldn’t. Living a life where I didn’t want to face into things, too scared or worried about the potential consequences. Admittedly, I probably face into things a little sturdily – no ones perfect, right?
A mentor, a friend from work was struck down this week, needing emergency attention and my thoughts go out to his family, I truly hope that a man I have respect for, pulls through. It reaffirms my thoughts about how short life is.
For me, life is too short not to write. To accept whatever comes my way, in terms of feedback:
‘W.M. Kirkland – I read your ‘book’ and quite frankly, it’s not fit for tomorrow’s chips. Your prose was woeful, grammar resembling a toddlers and I didn’t see the actually point’
I might get 400 of those (thanks for the sales guys ✅) and I might, possibly, hopefully get one from a different angle:
‘Thanks – it’s changed my path a little’
Then my work as a human is done. I set out to get a book on a shelf, on a set of pages that people could buy. I poured my soul into it, explaining how I felt, my relationships, the low points and trying to cover it all over with jokes and normally failing. All of it done, with a hope that it might bloody help someone.
Break me down and I’m quite a vulnerable, worried man who just happens to dress well.