Episode 140 – Backlight

Really, I should be getting up in an hour or so to take part in Pieta’s Darkness Into Light,seeing as I fequently credit them with saving me from myself and my own darkness. But, instead, I am only now (2am) getting to bed and with my recent pattern of long sleeping hours; excruciatingly realistic nightmares that steal plotlines from Tom Cruise and Liam Neeson movies and sweatsoaking  through my sheets, there’s no point in pretending I’d get up and do it.

I donate a small amount to the DRCC every month but I really need to add Pieta back into my contributions. Somebody remond me to do that.

I feel guilty that I’m not doing the walk. Are there any other clinically depressed people who can’t get up at that hour of the morning to do it?

I am right at the beginning of my period. If you don’t like reading about women’s periods then X out right now. And also, loosen up.

I’ve been pre-menstrual all week and I swear my PMS symptoms are getting worse with this copper IUD inserted or else because I’m getting older. Am I perimenopausal or something? The Boyfriend (I still can’t settle on a pseudonym for him) made a comment about my PMS and period cramps the other day and I gave him a slating because he should know more about women’s bodies, being A. a health professional and B. a well-educated modern man. Truth be told, I had to Google some of what was in the discussion. Turns out I don’t know as much about women’s menstraul lives as I like to think. What I do know is that, I have been a super swing of emotion this week. And very, very tired.

Last Friday was a bad day.

Saturday was ok.

Sunday was good.

Sunday night I drank too much red wine.


Monday: Migraine

Tuesday: Bad day + Migraine.

Wednesday: Aftermath of a migraine + good day.

Thursday: Good day

Friday: Very bad day until 4pm. Epic fits of sneezing/start of a headcold. Becoming more productive as the day progressed and my actual period starts.

So, when the bleeding finally began, my mood started to improve. Anyone else find their mental being breathing a sigh of hormonal relief when the build up to the Period is at an end and the blood finally starts to flow?

After 10 months of owning a MacBook, I have figured out what F5 and F6 do – I can now type in the dark .

Whether or not I have been hormonally sensitised to just about everything that could possibly piss me off/make me cry this week or if this is another prolonged dip into psychological instabilty, I’m not sure. I suspect that I am in a lull and particularly susceptible to been thrown off course. I feel I need to “reset” every few days to try to get myself back on track. There have definitely been more bad days recently than there had been in a while. It’s exhausting.

What’s more exhausting is being a self-absorbed whingebag.

The last week has brought many reminders of how lucky I actually am and therefore how unbelievably horrific a person I must be to keep going on about HOW I FEEL. A series of incidents have kicked certain things back into focus:

I thought a friend’s daughter had cancer; turns out it’s the friend’s mother who is sick.

I was annoyed that I was stuck in traffic and late to teach then I realised that a woman in her 80s had been struck by a car and killed.

The young uncle of one of Scandi’s friends died after a long illness.

The current Humans of New York series reminded me how utterly precious it is to have a healthy child.

I put my foot in my gargantuan sized mouth, when feeling particularly socially awakward and self-pitying, with a newly made friend and I feel like a total tit for not thinking before I speak and possibly upsetting him.

ASIDE: One of the dogs just farted and I think I might throw up.

I absolutely have to get my shit together. We have 2 weeks left before we go to the States and I have to get myself in check. I want to get control back.

I want to be grateful and helpful and caring and organised and have all my bills paid and be a better mother and a more engaged citizen and less of a social dummy and more productive and actually do something worthwhile.


It’s like I can see what’s on the other side of the glass door: me being the best version of myself, but the glass is reinforced military grade shit and I’m pushing it when it clearly says ‘PULL”.

Also, Donald Trump. I don’t know what to say there.

And our own government of medieval climate change deniers. Is it just me or does the new cabinet look even more male ?

Then, of course, this.

I’m also growing tired of faces and voices we see and hear all the time banging on about mental health and saying the same things repeatedly. The same advice is being troghed out over and over but, as with my own depression/anxiety/selfloathing/BPD/PTSD/not giving a fuck about life/giving too many fucks about life, we seem to be caught in an endless cycle of celebrites opening up about their struggles with depression (don’t get me wrong: of course this is a postive step) but it’s all so vague and generic now that our individual stories are being coerced into this national narrative of “I was sad and lost, I cried a lot and didn’t know what was wrong with me because I had no reason to be depressed but then I got fit and quit drinking and now I’m thin and glamorous and my career is phenomenal and I’m hosting 14 shows on RTÉ and writing columns for 6 national newspapers and I met this amazing man/woman/tree and our kids are so beautiful and my renovated Georgian house is perfect and I eat only kale grown by vegan monks and everything is great”. I am sick of it.

Yes, we are talking about our mental health now. Great. Better that we talk about it than not like we did for decades: everyone going secretly mad; hating each other; drinking themselves into oblivion; killing themselves left, right and centre; festering into a ball of Catholic guilt; suffering with their “nerves” and ending up in a place like this. But we’ve heard the same thing for the last two years. Now everyone is depressed. Or has been. And, in reality, that’s probably true – we’ve all been there, at some point. Depression and “darkness” (there are so many buzzwords) are nearly… cool. It’s on trend, socially speaking. But yet, there isn’t much pushing the boundaries, as we should expect with most trends.

Not that I want to criticise anyone for being honest and admitting that their mental life has not been a tub of their favourite Ben & Jerry’s with all the calories extracted. I’d just love if the media would quit holding up “success” stories for us all to judge ourselves by because this just makes me feel infinitely more of a failure in my ongoing war with my mind.

Show me the people who are just clinging on, like me, like you.

Show me someone who physically couldn’t get out of the bed to get a glass of water yesterday but who manged to brush their teeth today.

Show me someone who made a neat little cut on their arm last night just to temporarily feel the release of hot blood and stinging pain to distract from the mental burning.

Show me someone who has the end all panned but is holding on for a few more days, “just in case”.

Show me someone who rips clothes out of wardrobes and smashes glasses because it will resemble the mess in their head.

Show me someone who still thinks they’re useless, not someone who discovered how to love themselves by eating quinoa and treating themselves to a facial.

Show me someone who is not getting paid to give a talk about their journey through depression.

Show me someone who thinks that it will never end and nothing will ever be better again.

Show me someone with no idea what the hell is going on.

I’m now going to try to sleep and hopefully not dream about a stampede of rhino wolves threatening a large crowd at an impromtu Newton Faulkner/Hozier gig on the pitch at the school where I used to teach. Or that I shot someone who was going to attack me; forgot I’d killed him; left his body for 2 months and then when I went back to “deal” with his body, accidentally shot someone else.

It’s now 4 am. So I could have just stayed up and gone to Darkness into Light after all. but I’m not one of the “success” stories who can do heroic shit like that. Yet.

Dot 💚





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