So, there’s this guy in the gym – right – and currently he’s lying on his back – right – and hoisting his hips in the air like he’s a cat in heat auditioning to be an extra in a Shakira video – right – and everybody is just looking at him with total, undivided captivation. I presume he’s doing some form of ab regiment – I don’t know, I am not a scientist. And in a bid to enhance his physique, he’s wearing the tightest gym clothes known to man; so tight in fact that his balls are spread across his pelvis, as though they’ve been buttered into position with an enormous pallet knife.
I am not the only one to notice this, and I’d be willing to wager a bet he’s noticed that others have noticed too. Yet, here’s the thing, he doesn’t care. He’s just folding himself into multiple positions, carrying out the exercises and is alarmingly nonchalant about the whole thing. Here I am, on the other hand, sweating like a punctured dinghy on a treadmill, three-days-deep into a depression a funk, paranoid that I look like an agitated goose when I run.
I am in awe of this guy. Not because he’s attractive or exudes sex appeal – truth be told he looks like a crayon portrait of Jamie Oliver with the body of Penny Wise – but rather the cosmic lack of fucks he’s giving about looking like an absolute bulging twat. He obviously left his house today armed with determination to change his body – go him – and that was that. No ifs, no buts, tight lycra and zero fucks. Me, however. Well, I battled for over an hour to get over the threshold of my front door – my mind is a mangling mess of anxiety and a sudden surge of agoraphobia. Typically, on better days, I’m fairly out-going; but when I feel like this? Honestly. Going outside? It’s stomach-churning.
Earlier in the gym, I felt like everyone is watching me. It’s as though I’d been catapulted into the opening scene of a dystopian thriller; stuck in a world where people have the technology to see my every thought and relive my memories with the click of a button. Gawking at me as though I run a secret underground sweatshop where I starve my staff until they have the bodies of malnourished Victorian paperboys. Making them slave away in a production line, creating bargain basement products and hideous Sam Smith merch. The girl next to me on the treadmill glares at me like I am a hitherto undiscovered breed of human that’s just murdered her boyfriend, and she’s now obligated to pass this information over to the authorities. I walk around nervously, as though I was actually carrying around a murder weapon; quivering, breathing through my nose like a cornered church mouse. I just try and get on with my gym routine but the sheer amount of mental energy it requires to stop my head from exploding is exhausting. Combine that with the physical exercise – it’s a lot to handle. (Note: There was three people in the whole gym, all of which left before I did.)
This is day three of my depression funk. Historically this would be the day my mood becomes a fluctuating yo-yo of indecisiveness, where it bounces between depression, which sees me gnaw at my wrists like a possessed gerbil, and giddy, like a child—on-a-bouncy-castle-that’s-had-to-much-cake. At some point in the next 48 hours this ‘mood’ will peak and I’ll burst into tears. When it happens I’ll just lie there, crammed into the foetal position, and sob hysterically. When Typhoon Topher arrives, it feels as though my world is about to end. My heart throbs against my chest, my throat aches, my eyes burn and I gasp frantically for air like Sam Smith’s career. ‘What’s wrong?’ friends ask – to be honest, you’d be quicker solving a Countdown Conundrum than asking me to spell out reasons for this – because it’s impossible to find a trigger for my mental health episodes.
In case you aren’t familiar with the sensation, waking up to a depression-low-period is akin to the feeling you got as a child whenever you were handed a Kinder Surprise. As a kiddy-wink you’d hungrily gurgle your way through tasteless, thin-layers of disappointing chocolate to find the cheapo little toy housed within a plastic shell. That’s what it’s like. You finally get through the day, and the mediocrity of it all, and earn the glorious prize of bed. Only you don’t sleep well and when you finally do sleep, you wake up feeling like a plastic shell with nothing but disappointment inside. If someone handed me a Kinder-Surprise right now, I’d pretend I couldn’t differentiate between toys and nutritional items and swallow the toy by ‘mistake’ and hopefully wind up chocking to death. (I am kidding.)
Right now, I’m just writing to try and keep myself busy and distract from the plethora of pish that’s swirling round inside my toilet-bowl brain. If I don’t keep my mind active it’ll melt. So, I am trying to make a light-hearted schtick about the pointlessness of my existence, which will probably strike everyone that reads it as an embarrassing cry for help. Until this latest spell of crippling misery that sees my mind wheelchair bound subsides, I’m going to lock myself away in my room and work out how to disappear completely.