How necessity is the mutha of re-invention…

by Pseud O'Nym

A few blog posts ago, I rashly suggested that compared to other peoples depression, mine wasn’t that bad.
And then events of last week proved me wrong. Or rather, the non-events of last week
Firstly I wrote a blog, which although I thought one of my best, no-one else did. I know this because WordPress has a handy statistics page, where you can check exactly how few readers have read an individual blog. (Only the nation they logged on from by the way, not in an Edward Snowden type way.) That was the first thing that didn’t happen.

The second thing that didn’t happen was that Matthew – my support worker on a Tuesday – was needed elsewhere, to work another shift for a client with ‘higher tier’ needs than I. Receiving notification of this by text on Sunday from the agency Matthew works for, means they would’ve known that there was little I could do. Monday was a Bank Holiday, so it was a fait accompli. There was no discussion. Just ‘Here’s our problem and here’s our solution.’

Which as a way of highlighting my dependency on others was a stark reminder. One that got me thinking, and not in a good way either. I don’t like thinking like this, about my situation. It isn’t good for me to ruminate; rationally I know it’s a bad idea, but emotionally. Well….
Or more accurately, not well.

Here’s what I was thinking.
‘My whole pitiful existence – as it isn’t a life in any meaningful sense of the word – is just endless journey of frustration and despair. One that now consists of necessity, of accommodation and above all drudge. The sheer, mind-numbing, joyless drudge of knowing that each day will be repeat of the one before. Yes, granted, tiny details that are out of the ordinary may occur, but in essence, nothing changes. Nothing.’

‘I could do exercises to help with my walking and speech sure, but I’ve been typing away at a keyboard pretty much continually since after the coma and guess what? No substantive improvement. Yes, granted, some incremental improvement, but I won’t be getting a data entry job anytime soon. In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever work again, I mean I know how good I am and I wouldn’t employ me.’

That’s hard to deal with. Not working. Not doing anything one considers worthwhile. Don’t get me wrong, blogging isn’t worthless, but neither is it that far removed from technological graffiti – that title belongs to Twittter. But I’ve always worked. Not because I didn’t get any pocket money, but more that I didn’t want to be beholden to the whims of others – what they could give, so could they take. So I worked, doing paper rounds, after school jobs, jobs to pay my way through college, jobs when I left college, evening jobs to supplement those jobs. So to go from that to….this, is not something that sits well with me – given that I spend enough time sitting down. Which is why I tend not to think about it.

In fact, I tend not to think about a lot of things. As I’ve said before, it’s better to be stupid than clever. Because a stupid person may not be able to fully grasp the possible consequences of a course of action. Or to realise that there exist many possible courses of action. But a clever person can and if they put their mind to it, envisage differing scenarios that might occur, as a consequence.

One consequence of this is the disparity between want I think and what I say. A good example of this occurred late last week at Moorfields eye hospital, for a fitting for eye weights. A doctor asked me about my medical history. Upon hearing of my brain injury, she asked, “How did you get it?” Tempted, but knowing that replying “In a raffle.” was the wrong answer, equally I toyed with asking her was it in any way relevant. But I said nothing of the sort, I just inwardly raged. Having been such a private person before the brain injury is deeply infuriating. And to paraphrase Winston Churchill, ‘Never, in the pursuit of legal entitlement, has so much information been asked of one person for by many people for so little.’ Even worse when a support worker has to share it on my behalf for, as my speech isn’t always understood call centre staff who are tasked with finding out this information. So even more people know things about me.


Another consequence is that things that had never bothered me before, bother me to distraction now. Other people have always been a case of botheration to me – in much the same way as I no doubt have been to them. But me being in the house so much has exacerbated this to an alarming degree. This can partly be explained by me spending so much time in the house, and partly by the fact that there is comparatively little else to occupy my mind. But mainly, however, because things are not done properly. I used do things in the most efficient and quietest way possible. I hate waste in all things almost as I hate needlessly generated noise. But since the accident I’ve had to bite my tongue so much it must’ve scar tissue on scar tissue. I didn’t realise I was such a control freak until I didn’t have any. I mean I could point out the error of peoples ways, but again, one of the many unpleasant consequences of my accident is my mental cost benefit analysis. Namely, what is the likely outcome of any course of action? So more often than not, my reaction is inaction.

This cost benefit analysis is both instant and instinctive and I hate myself for needing to think this way. I’d never put myself in a situation where I needed to do that before, not since childhood anyway, and I hate myself for doing it now. I’ve had niceness foisted upon me, not through choice but by circumstance. Not that I was deliberately not nice on purpose, but neither would I allow circumstance to dictate my actions. Now however necessity deems otherwise.

And I woke up from a coma for this?


Next time…Nigel Farrage isn’t ‘a pound shop Enoch Powell.’ He’s more Alf Garnett reborn as a snake oil salesman…