Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Sport

Day 154

Depression is a pernicious disease. There is no catalyst or cause for it. It just comes and goes. The day before yesterday (which I wrote about yesterday), I crossed a road (having dutifully waited for the green man, and walked past a big school near the DIY shop I was going to. My mind, there, at that precise moment, said to me “Hang on, you’re happy.” And I was. Half an hour later I wasn’t, and yesterday’s blog tells the story of that. And I was still in that space yesterday, that dark place, where there don’t seem to be any doors, no rungs to any ladders to climb out, never mind no ladders. But then A asked me if we’d do what we’ve planned to do for an age – to go up to Sprowston Recreation Ground, where there are grass tennis courts that are free to use, and knock some tennis balls around. And so we did. Partly just because we could (and it was happily deserted up there), partly because A is just as intent on testing out the health of my back (being our resident sports biologist and sports psychologist) as I am. We walked up there, played for 90 minutes ad walked back. I was stiff after that, and my back a bit sore, but I felt so much better, especially in my head. But I am lucky in that most of the time my depression isn’t as severe as many others, that it doesn’t confine me to dark rooms and my bed, that it doesn’t, most of the time, inhibit me physically. Lying on my bed afterwards, after my shower, doing my stretches, I reflected once again on cricket and its effect on my mental health, and once again came to the conclusion that I’ve done the right thing not playing yet this year (if at all), and that being able to take the time to reflect on this, and to not feel beholden to my favourite game is a sign of maturity and self-care. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss it, but that’s actually by the by.

This morning found me sore and stiff still, which is fine, and I treated myself to a double espresso after breakfast. I do have to admit that the double cup isn’t as stylish as the single tiny cup, so I’ll be back to that tomorrow. And not stylish for the sake of the outside observer, but stylish from my own perception’s point of view, that I want to sit in the garden with my roll-up and a cup, the shape of which pleases my eye, and the weight of which pleases my hand. That’s what I mean. Because having something that pleases your sense of aesthetics is just as much self-care as doing something that’s good for you, making decisions (and being able to make those decisions) which are positive for you. That’s what matters.

I write this with Wolf Alice’s The Last Man on Earth (Lullaby Version) on very loud. It pleases me. I played a load of loud music on my Radio Stradbroke show this morning, starting off the show proper with The Sex Pistols’ God Save The Queen and Anarchy in The UK. That’s how to mark this jubilee, the one that marks the haves out from the have-nots even more clearly than ever. The rich on a balcony, and the “common people” down in the dust. I had meant to write a poem to mark it, but I haven’t got round to it. Maybe later today or tomorrow.

As usual, my fingers have found more words to type out than my brain thought it had. That is my blessing.




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