Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter


Day 362

I have spent much of the day staring into space, or staring out of the window looking at the godawful weather, and wrestling with the demons that often present themselves at the doorstep of my mind without notice or warning. The days seem shorter than ever, as does my temper, although I try to cope with this by trying not to let the demons over the threshold and my keeping my counsel most of the time, because even opening my mouth (or my mind) can lead to unforeseen and unkind consequences. I did walk into town (40 minutes) and wrote several alternative endings to Aggie in my head as I walked – another activity to keep those demons at bay. I tried some solitary retail therapy (lucky me to be able to indulge such a habit), but all the skinny jeans in the colour I wanted only had zipper flies (I prefer buttons), and the queues for the checkouts too long, so I decided it was really not worth the trouble. Then some semi-solitary retail therapy in a book shop (feeling better already), and bought two wishlist books for half price before joining M and A downstairs in the shop again.

A bought me a monthly coffee subscription for Christmas, and today she went and bought me a stove-top espresso cooker, which I have just tried, and the warm glow from the one and a half espressos I made myself still persists, although I drank them twenty minutes ago. I can feel a morning habit brewing (although I can see myself still starting the day with a ristretto from the electric coffee machine that reads bar codes).

The thing about being fine for much of the time, and then hovering on the edge of the abyss, is that it is just a very sudden shift that totally unbalances everything. Knock-on effects, and all that. Life becomes distorted and contorted, and my body feels very lopsided. I’m sure (I know) I’m not the only one who suffers like this, that I’m not alone, but it’s not a wonderful place to be, especially when we’re trying to make the most of family time. It will pass. I know it will pass. And I’m luckier than most, because a) my family know to leave me alone, b) I think what I suffer from is relatively mild, and c) after 4 years of therapy on and off, I can talk to myself (and the world) about it, which always helps.

This is not a hopeless post, nor is it meant to be. Quite the contrary, in fact. I am full of hope for the future (my impatience clouds that hope on days like this, but the hope remains and always will). I think these ebbs and flows (be they extreme occasionally) also explain why I do set myself targets, why I do feel the urge to keep busy (and not just for the sake of being busy, but for the sake of achieving something I want to achieve), and why I feel frustrated and slow when I’m not busy in some way (you know, busy-ness is not a bad thing, even if it’s being busy with doing nothing deliberately).

I’ll leave it there. I just wanted to share, because sharing is a good thing, because sharing will hopefully make you realise you’re not on your own. Hugs to the world.

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