It was Denzel Washington
I had a strange weekend. Poor weather kept me indoors on Saturday, where I got a few jobs done, planted some veg and flowers, watched some Buffy. Then went to the pub, drank, and watched Saints beat Man City. All good. The rain carried on into Sunday so I did a few more odd jobs and went to the cinema. An excellent day. Except that by the evening I was in a desperate gloom. I told you about my lack of inspiration, but that was a symptom not the cause. I didn’t know where it had come from, the moods arrive on their own and they shift when they want to. Sometimes I will wake up in a bad way, but waking up doesn’t cause it, it’s just what I was doing when it hit.
Finally today, I emerged at the other side, and it was only then that I realised how it had started. I had come out of the cinema in a strange mood which evolved into a dark episode that stayed and deepened. I didn’t make the connection at the time, but I now know it was the film that did it and I know how. I watched Flight, starring Denzel Washington, and it was brilliant. I don’t want to give too much away but he plays a pilot who drinks, and there are a few scenes set in AA meetings. And I forgot until today that I made a connection with these scenes. Not that I am an alcoholic, but seeing them I realised I crave a support group, a room full of people who have similar mental / emotional issues to me, who I can stand up in front of and talk freely to. I know I have YOU, but we aren’t in the same room, and as much as I feel the love and support through the screen, it is at a remove. Whether I am strong or brave enough to go to a group like that is another question, but I recognised it would be good for me, and thinking that I don’t have that affected me deeply. So deeply that I didn’t notice it happening.
Ask an alcoholic, or any sort of addict, how long since they drank, or gambled, or took drugs, or shoplifted, or whatever, and they will know. An alcoholic in recovery will be able to say “ive been sober xxx weeks”. And it occurred to me that as I try to understand, manage and ultimately control the peaks and troughs of my emotions, I should be able to say “I’ve been happy xxx weeks.”
So here I am. I have been happy about seven hours now. Before the weekend I was happy for a few weeks, maybe six. I didn’t count, but I should. Because that way I can recognise how far I have come, and I can try to persuade my dark voice that I won’t always give in and it won’t always win.