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I have been fortunate – well, so far at least

I’ve not been depressed. I have been really shitty, but then I was deeply in debt, making no money and in a country it was difficult to get out of. That’s rational. Depression is something different. At which point, one of our mutual friends:

Those of you who have read this blog for any length of time will realise that I was widowed in early 2018. I have struggled with depression ever since. The lockdowns that deprived me of human interaction through work, made matters a whole lot worse and, yes, there were days when all I wanted to do was hide under the duvet. If it hadn’t been for the cats needing feeding, I would probably have done just that. This place also provided an outlet. Getting back to work lifted things slightly. Going out on one of the bikes helps. Writing my novels does, too as does playing the guitar.

I’m not wholly sure that depression is quite the right word for having being widowered (?). The loss of life’s love is depressing, but not perhaps depression.

That said, it’s sunny today and I have a guitar lesson booked… Next week I am off to the TT on the Indian.

On the other hand perhaps it is that same thing, ing and ion.

I believe that TT is on IoM. I’m pretty sure that we’ve a regular here who is on IoM. If we do can you reveal yourself directly to me (, we’ll organise me sending you a tenner for a couple of pints for Mark. On the basis of, umm, yes, got me there.

On the basis of why the fuck not?

33 thoughts on “I have been fortunate – well, so far at least”

  1. On the basis of: He’s very clearly thoroughly decent bloke who has had more than his fair share of recent travails, andwith whom having a pint will repay both parties far more than the cost of two beers.

    Good thinking, Tim.

  2. Amen to that.
    The first 100 seconds of Rainy Days and Mondays spring to mind.
    But if there is no-one you can run to who loves you, what do you do?

  3. bloke in cornwall

    I have to say that a pint in the pub with some of the commenters in here would be more than worth the cost of a pint (or 3)… always good to talk to people with a few brain cells left in their heads (i believe that brain cells may well be on the endangered species list…)

  4. On the basis of quite a few mutual experiences, I think I’d rather like to have a pint with Mark. I’m sure many others would too. You’re not alone, chap. I hope the pint and the ride blows away a few of those blackdoggy cobwebs. All the best to you.

  5. +1 for all comments

    God bless Mark the doer not taker, even though we have little tiffs over my more libetarian views and Mark too quick to board an outrage bus

  6. A Sound basis for doing things. Anyway, reactive depression is a real thing. You’re allowed to use the D word.

  7. I read many years ago that people have ‘a base level of happiness’. Something good happens, your level of happiness goes up but returns to the base after some time. Ditto something bad – happiness goes down (depression or is that something deeper?) but does return to normal.

    Hence the miserable bastards who win the lottery and later say ‘It didn’t make me happy’. No, it couldn’t – you’ve always been a miserable bastard.

  8. I’ve been coming here for 15 years or so, so apologies are probably in order, but who is Mark?

    Hope he feels better anyway. I’m lucky not to suffer with this depression shite but I know one or two who have and do.

  9. Thanks for the kind words.

    @Tim Yes, it is clinical depression. Greif is a trigger. The last time I discussed this with my GP was January 2020, when she got me on a CBT course. I’d just finished that when the lockdown struck, so any possible benefits were wiped out and the lesser spotted GP has not been seen since. At this point, I would say that quite apart from my principled objections to lockdowns, I take this one personally and every MP that voted for it is an utter cunt and I will never forgive them for as long as I live.

    If I could click my fingers and bring Mrs L back, I’d do it in a heartbeat. If I could have traded a few of my years to give her a few more, I’d have done it without hesitation. In the wake of her death, I was bordering on the suicidal. After the funeral, everyone went back to their lives and I was left to ponder. I had all her pain relief medication in the house. Enough morphine to put an end to it all, and yes, I did give it serious thought. Enough for me to have sufficient sense to take the lot back to the chemist. Had I not done so, there’s a real possibility that I would not have come out this side of the lockdowns. That’s why those vile cunts are vile cunts. And, no, that’s not a word I use lightly.

    @Bongo Yes, Rainy Days and Mondays is pretty much spot on. Also Sunday Morning Coming Down. I perform that one on the guitar. There’s something oddly therapeutic in playing and singing miserable country songs.

    @Intersted There’s a link in the OP.

  10. @LR – ah apologies. Hope you get straight soon.

    I like the attitude of the great Neil Back (albeit in the rugby context): Go forward, be aggressive, smash them back.

    Back meant his opponents on the fiend, but it works for opponents like life, problems, worries.

    Easier said than done though, I know.

    Enjoy the TT!

  11. I was widowed in 2012 and plunged into serious depression, another close friend died soon after which made matters a lot worse. All our bank accounts were frozen and I was living off of credit cards. I started living in the kitchen of our house in Austria. Despite massive legal problems caused by incompetent Austrian civil servants and lawyers, I managed to refloat myself and returned to the UK. I closed the business we jointly ran because ” I simply didn’t want to do it anymore.” I did not get another proper job as my self confidence was so low. The depression simply faded after time, but the cost to my health was immense and I was very ill for a few years.

    I took a MA, did some writing ( adventures – not misery porn), bought a cat, all of which helped. I also have had two girlfriends in the intervening periods, but I found that they made matters worse and my reserves of patience had been irreperably depleted, so I gave up on that approach.

    Fine now, happily retired by the seaside, in a nice house ( that could do with a hoovering) without a mortgage and lots of equity. I don’t watch telly or listen to the news, am unvaxxed and have had barely a sniffle in the last two years. I now have enough cash not to have to worry and a reasonable pension that will keep me afloat ( inflation permitting) in my dotage.

    Time is the healer. I just wanted the well meaning people who were trying to cheer me up to go away but I appreciate them more, now.

  12. Actually, having read your piece I can see that ‘I hope you get straight soon’ might sound a bit flippant. I hope things mellow and improve in time might be a better way of putting it; I don’t think I would ever get over losing my wife, she is everything to me, so you have my deepest sympathy.

  13. It is depression – reactive depression rather than the inherent sort suffered by those whose brain chemistry is all over the place. I suffered from reactive depression years ago after an unfortunate life experience, though I had probably been heading that way for a while. Some tricyclics, getting stuck into a challenging project at work and resurrecting a social hobby I had dropped out of got me out of it. Life looked up and I’ve been ok ever since. I hope LR can find his route out of it.

    As social interaction is one important way through it, I understand why he so vehemently hates the bastards who imposed lockdown. There must be many for whom that was the last straw 🙁

  14. @Ottokring Yes, indeed. I gave up my rail work for exactly the same reason. My writing tends to be historical adventure – the latest one about pirates. I also delve into the supernatural, fantasy and western. All are worlds away from reality and all are positive and upbeat. If it wasn’t for the cats, coming home to an empty house would be much worse than it is. Yup, I’ve had a couple of girlfriends since. One might have gone places if circumstances were different. Our lives are going in different directions. Another is a sort of on/off thing that I don’t know where it is going as she gives out some mixed messages. But I’ll persevere for the moment because I enjoy her company and it’s nice to have a pillion.

    @Intersted That’s ok.

  15. Having been divorced for 20 years I concur somewhat with the ‘time is a healer’ thing, but for me, “You never get over it, you get used to it” (Marillion).

  16. @LR
    You have my deepest sympathy and although ‘time is a healer’ is a phrase that has some relevance, I don’t think you ever get over that kind of loss.

    I also sgree with you wholeheartedly on lockdowns – and have actually severed ties with several ‘acquaintances’ over this. I feel (probably less vehemently than you but still passionately) that lockdown was among the greatest crimes committed in human history by any government, and that anyone defending it is, in many ways, an accomplice to, and advocate of genocide. The politicians who implemented it should be treated in exactly the same way the Leaders of Nazi Germany were at Nuremberg.

    What’s quite concerning to me are the stories coming out about the WHO Pandemic treaty (so allowing the WHO to dictate lockdowns globally). Also, with with ‘Partygate’ likely to hasten a Hard Left coalition of the type that Murphy has been fantasizing about for so long, it seems highly likely that further lockdowns are being contemplated as we discuss things here…

  17. Regarding the lockdowns, it is difficult to find words that accurately convey my visceral loathing for those responsible. If I had my way, they would be boiled alive in vats of their own piss.

  18. Meant to add if you haven’t seen the TT before, prepare for a shock. In our nanny state world, the fact they get to stage it is inexplicable, joyously inexplicable.

  19. I’m a long time lurker on this board and rarely contribute. Whilst I’ve been lucky to enjoy good mental health, I’ve seen, from close up, the effects poor mental health can have on loved ones.

    May I suggest Tim starts a crowdfunder? I’d be happy to throw some money into the pot to help turn one quiet pint into a three day bender with legal fees!

  20. Addolff – yes that can be true. I pulled myself out of the slough of despond without the aid of doctors or medication, but I teeter at times on the edge. usually this maifests itself in a sudden busrt of anger at some long forgotten past slight or insult that has suddenly popped into my head. I was surprised at my own mental fragility, in the past when something ( usually work ) made me unhappy, I would just walk away from it, but this time I couldn’t. I was also racked with guilt, because I couldn’t save her, I had failed and that is what blew my confidence away.

    Our mum sent my brother down to me in Austria to stop me from emulating Alan Lake, Diana Dors husband and “doing something foolish.” I was never that bad nor was I like Mary Tamm’s husband ( she passed away a little after my missus ) who died of a broken heart a couple of months later.

    Longrider seems to be doing all the right things. My warning is: don’t hit the bottle – either containing booze or tablets, I’ve seen too many people damaged beyond repair by both.

  21. I’ve been advised to go down the tablets route. I’ve flatly refused. They mask the problem and it avoids confronting it, so no, never.

  22. bloke in cornwall

    @Longrider – if your bike ever brings you to the sunny (ok, wet and windy) backroads of Cornwall I would be happy to buy you a pint.

  23. Disclosure: I have been through heavy amounts of shit and I hope that none of you are in the financial and physical health situation I am in. My cure for depression: go for a drive. With the windows up, naturally, yell at the top of your voice, “YEEEE-EEE-HAHH!” A few times.

    Be nice to people. Go literally out of your way to greet others, and to help them in whatever small way you can. Think about how to solve other people’s problems. Volunteer.

  24. @Worzel
    I rather like the fact that the Manx TT was only born in the first place because the mainland establishment were too stuffy to allow motorbike racing on closed public roads. The motorcycle clubs then approached the IOM authorities who apparently said yeah alright, or words to that effect. It is a bit crazy that it is still going on given the performance of the modern bikes. The bikes of the original TT races didn’t even have the performance of a modern 50cc scooter.

  25. @Otto

    Just read your story, too. As I said to LR, the thought of losing my wife is… well, it’s unthinkable. Glad to hear you’re keeping your chin up.

  26. Very moving comments and much positive advice.
    I lost my wife 15 years ago, but at the time had a 16 year old daughter to get through GCSEs, which helped us both to focus. I’d say it took at least five years to be in a fit state to meet others – then to find out just how much I’d lost of my ability to react emotionally. Nowadays I’m happier alone, with many friends but no significant partner – it’s hard to archive the past sufficiently to allow new relationships to blossom after traumatic events.

  27. @Longrider

    Can’t imagine what you’ve been going through over the past few years, but hopefully you’ve been reminding yourself of everything you did in your power to care for Mrs. L, and I’m sure she was lucky to have a husband who loves her this much.

    For what it’s worth, what sometimes has helped me is repeatedly reminding yourself that you’re still here. Whatever has been thrown your way, there is still a chance to weather the storm with the strength you still have. The powers that be have decided that you are strong enough to contend with this hardship, and maybe even find a way to build something positive from her memory.

    Not only is this the healthiest way to move forward, but it’s also the best possible revenge against anyone/anything responsible for your sadness. They likely wouldn’t be able to handle it as well as you have.

  28. Many thanks to all supporting @LR / Mark

    The black dog taking over one’s life is worse than prison

    To add to @Stonyground

    Northern Ireland also had the good sense not to ban bike/car racing on closed public roads. See North West 200, Cookstown 100 etc. Bikes maxing out at over 200mph, crash happens, no big deal. It’s Monaco F1 GP on steroids

  29. The Pedant-General

    “we’ll organise me sending you a tenner for a couple of pints for Mark. On the basis of, umm, yes, got me there.”

    This is what blogging was for.

    17 years since I first started reading and then, tentatively, getting involved. Worth noting that both our eponymous – pendant, even – host and Longrider were there at the beginning.

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