Mental Health? Hardest Game In The World

Here’s a quick rant about the sheer drudgery of staying on an even keel

Image: Schäferle/Pixabay

I SOMETIMES WISH that I had a quid – or even a penny – for every hour I’ve spent working on my bloody mental health.

I feel like the Fast Show character – “Mental ’ealth? 30 years, man and boy, I done it! Hardest Game in The World, that is!” – when I think of all the time I’ve lost to shoring up my mood.

I’m thinking about all the runs and rides I made myself do, so I’d feel better…. the hours and days reading self-help books and articles…. the journaling and unsent letters to people who’d hurt me…. the years and years in therapy.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy was my very least favourite, because you’d spend hours breaking the feelings you’re dying to escape from into tiny pieces.

Then you would spend still more hours putting those tiny bits of emotion into tiny boxes on a long form, and not feel the slightest bit better afterwards – just tired and frustrated.

I hate the admin that comes with keeping up my mental health”

I’m also thinking of all the down days I spent in bed, followed by the inevitable list of Problems/Solutions I’d draw up when I felt a bit better.

Run three times a week. Get up early and meditate. Stop drinking. Join a club,” I’d tell myself. Over and over again…

God, I hate all the admin that comes along with keeping up my mental health.

But it’s not just the work I’m tired of – it’s the sense of having gone through the same process so many times before.

You end up not just sick of feeling depressed, but sick of having to climb back out of the pit over and over again. The same old, same old, drudgery of it.

And, even when you’re flopping over the lip of said pit, and starting to feel better, there’s also the knowledge that you will have to do all this recovering, all over again, not all that far down the line.  

I guess you could call staying on top of depression a Sisyphean task – although Albert Camus thought Sisyphus felt happy and purposeful, rolling the same rock up the same mountain every day. Speaking personally, however, it isn’t what I envisaged doing for so much of my life.

The way I am makes me really envy the people who can get up feeling sanguine most days – the ones who can go out into the world, day after day, and just feel comfortable there.

The ones that aren’t so sensitive to everything and manage to have, y’know, careers and achievements instead of just running to stand still.

5 thoughts on “Mental Health? Hardest Game In The World

  1. Addiction, or recovery from it, is no different. It’s a labor of love that’s worth the effort in the end. I can’t look at the effort as work, though. It’s a means to happiness. I have to do that crap to be happy, and I’ll take that over the misery I had back when I was using any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    Keep at it. It’s worth it.


    1. Yeah – not work, but a means to happiness…. that might work for me! I’ve been interviewing someone today in my day (writing) job about reframing things more positively – and you’re right, it is all worth the effort in the end! Thanks for your insight, as always!

      Liked by 1 person

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