I had to try. I had to see if I could. But sadly, I couldn't. Things didn't quite work out.
I think if there's one word that sums up how we view things nowadays, it's FAIL. You don't quite get what you want and it's FAIL. You don't achieve what you set out to, you FAIL. Someone else doesn't understand what you're saying: FAIL. Fail, fail, fail. Sometimes it feels like we are trapped in a binary world between WIN=1 and FAIL=0. Sometimes, it's not quite that simple, I think, though it certainly feels like a FAIL for now.
Regular readers, bless you, might have guessed what it's a fail about. The rest of you might just have to bear with me while we plough through all this messy personal stuff; if you're not interested, then I really don't mind, by the way - we'll pull our ripcords and float down to Littlejohn-joke Island sometime tomorrow morning, I imagine.
I know some people think you shouldn't write about personal stuff, or that by writing about it publicly you somehow make it worse; but I don't really listen to that at all, and I don't think it's right, either, for what it's worth. This is, I think, what blogging is about - putting yourself into the story, or into what you write, rather than seeing yourself as a camera taking stills of the world. (I see as I write this that yet another "Is blogging journalism?" debate is being kicked around on Twitter at the moment, which I'll happily not be touching with the smellier end of a shitty stick.) One of the things I like about blogging is that it's the expression of yourself in relation to the things you see, and hear, and feel, rather than a simple snapshot of the world, imagining that you're capable of detaching yourself from it. Then it's important to say who you are, and how you feel, from time to time, or as often as you like, I think.
So, to the failure. Check previous entries like this and the other blog I used to write, for the backstory, if you like. Well, it's like this. Turns out it wasn't quite goodbye, or farewell, after all, I'm afraid: because this morning, after a lot of thinking, I gave up giving up. I started taking Prozac, or fluoexetine, or whatever you like to call it, again.
I don't really know what made me start again. It's a combination of things rather than one specific event. But generally it was this: everything just started to fall apart, a bit. Unfortunately, but there you are. Everything had seemed to be in place - as in place as it was ever probably going to be, I think - but I couldn't quite string it all together. Or perhaps I just should face up to the fact that having to take medication is something that I'm going to have to do, just like I take it for other things in my life, and that this is no different, and all the counselling or therapy or whatever else you might try in the meantime isn't going to change all of that. Is it time to face up to that, now? I suppose so. But I would never have known if I hadn't tried. You've got to try, otherwise you'll never know, and you have to know, so you have to try.
I feel disappointed, but not crushed. A little bit hurt, but not beaten. Low, but I've been lower. This isn't as bad as it could be. As I always say, it's only through learning where you're vulnerable that you learn where you're strong. I remember reading once that they knew where to reinforce planes that came back from the Battle of Britain because those were the bits where there weren't any bulletholes. It's only through getting hit, and surviving, you know how strong you really are. It's only through trying, and failing, you know where you succeed, and how you can do better. It's how you deal with it that counts. I'm not weak.
The rather odd thing is that yesterday I got some good news, the best news I've had in ages. Someone actually paid me for something I wrote - the cheque arrived, and no, I wasn't dreaming, it had actually happened. In a strange kind of way, perhaps that makes you look at things differently, when you hit your goals, even in a small way, on a small scale, in a way that matters not very much to anyone else at all, but means the whole world to you. WIN, you might say. The day didn't end up feeling full of WIN, but it doesn't always matter how things end up; what matters more, perhaps, is what happens next.
So what does happen next? I just carry on. A lot of things seem to have fallen apart and taken a knock - another thing that's gone wrong, to add to the list of things that have gone wrong? No, not really. Just a little fail. You don't need the capital letters. A little fail and a little win, within 24 hours of each other. Perhaps that's it. Perhaps if you can belittle the triumph, as much as you can the catastrophe, into as small a thing as you can make it, that makes everything small stuff, manageable, something you can deal with. A little fail, a little win. A little of each every day, it needn't add up to anything sinister, or problematic.
And knowing that you might not be strong enough to cope on your own? That's not a fail. That's strength over time - the strength to realise when you can't cope, and admit you're vulnerable, and need help; better that than blundering blindly along determined and stubborn, and ending up getting really hurt, or ruining things for those you love most.
Don't worry, jokes tomorrow. For now, a pause. It doesn't feel as bad as I thought it would do. It feels OK. Relief, if anything. And now, with help, and the love of those around me, to get the rest of it sorted out. And I will.