I Don’t Believe In Being Brave

Menswear are a 90’s Brit Pop band. Some may argue that history has been unkind to them. Others will say that they don’t deserve kindness, since they were essentially a manufactured guitar band with an emphasis on the ‘pop’ part of Brit Pop, arranged for the members good looks and rumour has it they were discovered in the menswear section of a shop.

They had one song though that many hold dear to their hearts, and that is ‘Being Brave’.

I am nostalgic for the 90’s. Despite the fact it had a lot of problems and I was no older than 10 by the end of the millennium.

I often use quotes from The Simpsons, or song lyrics as a way of saying what I want to say.

I often say the chorus line of the song Being Brave, which is ‘I don’t believe in being brave’.

Being brave is tough. And I am soft and malleable. I am pathetic and weak. I am incapable of strength.

The future is bleak. The future is black.


I am not Hamlet

I first learnt the definition of the word ‘procrastination’ when I was at college studying Hamlet on my English Literature course.

Hamlet is about many things, but procrastination is one of the big themes in the play.

Hamlet is procrastinating about what to do, whether to avenge his Father’s murder, whether to kill Claudius and take back his thrown.

In the end it is fair to say he doesn’t so much decide what to do, he has his hand forced.

The fact is I have been waiting to have my hand forced. I am in the passenger seat of my own life. I am not taking control. I am placing my decisions in the hands of others. I don’t know what to do next or how to proceed. I want someone to give me the answers. I want someone to tell me what to do.

The problem in my life is my mental health has taken more than just a nose dive, it has fallen cataclysmic-ally into the abyss.

I want someone to tell me how to get better. If someone told me point blank that the way to get better is to tap your head whilst rubbing your tummy/cycle for 20km each day/howl at the moon then you can bet that I would be cycling at night, whilst tapping my head and rubbing my tummy and howling at the moon.

It would be a surreal sight but I would do anything to make me better.

The thing is I am not willing, or I am incapable of, getting into the drivers seat of my own life.

I am so stressed right now that it’s like I can feel my skin moving. Crawling away from me, going to find a new, more capable, body to attach itself to.

But I am not Hamlet. I do not want my hand forced, I do not want to be in the audience of my life. I am not the King of procrastination. I must be brave. I must persevere.

I must survive.

You’re in a bad way

Yesterday was a day in the chronicles of my life.

Today was another.

I did not like today.

I have fallen into my comforting bad habits. Comfort eating.

I have also adopted a worrying new habit.

I have started having a drink after work, sometimes not even getting to the home first but having it on the train home. I do this to take the edge off my day and I have joined the dots to see the connection that alcohol usually makes me feel happier.

Today for the first time in a long time I considered jacking in my years of non smoking and buying a pack. Smoking used to make me feel invincible.

It also gave me bad breath.

And like Toru Watanabe in Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood I hated feeling controlled by something.

The fact is my so called worrying new levels of drinking are laughable. I mean, it’s like one drink a day. But the trouble is when you drink as little as I do anything you do have extra stands out like a sore thumb.

And I had that rule about ‘Not drinking to improve or enhance a mood’.

Today my internet history has seen me search for the best (and worse) jobs for people with social anxiety disorders because I think I have proven to myself I can’t have dream careers like normal people, instead I must go with what can I cope with.

There is a show that I haven’t watched but see advertised on BBC IPlayer called ‘Can’t cope, won’t cope’ and I’m like ‘That’s what I should call my autobiography because ‘The Crying of House 49′ is far too esoteric a reference’

I have tried to search for whether being a mental f***wit means you qualify for disability welfare, because I’m beginning to think it’s not so much as I have difficulty working but that I am completely incapable of it.

But I have always prided myself on my work ethic. I want the full time wage. I want it all.

All my problems are caused by my bastard of a brain. I decided to forgo my usual habit of censoring my swearing just then because I wanted to emphasise my point. I have no real problems. I’m not even stressed by my debt other than the fact that my debt is causing me to stick with jobs I hate or find traumatic because otherwise I will lose everything.

If I could say to myself three years ago, when I was in Peacocks, buying a new outfit because I was going for an unexpected drink after work and didn’t want to wear my uniform, if I could tell myself that my stupid, stupid choices might give me an unlimited wardrobe, but they would dramatically limit all other options such as whether I can move out of the sketchy neighbourhood, whether I can take time off work to look after myself, or whether I could even afford counselling to make myself better, if I could tell myself all that then maybe things would be different now.