Category Archives: Mental health

Can we just all stop being so angry?

There’s so much anger around isn’t there? 

Which is weird because most of us are nice and comfortable. So you’d expect us to be nice and relaxed. 

For example, I’ve just eaten some lovely treacle sponge and custard. This is well known comfort food. 

And I even know people who can pay more than the minimum payment on their credit card! Austerity my arse. 

So why is there so much anger out there? And does anger actually make a difference to anything – except the number of articles about anger? And maybe the number of people beaten up and beaten to death by angry people?

First things first – the scary health bit. 

Anger is bad for the person who’s angry – some people get so angry their head literally explodes. 

And anger is bad for society. Angry people attack and kill other people. If they’re really angry they can smash phone boxes and bus shelters.

Angry people sometimes even write nasty things on the internet.

So let’s all chill out, take some deep breaths and try to calm down. Remember it’s for the good of you as an individual and society as a whole. 

Here’s what you can do:

If it’s a particular person who’s pissing you off, try to blank them out and think about cute lambs gambolling in a field or a nice roast dinner – lamb and mint sauce with plenty of gravy for example. 

If it’s a thing that’s making you angry – like climate change or the murder rate in Belgrade – try to think of something good like After Eights or something difficult like String Theory. 

But as with all advice, there are exceptions. 

If you’re a decent, intelligent person, some people and things will just literally make you want to scream and cry and freak out with utter helpless and crippling rage. 

Things like: 

Aaron Banks for being a racist disgrace and an arrogant swine who thinks he knows more about Roman history than Professor Mary Beard of Cambridge University.

The Tory Brexit lot:

– boring Christians who think they’re doing god’s work
– free market lunatics who’ve never actually worked in the private sector and don’t understand economics
– clever ex-Oxford bores who are going for a hard Brexit because it’s such a hilarious jape
– heartless racist hypocrites who claim immigrants and poor people are a drain on the public purse, but who think they themselves are entitled to receive lots of public money for spouting their poisonous bile.

All utter arseholes on any measure of anal verisimilitude. 

Anyone who supports that bell end Donald Trump. 

And don’t get me started on religious freaks of any and all denominations, dicks who drive too fast, utter morons who let their dogs shit everywhere … 

AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!

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Compassion therapy in action – an Eggs Benedict Cumberbatch meditation 

I feel sorry for people called Benedict because, when someone offers them eggs – followed by their moniker – they may not know if they’re being offered the specific dish or a more generic yolk/albumen-based delicacy. 

‘Eggs, Benedict?’

‘Eggs Benedict?’

One way to avoid confusion would be to repeat the word Benedict – if the person is offering the specific dish. 

‘Eggs Benedict, Benedict?’

Anyway. 

This is part of my compassion therapy. 

It’s as far as I can take compassion for now. 

It’s a start isn’t it? 

Only I don’t actually know anyone called Benedict. 

Except Benedict Cumberbatch – whose full name has a smaller than expected six syllables! 

And I’ve never actually eaten Eggs Benedict.

Why February is the best month

As part of my therapy, I have to do a ‘glass half full’ exercise.

So here are eight reasons why February is my favourite month – despite it officially being the worst month of the year. 

1. You’ve given up on all your New Year’s Resolutions by now. So you can drink, smoke, take drugs, eat fatty foods, swear, get into fights, sit around doing no exercise, etc without feeling like a complete failure. 

2. The weather is quite shit so there’s a chance of getting off work or school without lying. 

3. You can be really pissed off and you’re allowed to blame it on the month – and no-one criticises you for being a maungy* twat.

4. It has a silent ‘r’ that some people pronounce, allowing you to silently despise them. 

5. Lots of people die in February so you can get free food and drink at wakes. 

6. You can wear long johns without being called a freak. 

7. Jehovah’s Witnesses get really cold – either door to door or at their city centre stalls. 

8. If you find yourself saying: ‘I can’t wait until this month is over’, it will be soon because it’s so short – like this excuse for a blog post. 

* West Yorkshire dialect for bad-tempered, sulky, generally jacked off with life, feeling like a right skank, etc. 

Write your own epitaph – and don’t be so grave 

There’s a psychological technique that gets you to write your own epitaph. 

The idea is that you think about what’s written on your gravestone – to encourage you to think about the person you’d like to be.

Then when you realise the massive distance between who you are now and the person described on the gravestone, you’re supposed to make huge changes in your life. 

Like stopping being an arsehole, devoting your life to discovering a new cheese or finally getting divorced. 
A Californian life coach would say this technique may help you ‘to live your best life’. Writing that phrase just literally made me gag. 

Another problem with the epitaph technique is that my family don’t do gravestones.

We’ve always been burnt. Sometimes at the stake. Other times at the crem. 

But we’ve always suffered from insufficient funds for a gravestone when we snuff it.

Still let’s not give up just yet. 

Here’s some inspiration:

‘I told you I was ill’ on Spike Milligan’a grave is really good. 

I also like these three:

Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723) in St. Paul’s Cathedral:
‘Si monumentum requiris circumspice.’
‘If you require a monument, look around.’

Mrs Aphra Behn (1640-89):
‘Here lies a proof that wit can never be, defence enough against mortality.’

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967):
‘Excuse my dust.’

Actually this exercise has really got me thinking. So here goes with some I’ve just thought up:

‘He spent his life either nervous, angry or off his tits on hardcore painkillers and/or benzodiazepines.’

‘His haircuts never really suited him.’

‘Didn’t work out as well as we hoped – but not as badly as we feared. B+?-‘

‘He tried. He failed. He conked out.’

‘A transvestite until the age of four. Then things went downhill.’

‘Cats will miss him. (Actually, no they won’t.)’

‘Feared by no-one. Loved by a few. Ignored by many.’

‘He gave up the drink. He gave up the fags. And now he’s given up the ghost.’

Why not have a go at writing your own epitaph? 

If nothing else, you can marvel at your own mediocrity. 

7 ways to survive Trump and May’s transatlantic disaster

There’s no doubt that the UK and the US have entered a new era of arrogant stupidity. 

Of course we’ve been here before. Our countries have been responsible for genocide and imperialism on a truly horrific scale. We’ve invaded countries, killed native peoples at will, destroyed cultures, enslaved populations. You name a crime against humanity  our countries are guilty of it. 

And yet we still have this idea that we safeguard basic human rights and dignity.

We can’t even make sure all our own citizens have a roof over their heads, we can’t even treat our all citizens with dignity when they’re ill and we can’t even make our trains run on time.

But these are other stories. 

Here’s your guide to surviving the next few years – until this brand of moronic conservatism blows itself out, hopefully not taking the rest of humankind with it. Choose the ones that make sense for you. 

1. If you don’t have one already, get a cat and/or a dog. They don’t give a shit about politics. And they let you stroke them. They also have nicer breath than either Trump or May. 

2. Don’t start writing angry tweets about politics – you’ll just get angrier and angrier until your head explodes. And if that happens you won’t have survived the Trump-May years when they thankfully come to an end.

3. Do lots of small acts of kindness – both to yourself and to others. This could include masturbating when you would normally be cleaning the oven, or checking if old Mrs Smith at number 15 needs any shopping. Note: don’t get these mixed up and offer to get the shopping for your oven or …

4. Learn some relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, smoking vast quantities of weed and taking benzodiazepines regularly. 

5. Take up a new hobby like gardening (so you can grow your own weed), chemistry (so you can create your own synthetic drugs) or tightrope walking (as a metaphor for your mental health).

6. Get addicted to heroin and/or crack so you spend less time worrying about the future of the world, homelessness, public health catastrophes, etc – and more energy wondering where your next hit is coming from. 

7. Inherit lots of money. Give most of it away to people who are much worse off than you are. And spend the rest emigrating to somewhere more sane, like Canada or Iceland. 

Good luck!

10 new year’s resolutions for an anxious depressive

Here are 10 new year’s resolutions I think I can keep – these are mainly reminders not to be a dick. 

Feel free to borrow any or all of them – not that I’m calling any of you potential dicks. 

I’ll stop digging and start the list. 

1. Keep not drinking alcohol. 

2. Keep not smoking cigarettes.

3. Keep swearing profusely – swearing is big and clever. Sweating less so – despite autocorrect. 

4. Keep walking at least six miles a day. This aids sanity.

5. Keep meditating every day. This also aids sanity and makes me seem wise. 

6. Don’t lose hope. The world will always contain bell ends. It’s a matter of not letting them piss all over you.

7. Keep not reading the news. It really is designed to make everyone anxious.

8. Keep taking the tablets. 

9. Keep being as nice as I can be to other people – being generous and kind really is good for everyone. 

10. Don’t eat snow – it contains more pollution than expected. 

Happy new year!

Why you don’t need booze, presents or Christ for a happy Christmas

I love Christmas.

This is weird as I’m not into presents, I don’t touch booze, I’m not a glutton, I don’t like the telly and I don’t do God.

When I was younger so much younger than today, getting a bottle of beer shampoo or a soap on a rope was actually exciting – and not in an ironic way. But why do I only remember the cleaning products? I think we’ll leave that one for my shrink in the new year.

I also really liked Jesus.

Midnight Mass, singing carols and praying were a way of life – not a pissed-up, nostalgia fest. I believed the whole thing – angels coming down from heav’n on a cold winter night that was so deep, trembling shepherds and their equally scared flocks of sheep washing their socks by night, the Virgin Mary wrapping LBJ in swaddling clothes and laying him in a manger after giving birth in front of lowing cattle and the most famous cuckold in 0th Century Middle Eastern literature.

On the other hand – and equally Christmassy – I’ve been known to spend every waking hour for several weeks either side of 25 December  as pissed as a fart.

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I’ve also experienced severe meat sweats while overdosing on TV Christmas specials, downing After Eights dunked in brandy while simultaneously farting sprout fumes and chain smoking the 200 Marlboros I got as a present – and thinking I’m having fun. So much for a typical Christmas Day in the early 1990s.

‘What’s the big deal?’ you may be asking. ‘Most of this sounds like pretty average festive behaviour, TBH!’

Nowadays, I’ve stopped boozing and smoking and I’m not arsed about parties – even political ones. I enjoy eating without the sweating. I’m not materialist. I’ve been kicked out of the Catholic Church on the grounds of apostasy and heresy. And I don’t particularly like Xmas jumpers – whether traditional or sarcastic-ironic, Mariah Carey, Christmas crackers, Santa hats, board games or annual quizzes, tinsel,  smug round-robin letters, Quality St, Advocaat or even the Holidays Are Comin’ TV campaign.

So how come I’m still simply having a wonderful Christmas time?

Put simply, it’s just that – for however short a time – we’re nicer to each other. For a little while, we think about – and even try to help – people who aren’t the lucky bastards we are.

It’s pretty impossible to be unmoved by the humanitarian tragedies around the world – and Christmas makes us think about them more as charities do a great job reminding us about them. And making effective pleas for help.

These campaigns also remind us there are so many people doing good, brave, extraordinary things to make this barmy world a bit better.

The need to give a shit hits home especially hard after a year like 2016 that’s seen a concerted attempt to move the hatred and bigotry of the far right into the political mainstream. And when utter arseholes (even smellier more revolting than the usual ring pieces) have secured some pretty powerful jobs.

So Christmas is a much-needed kick up the arse to give something to people I will never meet in countries I will never visit who face horrors I could never imagine. Or to people I pass on the street every day who also lead lives of quiet torture.

It’s a reminder to stop worrying about the insignificant bullshit that tends to clog our brains and to work out what’s actually important.

So thank you to everyone who’s reminded me to stop and think. Thank you to everyone who is trying in trying times.

You’re my true Christmas heroes. And you’re why I still love Christmas.

Oh and the Christmas jokes