the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

8mths on…when will it stop? Or get easier?


I’m tired.

Real tired.

And my mind keeps wandering, worrying, and shutting down completely at times.

And then the worst of it…the bouts of depression. That’s a strong word, and one that should never be taken lightly, and while I wouldn’t say for sure whether I am or not, there is no doubt that at times everything builds up to such a point where fighting it doesn’t work anymore. It is easier to shut oneself down and away, and block out everything…and wait for the next time to calm the kids, or brace the wall, or grab the table top. No biggy in each incident, but collectively they fuck with you, subconsciously.

It isn’t the earthquakes, and the spectre of another big’un; in fact I find them strangely exciting and awesome, how can one not? It is just one of those things, a force of nature, an act of God…it cannot be compared to other so-called random acts such as your plane slicing through the side of a building due to terrorism, or being mowed down on the footpath due to a driver pissed out his head, or being gang-raped and murdered in a back alley…they are selfish acts by deranged people with no damn reason to be alive other than to make a mockery of others. But an earthquake, flood, tsunami or otherwise; we all watch it on the news and sit in awe, dumbstruck by the sheer power and helplessness, but impressed deep down and respectful, and accepting, to a point, that if it happened to you (and of course it will never happen to me would it?) you would accept the cards dealt to you, man up, and take it on the chin. The first time. And the second time, as it was expected. The third and the fourth start to make you double guess…but 7000 of them? Fuck me sideways, give me a break!

Again, it isn’t the actual act that gets to you. But it is what they can do, to my family, my friends, my colleagues, and to every other god-damned person I may never even meet in a lifetime here in Christchurch…in fact, more than that, it is also what it is doing to my beautiful city that is starting to get to me. Not just the stunning gardens and historic (and beautiful) buildings, but the fact that they are as much a part of what makes Christchurch, and Canterbury as the uniqueness of the people who live here. Destroy one, and the other will inevitably be ground into non-existence.

And being strong for my family, while seemingly easy and in my nature, is also the hardest bloody thing to do. And then my work is on my back unerringly (and in my eyes insensitively) to perform in a place where the next day is uncertain, let alone the next month, year, or even 10 years; balancing the two in its current guise has gotten too much. And one has to stop, and it won’t be my family that’s for sure. So, as if the rest wasn’t enough, the pressure of finding new work in a town where builders and geologists take up all the Situations Vacant ads crushes even the strongest of personas.

Namely me.

But then I remember other things; there are people out there who have it a hell of a lot shittier than I do. And in this case, I only talk of my fellow Cantabs (let’s face it, others in this country and around the world do too, but only home counts at this moment in time), and those in the eastern suburbs, in Sumner, and up on the hills overlooking Redcliffs and in Lyttleton are doing it harder than me. Does it make my pain less? Probably not, but it racks you with guilt, and nothing you do will make that go away. And just when it does, fuck me, there’s another shake and the energy levels plummet again.

The first thing (eventually) you notice is the empties in the recycle bin…I’m not just saying a few beers or a bottle of wine now and again to calm the nerves. Copious amounts…binge proportions, like a party after winning the rugby final drinking. And of course for some, along with the drink is the smokes. Me, I like a beer or two or three after a day at work, and maybe a smoke or two (I don’t smoke a lot at home), but a dozen beers each night, and a packet of smokes a day to get you settled is pretty full on. But before you brand me as an alcoholic, the brain clicked, and changes were made. No smokes in three weeks (fucken hard after last Monday’s bombshell!) and not even a drink during the week. I cannot say I feel any better to be honest, but it’s a slippery slope. Thankfully I cannot eat chocolate otherwise I would be near on (morbidly) obese by now! And I cringe at too many of them every day which keeps me in check on that!

Now this isn’t a ‘poor me, poor me’ post. It is something that preys in the back of my head, during reading a book, during a drive, during (every night) the middle of the night, and even during playtime with my kids. Speaking about it doesn’t come naturally to me, but getting it out in any other medium does. Don’t pity me, don’t even respond to me, just understand me.

PiS…there is nothing like a good comedy to take one’s mind off it all if even only for half an hour..hence my Comedy Classics.

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2 thoughts on “8mths on…when will it stop? Or get easier?

  1. Anonymous on said:

    Keith, good on you for speaking your heart and mind… hang in there not only for your family but for yourself

  2. pete king on said:

    at the risk of sounding like a colleague of yours Keith, and not to say it lightly – but I love your work here mate. Great post. I’ve suffered depression – getting away from the cause 12 months ago was and has been the hardest stuff to leave (especially the income!!) but LIFE is more than that. You’ve got a gorgeous wonderful family – the rest falls into place while you focus on them. I’d love to buy you a beer soon. Cheers mate. Pete.

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