Ghosts Don’t Eat Peanut Butter Sandwiches


The day I wrote that I was depressed. No shit!

I feel like I’ve used that word so much since becoming aware of it’s presence. It started when I was 12, but being a kid I was unable to recognise it myself,  and the people who should have noticed – my mother, my stepfather – were partly the cause of it, so they too were unable to recognise it. Because that would have meant looking at themselves. It would have meant admitting wrong doing. It would have meant confronting their own histories of abuse and neglect. And they weren’t ready for that. So in ways I learned to be like them. To not see the reality right in front of me; and within. I learned all the illogical intricacies of the denial game. It took 15 years to finally recognise that game.

So, when I took those first steps off the pitch at 27 and turned my back on that game, for the first time in my life I felt the terrible, seemingly unbearable weight, of all the pain I had denied. But I had never lived in reality before, so I rather naively thought the struggle was over. A few months of allowing myself to feel everything. A few months of opening up to people. A few months of counselling. Fuck yeah, within the year it would all be over and there I’d stand, version 2.0 of myself… Glorious in victory, unencumbered by my past. No more fear and self-doubt.

I thought I’d reached the end. Turns out it was just the beginning…

Now 32, writing by hand helps.

On those days when I can’t read a book, write a blog post, or even watch some shite on YouTube. Those days when I can’t leave the house. When I can’t leave my room. Can’t leave my bed. Those days when I can’t feel a fucking thing. When I can’t pick up the guitar, can’t attempt to make something to eat, can barely seem to move a limb, without crying the strange and terrifying cry of a person who doesn’t want to live anymore. Think about that.. Life itself, rejecting itself. On those days that I am invisible; a ghost chained to life only by the heavy weight hanging from somewhere deep inside my chest..

On those days, writing by hand helps.

Whether it’s six words, or four, or just one.

Somehow it breaks the spell. The chains that anchor the unwilling ghost that is me loosen just a fraction. But instead of drifting out of life into the nothingness of not life, something returns. You might be wondering what. I don’t know. I mean I really don’t know.. There is just something..

Just enough of not nothing to move with the day. Maybe I can manage just one thing. On this particular day it was picking up my guitar to start learning a Led Zeppelin tune. On some other day though maybe it’s just a peanut butter sandwich.

Ghosts Don’t Eat Peanut Butter Sandwiches