I gave up believing despair needed to be critical – there’s humour even within the darkest moments | Rhiannon Neads

I knew two issues from a really early age: I preferred making individuals snicker, and I used to be destined to go to house.

My desires of a moon stroll have been cruelly dashed when, at 10, I had a panic assault on a 40-minute flight to Inverness. Additionally I wasn’t 10, I used to be 26. Making individuals snicker was far more inside attain – however at instances, it felt just like the despair that may periodically overwhelm me stood at odds with it.

I’ve discovered that despair is in some ways like house meals (which I demanded for Christmas within the late 90s, “to organize me”) – it’s disagreeable, has no clear expiry date, and folks wish to outline you by your affiliation with it.

After I was popping out of a very unhealthy patch in my early 20s, I discovered myself in a bizarre, limbo state. On the entire, individuals have been very sort and understanding, however there was additionally an odd expectation that I’d be unhappy on a regular basis.

And certain, there have been many days once I spent six hours staring wistfully on the antidepressant prescription I had taped to my wall like some surreal indie band poster. However some days I wished to exit! And see my buddies! And attend fancy costume events in a self-sewn Hubble telescope costume! As a result of individuals with despair can nonetheless be extremely iconic fashionistas. We’re simply making an attempt to do the issues that “regular” individuals do – like catching buses, occurring dates and making badges with our skilled badge-makers (simply me?)

Generally sustaining the expectation of what a depressed individual ought to be like, or how they need to behave, turned my newest performing train. When individuals requested how I used to be, I’d lookup meekly, eyes filled with tears and say, “It’s been arduous”. Don’t get me unsuitable, it had been arduous, however having to constantly play out the hardness was virtually extra exhausting than the precise despair.

After which in some unspecified time in the future I realised I might simply … not. I realised that Unhappy Rhiannon nonetheless made jokes, and Humorous Rhiannon typically cried. This may blow your thoughts, but it surely appeared that they have been the identical Rhiannon. And issues turned simpler once I realised that the 2 may very well be buddies.

As a result of there are issues that you just do if you’re unhappy that basically demand to be laughed at. Just like the time I used to be crying outdoors a celebration. I noticed a man I fancied, didn’t need him to see me in that state, and so took the one sane plan of action and lay in a ditch. Yep. You learn that appropriately. A ditch. Clearly he noticed me. As a result of – and I can’t stress this sufficient – I used to be a totally grown lady mendacity in a really shallow ditch. However it’s high quality, as a result of I completely lined it by getting out and saying to him, “We have been simply seeing who might discover one of the best ditch to cover in … and I’m the winner.” Do I remorse this? After all! Is it hilarious? Completely! Humorous Rhiannon and Unhappy Rhiannon in full, ridiculous power.

My play Supernova is what occurred once I determined to unite the 2 Rhiannons, capturing life’s humour in addition to its weight. Supernova is a present with a high-functioning depressive because the protagonist, who permits us to snicker in even the darkest moments. It explores the influence despair can have on family members, and the difficulties of sustaining relationships. However, above all, it’s about connection (to your self and the universe), the potential for restoration and the opportunity of making peace with the scariest corners of ourselves.

Whenever you write one thing, it feels such as you’re taking a little bit of your mind out and letting different individuals look and choose – and hoping they gained’t simply be confused and mildly disgusted and ask you to pop it again into your cranium, please.

However thus far, the conversations within the bar afterwards have been electrical. Do you’ve gotten a favorite planet? Does John Harm really matter as a Physician? When was your final full-blown psychological breakdown? The comedy seems to be a gateway drug into speaking concerning the harder stuff. And everybody’s huffing it up (having by no means taken medicine, I’m not sure on the terminology, so I’m primarily drawing on one PSHE lesson the place we watched a video on sniffing glue).

Don’t get me unsuitable, when you find yourself within the throes of a really critical psychological well being episode it’s not enjoyable. It’s very not enjoyable. However as of late I consider my despair like a good friend’s boyfriend at a home celebration who begins strumming on a guitar. I’ll be civil, I’ll endure a verse or two of Wonderwall, regardless that I hate it and I hate them, however as soon as they’re gone, I’m gonna be taking the piss.

How is my psychological well being doing now? It’s a bit like that outdated packet of house meals (someway nonetheless not expired) – regardless that I’ll in all probability have it for all times, I’m studying to dwell with it and making an attempt to not be ashamed of it.

And certain, I by no means made it to house. However I reckon it’s fairly lonely up there anyway. Down right here there are badges, and folks to put on them, and the meals is way a lot higher.

  • Rhiannon Neads is a author and actor. Her play Supernova runs from the 25 April to 13 Could on the Omnibus theatre in Clapham, south London

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