Yesterday my girls and I watched the black comedy ‘Wristcutters’ written and directed by Goran Dukic. How did we find this film? We googled dark romances and there it hid between my favourite movies ‘The Secretary’ and ‘Punch Drunk Love’. I’m not a huge Hollywood blockbuster fan. I like quirky, edgy, oddball (and any film Daniel Craig’s in).
There is the obvious moral dilemma. Does is glamourise and romanticise teenage suicide? When I watch films or listen to music I don’t analyse or think politically or correctly, if I did I couldn’t possibly enjoy 50 cent, Dexter or Fifty Shades. I admit I’m entertained by artists and concepts that are questionable even though I love wholesome and happy.
The film did get me thinking about suicide. I don’t know anyone directly who has attempted suicide but a dad of a player on my son’s football team with a history of mental illness and depression ended his life. He’d been turned away from the hospital after begging to be admitted then jumped off a high rise flat. Also my daughter dated a boy whose brother is permanently hospitalised under mental health and who himself suffers from hearing voices and had been sectioned three or four times. Obviously those that suffer from a mental illness are at high risk of suicidal tendencies. What about the rest of us? I’ve heard the same response a million times ‘people that commit suicide are weak, selfish’, etc. I don’t believe that for one second. Perhaps, on numerous previous occasions they were a hair’s breath from suicide but fought against it and won the battle. But it’s nearly impossible to win every battle. On a hundred occasions they were probably stronger than the majority of us that aren’t faced with despair, doubt, recriminations, debt, broken hearts. It’s believed that under a particular set of circumstances we all have the capacity to kill, I think the same can be said of depression and suicide. No one is immune, if it’s never crossed your mind, hung around your thoughts, lurked in your heart then you’re not stronger, just luckier.
I regularly read young adult books, I like to stay in tune with what my daughters read and issues relating to today’s young people. Thirteen Reasons Why and My Heart and Other Black Holes are two brilliant reads that deal with teenage depression and they make a great adult read.
I think I’m a lucky person. I’ve never faced gender issues, haven’t had to come out of the closet, didn’t have to cope with pressure to do well in my exams or follow a family tradition. Even today, two months on from my manuscript being sent to publishers and No’s received from Penguin, Bloomsbury and Harper I don’t feel the weight of disappointment or failure. I think it’s amazing that my book is being read by editors at these top publishing houses. Also I am meeting with my lovely agent for brunch tomorrow to discuss feedback. I’m very excited, it’s a reason to get out of my pajamas. I had my nails done yesterday. And I’ve already scanned the menu of where we are meeting and made my choice – apple and cinnamon muffin. Myelopathy is such a weird thing to have, it’s so limiting yet it’s led to an adventure I would never have experienced if I’d remained fully abled. Yes my fingers have a mind of their own but they can type. My kitchen is like a Greek restaurant there’s plate smashing left right and center. It’s the coffee jar that most frightens me. When coffee granules spill it’s bad, very bad. I walk like Golem. That’s how I move around until my rigor mortise passes. I’ve also had to cut back on my favourite activity – eating. Losing mobility leads to weight gain it also leads to increased medication which means no alcohol and I do so like a glass of wine. But all these downs are minor because I don’t struggle with depression or anxiety. My agent (love saying that) could tell me no a hundred times and I’d be optimistic about publisher 101.
Getting back to where I started. As a mum I prey that my children never suffer anxiety, depression or mental illness and I also hope that if they do they’ll be able to discuss it with me. It’s like cancer, none of us our immune, it can strike any one at any time.
On a happy note I’m working on a completely new idea Random Attachment. If I imagine hard enough I can see it on the shelves of WHS.
Bye for now,