Thursday, December 08, 2005

nervous breakdown?

Today, for the first time, I attended what used to be known an an industrial therapy unit and has a modern name so bland I can't remember it. I'm going because I've not been too happy for a while and haven't been working and the govt. agent dealing with my case thought it might be a good idea. As you might imagine I was a little apprehensive arriving at this 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' kind of situation. Things went smoothly as I met the man in charge of joinery and woodturning (my activity of choice) and his assistant who were agreeable chaps. They told me it was a quiet day and introduced me to the only two other clients. I introduced myself to Tony who told me his name then asked very directly and loudly "NERVOUS BREAKDOWN????"....I replied no, not exactly then he fired off a salvo of questions along the lines of "MARRIED?...CHILDREN?....HAVE YOU EVER WORKED?" which I gave the appropriate answers. "WELL WHAT HAPPENED, THEN?" this point I asked about his background. "WORKED 20 YEARS AT STANDFAST.....GOT 3 KIDS...I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCKING HELL I'M DOING HERE"
Fortunately the gaffer intervened and sent him off to paint a bench and got me started on the lathe. Which went well.
What happened was exactly what you don't want to happen in such circumstances; an immediate public discussion of the reasons why you have been sidelined from normal life. However, I coped with it pretty well and in a strange way it kind of set me up. I found myself suddenly accepting my situation and feeling comfortable with it. Poor Tony is still falling.
Best wishes to you all x I began my work the song Mad World by Gary Jules came on the radio. I kid you not.


Blogger rjw said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:38 PM  
Blogger The Grunt said...

I don't know what to say, other than, I hope it works out. You can take or leave the following, since I only have an inkling of what you're going through. I hate telling people about my problems too, but I'll do something I hate:

I got out of college expecting to go on and get a PhD in Psychology, believe it or not. Things did not work out for me and it's been a struggle to deal with it ever since. I've had work, at least, but I still beat myself up over not living up to expectations. It turns out that I don't want to be a psychologist as a profession, but find the subject interesting. So, back to the drawing board.

Rob, I told you about Newcastle. It was there that I went through a terrible ordeal. I was going through so much stress that I couldn't keep food down, or when it did go down it'd go straight through me. I couldn't sleep at all. I lost close to three stone in a month. I couldn't keep anything straight in my head--weird, scary thoughts. I missed going over the edge by a hair. I don't know what the magic ingredient was that helped pull me out of it all, other than pure endurance and a higher power (I'm sure that Valium would have been nice). I don't know when it happened in all of this, but like you said, you kind of accept your situation and from there the problem tends to look different.

Since, I've had good years and some not so good. I don't know why I wrote all of this (damn internet makes you say crazy stuff). Regardless of whether I've missed the point or embarassed myself, here's to having a good '06 to both of us, mate.

I'm waiting to see if Mad World will start playing.

10:13 PM  
Blogger rjw said...

Grunt, I really appreciate your comments. I have had a pretty bad year and become dangerously reclusive of late. When you get in a rut it can seem like that is the story of your life, it can get hard to see out of. But in fact there have been plenty of good times - I've actually done loads of things in my time without ever settling on anything in particular. I've always made friends easily and am generally interested in life and doing stuff but having this magical thing, self belief, seems difficult for me.
However, I've felt a turning of the tide in recent weeks and been out seeing friends and, fortunately, there is some work coming up at the theatre I used to work in. So, yes, I'm feeling quite optimistic for the coming year.
I've only just got into this internet thing but it's great. Previously I was sceptical about online communities and such - ignorantly thinking it was about pretending to be someone you are not. Now I realise otherwise and have struck up a few friendships. It's a great opportunity and opens up a world of interesting things and people.
Again, thanks for digging out memories of your own dark times to help a fellow grunt. RESPECT!
My forthcoming job involves guiding a group of 20 year old (mostly female) drama students to successfully stage-managing their degree show. A tough assignment but some poor grunt has to do it !

11:52 AM  
Blogger The Grunt said...

Hey-hey! Sounds like a tough job escorting lasses around a theatre;) Definitely the kind of grunt work I could get into. Thanks for taking upon you the title of grunt. There needs to be more respect for those who toil and go unnoticed. Here's to the one thing all cultures have in common: Grunt Nation!

P.S. Everytime I go through reclusive phases, I am reminded that I do have friends. It must be a horrible thing to not have any friends. Thank God we do!

2:55 PM  

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