In Durham, England, there used to be a wood carving in the trees by the river. It was 12 separate trees, and from the correct angle you would see them all come together to make a 3D picture of the last supper. Any other position and they all just looked like trees.
Perspective is a wonderful thing. Wildly underrated and definitely underused. Unfortunately it is difficult to get your hands on, firstly because it is a metaphysical concept, but secondly you need a good variety of vantage points. I spend my days doing largely the same thing, in largely the same places. That means getting naturally occurring, and different vantage points is rare. So to find it requires action and thought. But who wants to think anymore? Thinking is old news, the kids are all about Pogs and Tamagotchis these days*.
Today I didn’t have to go very far to find some perspective, because a big slab of it landed right in my lap. Just like a month ago, I am sick again. The right way, obviously. I am sniffing, coughing, sneezing and quite flu-y. Now, just prior to this real actual sickness, I had a short sharp unimportant, not-a-real sickness, depressive episode*.
I didn’t recognise it at first, but the signs were there. I was spending most of my time in bed and my apartment became messy, untidy, or even dirty. I would come home from work in disbelief. As if a burglar had just broken in to leave dirty dishes in every room* and throw my clothes all over. Showering became optional, as did eating regularly. In summary, my self-care was pretty abysmal.
But I thought being depressed was just about being sad Mindfump? No. Just no. Nope.
Something interesting happened today though*. I woke up without feeling depressed, no symptoms. In fact, I would go as far as to say I felt good. I got out of bed, I cooked, I showered, I cleaned my whole apartment and organised my blog.
+10 points for self-care.
So with todays lack of depression I was naturally rewarded with the flu. Unlike depression though, the flu didn’t inhibit me. And this is where the trees aligned. You see, from a certain angle I just looked like a lanky and lazy 28 year old English person who couldn’t get out of bed to look after himself – and then felt guilty about it. But from the correct angle, I am actually a lanky 28 year old English person who can look after himself – when he has anything but depression.
Perspective has enlightened me today. The guilt is gone and I am feeling much better. But if someone wouldn’t mind popping to the shops for me to grab a pint of milk and a loaf, that would be great. Oh, and the bins need taking out as well, thanks. I’m sick, remember? Got to stay in bed.
*I only have two rooms.
*Normally it doesn’t