Tuesday, 29 January 2008

No Country For Old Values

So, went to see No Country For Old Men this weekend, great film, stunning opening sections...only spoiled by the persistent russle of food wrappers. Now Rol used to complain about the distractions in the cinema and I used to think I was lucky as I always had the advantage of late afternoon screenings with barely anybody else in. However, over the last two years or so, it has become an ordeal each time I go to the cinema, either due to constant chatter (I moved TWICE during Transformers, the second time when two people shifted to face each other and were having a full blown conversation!), people kicking seats or persistent plastic bag ruffling (you expect a bit but not for prolonged periods). I really really can't stand this, is it so wrong to expect a little consideration when even the screen tells the audience to be quiet (two people walked out of No Country when their mobiles went off!)?

After the film, Tone and I went to the pub where two obnoxious loudmouths out of a group of four made it difficult to even hear each other. Angrily, I questioned "What is it with all the chavs around here?" Tone asked "What, don't you have chavs in High Wycombe?". I considered this and explained that I can't remember any in the pubs but of course we do have chavs, that's why I find catching the bus every night such an ordeal. Plus, a lovely area called Castlefield was featured in a documentary a few years back and was portrayed--probably fairly--as the blight of Bucks.

Cinema noise. Obnoxious gits on the bus. Poor public transport services. Practically everything on TV and the radio. Can I blame all of this on a decline in standards---or is it really just me? I don't mean that figuratively: IS it me? Who am I to stand as a moral paragon? I try to treat people with civil courtesy and respect and expect the same back but am I right to demand that? SHOULD others conform to polite behaviour?

Today at work, a small error I (99% probably but not entirely beyond doubt) made at the start of the month rose to the surface, a really minor thing that got missed but could have led to big trouble. This angered me no end. I mean, REALLY angered me: I hate the fact that I make mistakes like this (I can live with litle insignificant ones), although everybody does them, but today I just went off big time. I wanted to pluck out my own eyes or stab my arm. Seriously. In the encyclopedia of normal, I think there's a great big gap around where that might have gone. I was so angry, I couldn't face my regimented balanced meals and worked straight from 8 ttill 5.15 with nothing except a cup of tea (missing my fruit, salad and ceral bar throughout the day) as I was too angry--with myself mind, not anybody else- to relax on break so I worked through it instead. Come the afternoon, my mood started to subside when another stupid error surfaced, this one I know was because I was rushing. Again, my blood rose...and by the time it levelled off around 4.40, I was both knackered and now starving.

Is it normal to get so over-angry and to turn it inwards? I've started reading a book about Steve Rude, who talks about his own battles with depression and I recognise the symptoms in myself. I've had some dark periods in my past to be sure and I probably have more issues than the Comics Warehouse. I'm generally an easygoing calm person---but I do bottle things and sometimes this can lead to VERY fast, high anger levels. In comic terms, I liken myself more to Cyclops than the Hulk (okay, stay with me here!). Bruce Banner can't control his anger, his temper literally runs away with him and destroys everything while he has absolutely no control over himself. Cyclops meanwhile has similar reserves of power which he has to consciously bottle up each day in order not to destroy everything around him and this takes its toll on him. He maintains control but sometimes vents when necessary. Cyclops and optic beams, me and anger, that's the same y'see.

Now I don't want this blog to get all serious and black but today was a bad day, hopefully tomorrow will be better. Let's hope so, eh? After all, even ruby quartz visors can crack...

9 comments:

davey said...

...Is it normal to get so over-angry and to turn it inwards?...

Unfortunately yes, unless you have a release for it. I was diagnosed two years ago with as being bi-polar and I understand where you're coming from. I'm lucky in that most of the time I'm in control, but every so often I'll either do nothing but rant or not leave the house and just lurk.

There is however a point where you have to say fuck it, that isn't something I can control. You can't control dickheads in pubs, or in cinemas. I had to listen to a whining American kid going "Daddy, what's happening?" all way through a film, until I got up, went the three rows back to where the kid and his dad was and said "I'll tell you what's happening. Im going to ask the ushers to remove you if you don't keep your kid quiet. We've paid to see the film, not listen to him"
Worked a treat. However, if I did that now, I'd probably be stabbed to death. You can only take respnsibility for yourself and your actions. Mistakes happen, we're humans and it's our major malfunction. Do you think the Yanks who killed allied troops with their friendly fire(sic) worry about it? I doubt it very much. This links in to your blog on the confused artist, there is no point in striving for perfection as perfection can never exist, so do as good a job as you can, and be happy in knowing that it's you've not done the best to your abilities, you've done one better.

Nige Lowrey said...

Sorry to hear about your prognosis, Dave--or maybe its good to know? I have to admit its abit of a surprise as you're generally on an up when I've seen you over the years and never really in a funk for more than a few minutes. I've just Wikipedia-ed bipolar disorder and see that many sufferers are quite outgoing, which is yourself, young man!

Reading on though, I see certain similarities to my own moods so might enquire further when I go for my next diabetic checkup.

It's interesting to note that the creative impulse is often linked with the disorder too...

davey said...

I'm glad I found out, as it explained a lot of things. There's a lot of confusion about the disorder, but like a lot of these things there are different levels of how it affects people. I have speights, i can be really manic about the most trivial things or really hyper about stuff that really doesn't deserve more than the smallest acknowledgement. My problem is brooding, and while I'm brooding I become really introverted. That's why amongst other things, people don't hear from me in months then can't get rid of me.

Oh,don't trust Wikkipedia about anything medical, nor NHS Direct. My friend phoned them up with a really killer headache. She was told getto hospital straight away, you've got a brain embalism. Turned out it was just a headache. That's the problem with leaving medical matters to call centre operatives. Speak to your doctor or better still, go to
http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinformation/mentalhealthproblems/bipolarmanicdepression/bipolardisorder.aspx

Nige Lowrey said...

So how were you diagnosed, was it a round of blood tests followed by psychiatric assessment? I'm kind of musing now, I have symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression and don't know if I have a touch of either or am just miserable!

Looking at Wikipedia, I exhibit ALOT of the symptoms but following your link, I get 7 out of 20 for bipolar but 12 out of 20 for depression. I seem to expereience the lows of bipolar but not the euphoric highs: I practically never get excited so never experience highs, although sometimes my mouth can't keep up with my thoughts, resulting in slight stuttering or tripping over my words.

I don't FEEL "depressed" but the lack of any "upswing" or energy high (now, I've seen you metaphorically running about like a gerbil, burning the candle at both ends, so I definitely don't have your energy levels!)makes me wonder if I may have a touch of the grumps. Or maybe there's a thyroid imbalance or something.

Hmmm...

davey said...

I was originally diagnosed by my doctor, who then sent me to a specialist who then sent me for psych evaluation. Apparently I'm a classic case. But like most classic cases I stopped taking the medicatio because I was fucked over by it, and just left feeling washed out and unable to care about doing stuff. I'd much rather have the highs and lows because in the end I accepted them as part of my personality, and I can pretty much judge when they're coming on so I can deal with them. I don't get suicidal, that's a big myth, the percentage of people who suffer from bi-polar who get that bad is small, like with any condition or illness people are affected in different ways and it's easy to make sweeping statements about sufferers (I hate to think of it as suffering, I'm not, I just have mood swings) but when I'm down, I'm down. I'd suggest going to see your doctor, you need to know why you're in feeling like you are. It could be SADs it could be you need vitamins or it could be depression, bi-polar or early stage mental illness. I thought I was having another breakdown, but it was in my case, good news

Nige Lowrey said...

Well, I don't want medicatio or counselling, just to know if there's an underlying root to my mental disposition, which is very inconsistent.

The trouble with alot of modern medical practice is that by applying a label to any given subject, it therefore justifies and validates alot of behaviour that may or may not be deserved. For example, I'm sure there are many sufferers of ADHD but I'm sure there are just some bad kids that need kicking into shape. Therefore, I know I have emotional/psychological irregularities but I'm just wondering if I have an underlying affliction or if that's just me :)

Rol Hirst said...

It's not just you.

Or even just you and Davey!

davey said...

There is however a point whe you have to say am I ill or am I just a moody bastard. I'm currently a moody bastard. I think that's my lifestyle of working nights and not sleeping much afterwards. I noticed when I go to the gym I feel happier, when I sit in the garden, I feel more at peace. Sometimes just a change of environment or diet can help so much.

You should change the blog title to medical confessions of miserable gits...

Nige Lowrey said...

Feeling happier at the gym would have nothing to do with sweaty ladies in tight-fitting lycra, eh, Dave?

I'm off to the vet's on Monday, see what he says then...