• Eric Rushton

Lady Sadness

I’ve been dancing with Lady Sadness these last couple of days. Lady Sadness isn’t a real lady, she’s a metaphor for depression. I know that’s implied but I don’t like to be subtle with my literary devices. I reckon subtlety is for the weak. It takes bravery to create a metaphor and then instantly destroy it. My metaphors are like the government's Track and Trace app – finished before they’ve even started.

But much like the government, I’m just gonna crack on with it anyway.

The issue is, Lady Sadness is so so fit. And when she’s dancing by herself with those hips going from side to side, you just want to join in. You wanna politely say, “Madam, may I take this dance with you” and she’ll say yes and then 5 minutes later you’re grinding and she’s twerking and there’s some ass slapping going on and you’re having the time of your life with Lady Sadness.

I felt like I was happy two days ago. Everything in my life was bare imbued with meaning. I was waking up and doing me writing and being fit and healthy and I actually thought it was sustainable. Then I got sad. For no reason, really. I just suddenly feel like I’m a failure and nothing will go right again. I feel like my comedy and my writing are rubbish or irrelevant, and that the best thing I could do with my life is get a corporate job that I work at with 60% commitment. I feel like I want to cry, but all the tears are stuck inside. Maybe because I’m on anti-depressants. I’m not sure.

It’s pretty shit. I also feel like I don’t want to burden people with it, especially since I’ve been fairly happy recently. People have even commented on it. People have been like “Eric you seem happy at the moment, it’s good to see.” And so now if I tell them that I’m dry humping Lady Sadness they might be disappointed. Like I’ve failed. Like I’ve fallen off the wagon or something. If it was good to see when I’m happy, then it will be bad to see when I’m sad. No one ever goes, “Eric you seem like you’re in the throes of mental anguish at the moment, it’s good to see.”

Also, sometimes when you’re with Lady Sadness you start to feel like you don’t need other people. They wouldn’t understand the abusive relationship you have with Lady Sadness, so it’s better just keeping it closed off from the world. You lie in bed with her and watch sitcoms to make yourself feel better, but she just keeps telling you that you’re pathetic and disgusting.

She’s even here now, while I write. She’s asking me why I’m even bothering writing this. I say because I want to be a writer. She says fair play and she’s actually pretty reasonable about it. Nah just kidding, she tells me I’ve got no talent. She’s made me stop and have two wanks since I started.

She also keeps telling me it’s really problematic that I’ve cast her as female, because even though it might be unintentional, some might see it as sexist that I’ve created this femme fatale figure to be the source of my problems. I say fine I’ll call you Captain Sad Dick from now on. Captain Sad Dick says thank you and then slaps me in the face with his sad dick.

I laugh at Captain Sad Dick’s audacity. Then I feel anxious again. Am I endorsing problematic lad culture by laughing at a metaphorical man that represents depression slapping me in the face with his dick?

“I’m sorry Captain Sad Dick, I’m going to have to turn you into something else in order to err on the side of caution” I say.

“That’s fair enough, you PC cuck,” he replies.

I turn him into a dog. A black dog. My metaphor for depression is now a black dog. Then I realise that metaphor already exists. There’s a famous story about depression being a black dog that follows you everywhere, my counsellor told me it once. Maybe that’s the Eureka moment in this blog. Something about how I shouldn’t feel sad because other people who feel sad have the same metaphor for feeling sad or something like that.

I’m not sure. I still feel sad. Maybe what I said at the start is true. It’s easy to hide behind literary devices. I don’t need a metaphor. Maybe I should just say I am sad.

Here it goes: I am sad. Very sad.

There is nothing to do about it. Sadness isn’t a metaphor. It’s just a feeling that you have to sit with. But not actually sit with because that sounds like a metaphor again.

I’m gonna go be sad for a bit.

Because I am sad.

Cya x

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