It is, it seems, possible to be broad-brushstrokes fine whilst also encountering… not so much bumps in the road as demons. So, one moment you’re on a level. Not necessarily cloud nine. A little anxious perhaps. Or vaguely irritable. But nothing to report, nothing to see here. And the next moment you are wondering whether the world might be a better place if you were just quietly hit by a bus; whether you can bear to carry on; whether you can tolerate the pain. It’s a mean blackness. A stab of micro-desperation and, usually, it passes as oddly and randomly as it struck. You find that, like a toddler, a distraction may lead your feelings off in a less hopeless direction. And then? Broad-brushstrokes fine again. For now.
And, the thing is, when the micro-desperation passes you have trouble remembering what and why. What was the trigger? It’s a mystery. How exactly did you feel, in that instant? Well, that’s like trying to remember what it’s like to feel cold when you’re warm. It just doesn’t make sense.
And so you proceed. Onwards and sideways. But you are faintly bruised; a bit shadowed. Because you know that the bleakness is there, untreated and unexplained – ready to strike and derail a moment, a day, a week, a life.
You are, as we have established, broad-brushstrokes fine. Until you’re not. And so we ask… is this normal? Are we normal? Or should we be ashamed of ourselves for being so weak? If you haven’t had a migraine you don’t understand the pain. If you haven’t had a micro-desperation, ditto. And the thing is, what if micro becomes macro? What then?