Vice Squad

Thursday was a lovely day spent with my dad. It was such a treat to have him all to myself as we Xmas shopped and shared pork gyoza in one of my favourite noodle bars. We discussed revolutionary politics, why everyone else on the planet is a fool and what it’s like having kids (“it is nice to see their little faces every now and again”). My mood was buoyant and I felt good.

Yesterday I struggled to get out of bed and was a bit tearful in the morning. This wasn’t helped by the letter I received from the DVLA. I have to surrender my licence until I’ve had six months of stable mental health. It’s not like I wasn’t expecting it but it was still very upsetting. I feel as if I’ve been dragged back to being a teenager, dependent once again on lifts and charity. It’s all because of one seemingly innocuous question of ‘and how does it affect your driving?’ I didn’t think it did and made a joke about occasionally driving at 32mph rather than 30 but all it says in my notes is ‘she sometimes drives too fast’. There is no grey area and certainly no room for glib remarks. I have lost my independence and I am honestly gutted.

Still, I managed to have a good time at thanksgiving dinner with some of my best friends. Though to begin with I was dull and sleepy, I sharpened up as the turkey and cheap Polish beer flowed. It was such a treat to see some of my best friends and crack jokes, being the me I was a few months ago. I have given up so much of myself, not just due to my diagnosis but the course I’m now studying. Its serious nature, looking towards being an upstanding citizen, means I can’t have any of the fun I used to be famous for. I also have to take complete and utter boring care of myself because otherwise I’ll be the unthinkable: mentally ill. I’m no longer a loveable party animal but a (relatively) sober manic depressive who has to be good and nice and well behaved. I know it’s all probably for the best but I’m scared I’ve lost some of the joy in life. I’m angry knowing that I’ve had to give so much up, even though I was ready to, but what am I supposed to do now? I can’t even get the cheap thrill of driving at 32mph. Everybody needs a little vice.

Then there’s the usual debate on my head about whether I’m unhappy about something real or if it’s just another one of my moods. I’m certain the car stuff is genuine disappointment and resentment but there are always things on my mind that I doubt. I will keep them inside for now.

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