“The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.”
Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett
In September 2012 I stood on a floodlit off-West End stage. The final act of a play called ‘Life Begins‘ and my most challenging scene.
“When it comes to it,” the director had told me some weeks before, “You’re going to have to find your anger. You’d better find it, pull it out of somewhere deep and let it go!”
The scene was a hospital waiting room.
“How dare you!” I tore across the stage at a fellow actor and had to be held back from hurting him. The audience was on the edge of their seats because no-one knew yet whether or not the lead character was going to live or die.
All my friends in the audience.
My debut on the London stage.
In those heated seconds, a long piece of colourful wallpaper peeled off the set wall behind me. I’d pulled out my anger from who knows where. I’d even produced tears. But instead of the desired effect, I got a laugh.
February felt just like that – one pitiful, extended bad-hair day, and the laugh was on me!
Remember that picture of the old hag and young lady mixed up in one image? In February I’m afraid all I could see was the old hag.
My faithful shampoo stopped working. My hair went from silky shine to dull flatness. I counted ever so many new wrinkles, pulled out some new grey hairs, had another bout of sleeplessness and couldn’t dig my mood out of the blues. It was like Sunday afternoon at boarding school all over again.
The problem with this picture is that once you’ve spotted the old hag it’s almost impossible to see the young lady again.
Have you heard of the S.A.D.s? Seasonal affective disorder?
It’s a real thing.
The NHS defines it as “a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is somethings known as ‘winter depression’ because symptoms are usually more apparent and severe during winter.”
The thing about SAD is that when you’re in it, IT’S REAL. You can’t just say to yourself: “Snap out of it, chum, it’s just the SADs!” No, you have to let it take its course. You have to feel it. You can only see it for what it really is once you’ve survived it and can look back victorious.
My Mamma once told me that if you pull a face too long and the clock strikes 12, your face will stay that way!
Thank goodness when the clock struck the end of February, I’d stopped pulling that horrible face!
Eish, that was close!
P.s. SAD creeps up on me every year and I don’t see it coming – even when I prepare myself. Hubby gets it too, so we can’t even lean on each other very well because we are both liable to falling over.
P.p.s. The blossoms are out and spring is in the air. Somewhere in Russia they are getting ready for the ice to crack. There’s hope! Don’t give up dear readers.
P.p.p.s. My bad hair day (month) was not only in my head (not supposed to be punny), it was literal – my shampoo honestly stopped cleaning my hair and I’ve been in search of a decent shampoo ever since. Has anyone else ever experienced that kind of shampoo-betrayal?