The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”
T.H White ‘The Once and Future King’
Jilted on her wedding day by the fraudulent and morally bankrupt Compeyson, the haunted and deeply humiliated Miss Havisham takes refuge for the rest of her days in the gothic and crumbling ruins of Satis House, never to remove her bridal gown again and wearing only one shoe, exactly as she had been at the moment she received Compeyson’s letter cancelling the wedding. Heartbroken and wasting away, surrounded by the remains of her wedding feast and decorations, she pines for her lost love incessantly and obsessively. Lonely and grief-stricken, Miss Havisham adopts a young girl, Estella, who promises to be a great beauty. Miss Havisham brings Estella up to be cold and impassive in order to break the hearts of men in vicarious revenge for her suffering. Enter Pip, and his fate is tragically sealed on the first day he sets eyes on Estella. Arguably one of Dickens’ most famous gothic creations, it is sometimes hard to draw the line between caricature, eccentricity and genuine madness.
This is an interesting read on Miss Havisham, Dickens and Victorian Psychiatry.
Through this blog, I sincerely hope to start picking my way slowly through the last decade or so of my life, in order to make sense of some of the chaos and upheaval that has taken place in my past. I hope that, by understanding and exploring some of the major turning points in my life so far, it will help me to understand how to deal better with living with depression and to help me to, finally, express all of the feelings and emotions that have been building up inside of me for so long. I have come to believe that, ‘expression is the enemy of depression,’ and this will be my attempt at just that. I’m completely fed up with taking it lying down, so this is my stab at some kind of fight. I will probably make hundreds of mistakes, as I’m completely new to blogging, but I would very much like it to be a learning process as well as a creative and restorative one. I don’t think I will work my way chronologically through the timeline of my life (who knows? It’s an experiment.) Instead I intend to tell my stories (some happy, some extremely sad, and yes, some even funny!) as honestly and truthfully as I possibly can, sometimes in the context of songs, books, plays, art, poems that I have loved and have meant a great deal to me over the years. If it’s relevant and I’m interested in it (I’m interested in most things) then sooner or later it will probably make its way into these pages. I welcome any comments or feedback along the way, this is a completely new, and slightly intimidating, world for me! I hope you can join me on this journey (of sorts) it will be lovely to have you along.