Day 20. I LOLd.

Day 20 of the NHS happy pills. I am thinking of having a themed TLYW season, since this is turning out to be a long project, one that I am increasingly resigned to as having a degree of existence and priority in its own right. We could call it Summer of Drugs.

Reports vary as to how long these pills take to achieve their full effects. Conservative and official estimates say 6-8 weeks, assuming you are even on the right dose. Anecdotal reports from patients suggest that at least some of them are feeling at least some effects after 2-3 weeks.

Today, I laughed. Out loud. And I laughed yesterday as well. It wasn’t even at anything particularly intelligent or uplifting, it was just people mocking each other on the internet. It felt like a huge step forward, it was like a hint of my normal personality returning. What I think of as my normal personality involves certain vital ingredients that are either present or absent, normally present. These include laughing my head off, incorporating hooting and cackling dirtily in the style of Sid James. Other behavioural indicators of normality are listening to music, dancing, knitting (knitting projects are not only creative, they are somewhat of an expression of hope and investment in the future because they take months to complete), wanting to go outdoors when I see the sun shining and a propensity to find myself and other people attractive. All of those last five items are currently missing, but if my sense of humour is starting to trickle back … that would be amazing. I can’t tell you how important that is. I can endure all the side effects in the world if I start finding things funny again. That’s all that matters. If my sense of humour is going to start working again then I have my mental health and we are back in business.

Readers, if you don’t know him already, this is Sid James, a hero of British comedy, in Carry On At Your Convenience (1971). Sid is in the grey cardigan, his co-stars are the glorious Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey and Patsy Rowlands. This is the Britain that I was born into and grew up with. It is very illustrative of British culture. Carry On was a long series of comedy films in the 60s and 70s that managed to be outstandingly funny while revolving entirely around jokes about tits, toilets and men dressing up as women.



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