Wednesday, February 17, 2010


It is 11am; I have been up and out of bed since before 9. Hardly slept last night. All I can do is sit here, flicking through all of my posts to date. I'm listening to Leonard Cohen loudly through earphones, endlessly repeating 'Hallelujah' from his Live in London concert. Time after time.

Some desperado has just encroached and been sent on his way, disgruntled. He wanted to scrounge a cigarette. "Mate", I told him, "I'm trying to get by on £1.50 a week and have done for the last year. Of the 80 people on this wing, 79 are a better prospect to scrounge off than me." And he still stood there, looking sad. He finally got the hint. Today is pay day, and I will have to juggle like a clown on LSD to square everything by the end of the night.

The world looks bleak today. Last night, in the early un-sleeping hours, I had a terrible portent that I am destined to remain in this limbo forever. Near to release, never quite making it, sitting here as the years grind away and having to watch people drift away, all that is built up being eroded by perpetual disappointment. Do I deserve to be released? Not a legal or bureaucratic question, but a moral one? I have never been able to answer the simple question of "what should be the penalty for murder?"

There is not a single positive thing in my head. Looking back at previous posts, from the very beginning, I'm persuading myself that my writing is deteriorating, that it's hardly worth the trip down to the office to mail it out.

Christ knows what's for lunch. Whatever, is it worth the endless blasted queue?
Depression has afflicted me for decades. Of late it has become sharper and more frequent. It can hit me within minutes. I can literally sense the serotonin being sucked from my brain, the skin on my face tightening and my patience and calm being swamped by a profound sense of loss and anxiety.

Nothing settles me. If I have the energy I will shut my door and pace, four steps forward, four back. The steel door and ancient stone wall at either turn reinforces my perception of my endless existence. Without energy, I just sit here, smoking, drenched in misery that seeps from my very bones.

The energy to deal with people vanishes. Even the easiest person in the world to deal with becomes hard work, having to listen to their concerns and formulate responses takes vital effort best spent on balancing on some mental pinnacle, trying not to fall off.

It will pass in a day or so, it always does, leaving me feeling completely wrung out, physically weak. Until next time.

PS. It was sandwiches. Still listening to Hallelujah.


  1. Hi just wanted to say I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now and have been finding it very entertaining and informative. Hope this depression lifts soon for you.

  2. I was trying to come up with some comment that would raise your moral and keep you going, then I thought sod it, I'll just give you a fiver vie paypall, that'll work better. Best of luck.

  3. I just coughed up too. Not exactly spiritually uplifting, but hope it comes in useful.

  4. Ben, remember every one feels like this from time to time, I've been happy, living in a nice house, and living in a prison cell, had off days in both too, the difference is out here, you can do something to cheer yourself up, phone a friend, trip to the shops or pub etc. Even Alexander McQueen felt bad enough to hang himself last week, and he probably had a better lifestyle than most people here. Nothing is forever, hope it passes soon, and when all is good, enjoy it while it lasts, coz that's not forever either.

  5. Try hard to keep strong - what a dsigraceful society we live in when we incarcerate people like we do. Ben and many others would be better out here in society, paying their dues and contributing to the community. Ben has served his punishment and no-one deserves to be treated in the way he has. Release him and stop destroying him and the others who have no release date and do not deserve to be in prison like this.

    Really hope the depressions lifts soon Ben - I love your blog and am saddened by your pain.

  6. Oh, Ben, your writing most certainly is not deteriorating - that's the depression talking. I get like that sometimes, it's a bugger. May it pass quickly.

  7. Ben, try leavening Hallelujah with Suzanne and/or Dance Me To The End Of Love / First We'll Take Manhattan, Then We'll take Berlin

    Yours a fellow fan of Leonard Cohen for years.

  8. Knowledge, comes from books and learning. You, Ben, are very creative, and just like all of those kind, you get depressed. This is a natural consequence of being creative. The depression, is bought about by trying to put insight into the material world. Just take a look at any daily newspaper? There are lots of good ideas, that just seem to get ignored, or thrown in the bin. This is all just thought, put into the material world. The latter, never confronts the former!

    Gnosis, is Knowing, but it is not knowing of the material world. It is the Knowing of the Divine Soul. A very different source than the physical. The gut feeling comes from the same location, although science knows nothing of this reason. It is meant to be just as it is, as science cannot be trusted, because politics controls science. Both of those are opposed to the Divine Soul.

    When you are sitting in your room, feeling creative writing coming on, it is your Divine Soul stirring. It is from where all logic originates, and as we all know Ben, you are blessed with masses of it. You get depressed, not from your Divine Souls source, but, from the material, physical realms 'self'. What do you think the consequence of bringing a Divine Soul into a place, where not even the physical body, has it any control over. This is again, a reason for depression.

    How does one get relief from this trap? You don't, not here anyway. To die, would not bring any relief either. It is in the 'Now',you change, not at death!