December 2015

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Monday, December 21st, 2015 08:22 pm
 Ok, about to get a little personal here.  Also I've blatantly stolen the title from the lyrics of a Faithless track.  Sorry.

I've been kind of absent from online life for a few months now.  Although I doubt many people have noticed, I've noticed.  The last few months have been stressful and difficult and it's been a case of functioning on reduced power emotionally, because I've been feeling depressed and exhausted and there just has not been enough gas in the tank to keep up with everything.  I've missed having the energy and will to go online and read and write about my favourite things.  The fact that I'm back doing it again is a little bit encouraging to me, as it seems I have at least some of my energy back.

Of course, it has been Nordic subjects that have brought me back to my blogs, especially my interest in Wallander.  Henning Mankell's death has been a huge blow – although I never knew him personally, he was one of my few heroes, and was a remarkable person.  We likely would still have had the Nordic noir genre without him, but how would it have looked without his creation Wallander?  In his memory I've started reading the whole series again, and continuing watching the films as I was before my apparent mood disorder interrupted me.  And this is probably where I begin to get back to whatever version of normality I came from.  It's also not the first time.

Fandom was initially an exciting voyage of discovery for me. Wallander introduced me to a new world that I had never considered before, and I was keen to learn as much as possible about my new favourite subject.  Shortly afterwards, however, I entered a difficult, stressful spell in my life, which ended in me uprooting and moving 300-odd miles.  Although it only lasted a few months, while it was going on it felt overwhelming and neverending.  To get through it, I hid myself in books until I had worked my way through most of the Wallander series, several of Henning Mankell's other books, and at least half a dozen other Nordic detective novels including Martin Beck, Van Veeteren and Mari Jungstedt's Inspector Knutas.  I also collected the Wallander DVDs, and watched them, wishing for escape from the interminable rain of Glasgow to the wide open spaces of Skåne (where it also rains rather a lot, I'm told).  Although I've never admitted it before, it wasn't family, friends, faith, my partner or medicine that got me through, it was a group of fictional police detectives from Skåne.

I know that sounds incredibly shallow, but it was either that or nothing, so I clung onto it and came out the other side.  In a crisis, it's really important to have at least one thing that encourages you and makes you feel better.  And yup, I guess for me that's Kurt Wallander.  And I think that not only is this because of how he was written and created by Henning Mankell, but also because of the way Krister Henriksson interprets him on the screen – reassuring, trustworthy, but infinitely human.

So once again I've found myself on a rough road.  This time I've actually asked for help and will be seeing a counsellor to help me work out my difficulties.  I have loving and supportive friends around me, which makes a big difference.  But when I need it, I also have my love of Scandinavian crime fiction to help me escape.  And I have writing.  Without oversharing or bitching too much, maybe writing occasional posts about how life is going might help.

Whatever I end up doing, it's good that with the help of the people and things I love I can actually see some light at the end of the tunnel again.

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