I had forgotten how horrible this month is. Extra letter or no extra letter. January is expected to be rubbish, but really it is the most potential-filled month of the year. You're allowed to be fat, broke and depressed in January. It is socially acceptable to have what is affectionately known as "the blues".
By February, though, you've had a whole month to put into action all those resolutions that January gurgled up. It is no longer a new year, it's now just another year. If you had planned to do something brilliant in 2008, you really should be a twelfth of the way through it by now.
What if, though, you've just started your third office job of the year? What if you still have no money, you still feel depressed and your room is no tidier? What if you haven't actually managed to write any new music and what if you are secretly not sure whether you can quite remember how?
Last year I hated February. Life was worse then, without a shadow of a doubt. A relationship was about to hiss out its last forlorn breaths, having been ill-advisedly resurrected a few months previously. It was agonizingly and cruelly consigned to the funeral pyre once again, leaving me even more bowed and broken than it had the first time. I was living at home. I had stopped going to Eastbourne to record when I realized that, in fact, there was something extremely unhealthy and stagnant about the whole set-up. I was trying to deal with the fact that those months had been wasted, that I was, in more ways than one, going to have to face up to the consequences of my own terrible choices. My parents had a bed for me, so of course I was lucky. I must admit, though, that I didn't really feel it. I felt broken.
This year, though, is better. I live in Brixton. Money still fuels a large part of my anxiety but I am working. Those relationships that had just withered last year are now long behind me and there are other pieces of those things that are happier and more promising. I am not broken. Life seems full of potential.
I feel depressed, though. A train is hitting me in the mornings. I can't think in straight lines, and I feel constantly guilty and anxious. Suddenly lots of seeds I sowed months ago are becoming green shoots and are wiggling their way upwards, but, just as suddenly, I have been rendered completely incapable of doing anything to nurture them. I have been thrust back into that cycle of depression and guilt that wakes me in the night and makes me stare at blank pieces of paper. Maybe I should write a list of stuff I have to do, of ways to make it better. I stare at the paper, though, and all words vanish from my mind, leaving only misty, formless uncertainty.
I want to sleep, to run away and to drown in my own self-involved, self-perpetuating paranoia. I want to be cold because I feel like I deserve it, and I am a narcissist for writing those words.
I want to scream and shout, but I also never want to say another word.