Every Brilliant Thing

“If you live a long life and get to the end of it without ever once having felt crushingly depressed, then you probably haven’t been paying attention.”

“Every brilliant thing” is a one-man show about …depression. It was actually introduced by a friend who subscribed to Befrienders’ page on facebook and noticed the play. And it’s a comedy (the big guy sitting next to me had been laughing real hard) (yes the comedy is about depression), also interactive. It will run till this Sunday, tickets and details are available here. (Spoiler alert: I’m sharing my thought about it, I guess it’s better not read it till you have seen it, that’s if you intend to go for it.)

Firstly it’s the quote above. I noticed I asked myself inside, “have I not been paying attention?” Have I? Have you? Perhaps I haven’t lived long enough (haha). Although I doubt the validity of this quote, I love it still. It reminds me of living mindfully, which is what most people including me lack nowadays.

This spontaneously brings me to my second thought. When the actor, as a teenager, realised how much easily he felt happy as a child. How most if not all of us, when we were little, notice joyful things, act out our joy, feel happy and contented easily and casually. It’s like being happy ‘naturally’ is exclusive for children. When you get into adulthood, you lose that and have to deal with a lot of disappointment, depression, fear, sorrow etc. But why so? Perhaps as an adult we can also appreciate little brilliant thing better? Like having a friend close enough to ask him/her to check if your teeth have got broccoli on them?

Oh yes I forgot to mention that “Every Brilliant Thing” is about this boy who wrote a long list of everything worth living for after discovered that the mother attempted ending her life. So yea, every little, brilliant thing. In no order of preference, the first item was “ice cream”, the 7th item was “people falling over”, the 201th “hammocks”, the 1092th “conversation”, 1655th “Christopher Walken’s hair”. Does such list help? I personally do not think it helps if you wrote it for someone who’s suicidal, but it would be helpful if the person is motivated enough to create such list for him or herself. One of the problems is probably “will she be able to notice?” The mother ended her life still, despite all the efforts of the boy.

Then this Samaritans’ Best Practice Suicide Reporting Tips was mentioned, it’s about what the Samaritans advises journalists on how to report suicide news. If you briefly go through the list, you will probably immediately find out that our reporters do not follow the tips at all, sadly. Yes and each time shortly after a celebrity or a famous person killed him or herself (a widely publicised suicide) the suicide rates peak. (So hey one of the reasons I have stopped reading news, is that they can be really depressing nowadays). Perhaps including some sources of support at the end can be really helpful. In Malaysia, you may call the Befrienders any time 03-79568144/5 or email sam@befrienders.com.my (visit their website here). 

One final thing that made me “nodded” during the show (friend said she noticed I had been nodding a lot – it’s really just a habit, like when I’m giving talks I tend to look for this kind of audience… those who nod a lot!), is when someone says to you “you should find someone to talk to, a professional one”, you think you know yourself best, you know mental illness best, you know it all, why would you need to seek professional help, that person can’t know you better than you do etc. But really, there must be reasons for someone to say that to you, and there really can’t be any harm done for you to speak to someone. Just bear this in mind, don’t get defensive.

I wasn’t happy at all with the show starting really late (written in the email to be there 45 minutes early and the show didn’t start till 30 minutes after its scheduled time, that was really a long wait!). But I do quite enjoy it, consider it my first experience on one-man show (is Derren Brown’s considered as one?).

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