Relight the Millennial fire

by Ronnie Joice

It’s pissing down with rain and you’re in a grubby, muddy back garden. Physically and mentally tired, you feel totally defeated, but still intent on lighting that firework, even though everyone else has gone back indoors. In fact, everyone went home hours ago.

Every time you try to light the fuse it fizzles out, but you keep trying to relight it, scratching bent matches on a soggy piece of cardboard.
Suddenly the determination of setting off this firework, even though there is now no-one around to see it, is all-consuming.

You’ve actually been outside for weeks now. No, months.
Fuck, it’s been twelve years.

What started off as a fun little gathering in a summery back garden has now turned into a gruesome, secretive, lonesome event that happens to you every night.
It no longer becomes about the joy of seeing that firework in the sky explode. Instead, it has become a metaphor for the dark mutilation of your own soul; it allows you to mask your inhibitions, promising to make all the bad things feel good again.

We are no longer talking about a firework, of course, but it’s the same concept when you burn out all the energy in your brain.

You’re lonely in love, agitated by life - in fact, you are wholly fucking depressed.

You’ve had enough, but a voice in your head keeps whispering that if you can just light it one more time, perhaps it will match up to that fire in your belly’s expectations.

Until you’re so far gone from reality that there are no ambitions anymore. In fact, you’re dreaming of sleep.
Not the ‘sleep you crave after a long hard day in the office’ type of sleep.
This is eternal sleep, and your cowardly attempts to get there are just to keep feeding the dark, twisted fantasy in your head.

You’ve come to realise  (though now it’s too late) that long gone is the garden full of pretty people interested in you. Nobody wants to see those fireworks anymore.
They’re busy. With lovers, careers, all the good people in your life, well -  they’ve seen all your fucking Catherine Wheels before.

The true friends, the ones you need right now, have been shunned by you, and even all the transient guests in your life, who were happy to indulge in your own self-destruction, unaware that their bit of fun was your own death warrant, aren’t there anymore either.

You’re left to scrape the barrel with whoever you keep for company, as once again you try to showcase fireworks in the sodding rain.
As it pounds down further on your face, watching money quite literally washed away down the drain, now only surrounded by blood-sucking spectators, you just hope that the storm tonight takes you with it.

You’ve let it overcome you so much, ruined anything good that’s come your way, that your only proud accomplishments are now so long-gone they’re the only thing you cling on to.
Any real talent or love you thought you had was lost in the dark. Suddenly, it’s pitch black and there is no chance of getting a copy of the script anymore. The brain doesn’t learn at night.

There's no point trying to constantly prove to everyone that you can make bright explosions happen in the sky, if deep down, it just fills you with even more darkness.
If your insecurity of not belonging becomes so impossibly deep that you end up having to continually make up who you are - constantly winging it day-by-day in your work, and at night in front of people who really don’t care.

And there you are. Standing again, alone, in the middle of an empty, small, fenced trench, staring at one final sparkler.
But instead, you climb into bed and decide,
“No. I won’t feel like this anymore.”

Whoever said ‘if you don’t feel good, nothing feels good’ is a prick.
They’re a fucking prick, and a liar. So sleep.
Sleep for as long as it takes to feel normal again, and you know that could take forever. But it won’t.

Not if you’re finally honest with yourself. Nobody can come and take it away from you and say “That’s enough”, if you’re honest with others, and more importantly, with yourself.


Ask for help, get help, and surround yourself with people who want to help.

Then talk.
Don’t be ashamed to tell people the truth. There is no other way of getting to the depth of your problems unless you open up about them.

Start making in-roads by rejecting things that ruin your own happiness. Don’t scapegoat exterior factors that allow you to become a martyr for your own inner turmoil.

Go and see your doctor, ring a helpline, call your mother, tell your brother.

Just please do whatever you have to not become another God-damn statistic.


Liz Fraser