Deborah Ross: Your problems solved (not really – you're beyond help)

If you ask me
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The Independent Online

If you ask me, I am delighted to announce that Not OK!, my magazine for the no-can-do, non-self-improving woman, will now feature a regular problem page called Ask A Depressive Pessimist, which should be your first stop for depressing and pessimistic advice. Or, as our Depressive Pessimist puts it: "I will be useless at this, just as I am useless at everything. I wish I was dead." Here we go:

Dear Depressive Pessimist, I am thinking of trying a new recipe today, but what are the chances it will look anything like the photograph in the cookbook?

Zero.

Dear Depressive Pessimist, I would like a "bikini body" in time for summer but can't seem to stick to any diet. What would you suggest?

Although, in the mental health profession, we try to avoid labels like "loser" and "waste of space" and "total failure" and "hey-fatty-bum-bum", they may sometimes be appropriate, as in this instance.

Dear Depressive Pessimist, I have a good job, my husband loves me, the children are turning out just fine and my arms are nicely toned. In truth, I am feeling rather "optimistic" about life. Advice?

Don't be so positive! Honestly! You could fall down a manhole tomorrow and break every bone in your body. God willing.

Dear Depressive Pessimist, Help! I am being eaten by a tiger!

Did you ever imagine you wouldn't be? That you'd get through life without this happening?

Dear Depressive Pessimist, my name is Katrine and if you've been watching Borgen you will know I'm the only journalist in the whole of Denmark. Is this fair, right and proper? I'm exhausted!

Not in my remit, but you may wish to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry as it seems almost anyone can turn up and have their say. I think Sir Cliff Richard and a lollipop lady are appearing next week.

Dear Depressive Pessimist, on our return from holiday, we discovered our house was so full of lemons we could barely get in the front door. What do you make of this?

Generally, if life gives you lemons, it is advisable to sit on the end of your bed and cry and rage: "Why me, God? Why is it always me? Why don't you fill someone else's house with lemons for a change? I hate you, you bastard!" You may then drink a sweet carbonated beverage of your choice, which would be enjoyable, if only your glass weren't half empty.

(Alas, the Depressive Pessimist can not enter into any personal correspondence as it will probably get lost in the post or catch fire.)

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