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Posts Tagged ‘music

Reviewing 2010…

with 5 comments

So everyone seems to be doing the New Years meme. I used to do this years ago back in the days when I wrote on Livejournal and I’ve copied the questions directly from the last time I did it on there (2007), so if it is different to the version everyone else in the madosphere has done, then that will be why. It is a bit weird to see these questions again.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?:

Take Reboxetine, Go InterRailing, Learn to Knit.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?:

I don’t usually make any and I can’t remember if I did last year. It seems unlikely because I was planning to kill myself on 7th January and any more resolutions would have been pointless. I tried and failed at that one.

This year, I haven’t set any firm resolutions, but most of my hopes evolve around recovery. I hope to get back to work full time and stay out of hospital.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?:

Not that I’m aware of!

4. Did anyone close to you die?:

Thankfully not.

5. What countries did you visit?:

Oo. I went InterRailing so I have visited a few this year! I passed through France and visited Belgium, Germany, Poland and Austria.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?:

Proper recovery – I started to recover in 2010, but there’s still a long way to go. I want my life back.

I also want to move house, so a new home is pretty high on my list.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?:

I don’t tend to remember dates very well and the only date that really comes to mind is the 7th Jan for the reason mentioned in answer to question 2.

I think the 29th July was the day that I set off for Europe, so that’s a good one too.

The week beginning the 15th November also sticks in my mind, as it was the week I started my phased return to work.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?:

Travelling around Europe for a couple of weeks on my own and getting back to work, albeit for only a few hours a week.

9. What was your biggest failure?:

I’m not sure it is a good thing that the first thing that comes to mind is my failed suicide attempt. Definitely a failure, but whether that is a good or a bad thing is up to debate depending on my mood.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?:

Mental illness never really goes away. I also battled with side-effects and tummy troubles a lot. My jaw has continued to be a problem too – I have a visit to the Dental Hospital on Monday to see the Temporomandibular Joint specialist. I had a common cold over New Years at both the start of 2010 and 2011 too.

11. What was the best thing you bought?:

Either my InterRail pass or Glastonbury Tickets. My prescription pre-payment certificate should probably be considered too.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?:

Nikki dog’s behaviour merits celebration and reprehension on a daily basis!

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?:

Occasionally The Bloke’s, but like Nikki, he can merit celebration too.

Dr M made me pretty appalled at the start of the year, but I don’t mind her so much these days. I may even confess to liking her!

14. Where did most of your money go?:

The usual – rent, food etc. The dog spends a lot of it too!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?:

I don’t tend to get really excited about anything when I’m feeling low. I was quite excited about the InterRail trip, although it was such a spur-of-the-moment thing that I didn’t have much time to get excited about it beforehand. I was quite excited about Glastonbury this year too – I actually felt able to enjoy it!

16. What songs will always remind you of 2010?:

Regina Spektor – Laughing With
Lady Gaga – Just Dance – especially reminds me of watching Dancing on Ice in hospital last January.
Laura Marling – Goodbye England (covered in snow)
The XX – Intro – reminds me of the General Election coverage on the BBC mainly, but also of the start of their set at Glasto.
Marina & The Diamonds – Obsessions – and pretty much the whole album really. She was great live too.
KT Tunstall – Weirdo – and again the whole album and seeing her live.
Miike Snow – Animal – reminds me of InterRailing. They played it a lot in the hostel in Krakow.
Ellie Goulding – Your Song – and again pretty much her whole album.

It has been a good year for music. I’ve certainly listened to a lot more this year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i) …happier or sadder?: I’m a million times happier than this time last year. I was on a psych ward having just failed to kill myself, so not exactly at my happiest! Compared to 6 months ago though I’d be sadder.
ii) thinner or fatter?: A lot thinner. I’ve lost over 3 stone since I came out of hospital last February.
iii) richer or poorer?: About the same I think.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?:

Working, writing, knitting, swimming, seeing friends… Lots of things really.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?:

Feeling sick, lying in bed with no motivation, seeing doctors and generally everything related to being ill. Arguing with the bloke comes a close second.

20. How will/did you spend Christmas?:

We spent it in Wolverhampton with the Bloke’s mum and sister. His aunt, uncle and cousin also came over for Christmas dinner. I saw my parents on 27th Dec and a load of friends came around for a big Christmas Dinner on 28th.

21. Has there ever been a question 21?!?

22. Did you fall in love in 2010?:

Nope. Not with anyone or anything new.

23. How many one night stands?:

Again none. A somewhat laughable question for me I think.

24. What were your favourite TV programmes?:

I’ve watched quite a lot of telly in the past year. I love Only Connect – a fiendishly hard quiz, although I have gotten more used to it over the years and it doesn’t seem quite as hard as it used to be.

I enjoyed Sky1’s Must be The Music – it’s a blatant rip off of all TV talent shows, only the people involved had raw talent, write their own stuff and there is no stupid false drama involved. Dizzee Rascal, Sharleen Spiteri and Jamie Cullum judged it and were really good too. The girl that won – Emma’s Imagination was amazing.

I enjoyed Single Father, Lip Service, Mad Men and various other things this year too.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?:

No, not really. I don’t tend to “hate” anyone. I try to avoid people I don’t like.

26. What was the best book you read?:

I read a lot more in the summer than I had in the past few years, but it has tailed off again since autumn. I read 1984 for the first time (ridiculous I know) which was awesome. I enjoyed the Stieg Larsson books (me and everyone else, then!). A Woman in Berlin was interesting too – I picked it up in the airport at Krakow and it was weird to read it only a few days after being in Berlin.

27. What were your greatest musical discoveries?:

I have listened to a lot more music than in the last few years, but I’m not sure how many of those things were new discoveries as such. I’ve enjoyed a lot of female pop and singer/songwriters this year – Ellie Goulding, Marina & The Diamonds, Laura Marling, KT Tunstall, Little Boots, Regina Spektor – although the latter few are hardly new discoveries.

28. What did you want and get?:

I guess some improvement to my mental health is the obvious thing. Getting my drivers license back is pretty good too.

29. What did you want and not get?:

A magic wand? I try not to want too much so I don’t get disappointed.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?:

I saw quite a lot of good films this year. I probably enjoyed Scott Pilgrim most. The Girl who kicked the Hornets Nest was good although I didn’t think The Girl who Played with Fire lived up to my expectations set by the book or the first film. Kick Ass, Toy Story 3 and Winters Bone are also contenders.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?:

I was 24 this year. I had only just come out of hospital. A few of my friends and two of my aunts who live locally all went out for a meal. It was really tasty.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?:

Mental Stability? – I’m surprised that this was part of my answer in 2007, which was long before I was diagnosed with any mentalism. It seems strange to me that at the end of what was a great year, I was still wishing I’d been a bit more stable and spent less time feeling low. I guess I’d somewhat forgotten that I was hardly stable before things fell apart in 2008.

I do think that being more stable and less depressed would have helped, but at least 2010 was an improvement on 200

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?:

I am not sure I do fashion concepts. I tend to wear jeans and some form of longish top or dresses over leggings/bright coloured tights. Now I’m back at work a bit I’m definitely leaning towards the tailored dress look. My suits don’t fit properly any more – too big!

34. What kept you sane?:

I think what sanity I have can be mainly put it down to one thing – Reboxetine (plus Lamotrigine perhaps – I wonder what effect taking Reboxetine on its own would have).

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?:

This always seems like a bit of a silly question to me. I don’t tend to be attracted to celebrities because I tend to need to get to know someone before they become attractive.

I also have a pretty pathetic sex drive these days.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?:

I’ve tended to try and keep a distance from most political arguments of late, mainly because the amount of mindless Tory-bashing has wound me up quite a lot this year and a lot of my friends are raving lefties. I am neither a tory, nor a lefty, but I am getting fed up of the way that people seem to choose opposition for oppositions sake, rather than looking at what is right or wrong about a policy.

I do care a lot about welfare reform and the NHS, but I’m not opposed to changes in the system in the way that some people are. I think we have to face up to the fact that the current systems don’t work and something has to be done.

37. Who did you miss?:

I miss a lot of old friends. I have lost touch with quite a lot of people over the last few years and I’m not as close to others as I used to be. A lot of my uni friends have moved away since we graduated too, so although we still see them occasionally, it’s not the same any more.

38. Who were the ‘best’ new people you met?:

I’ve met some great new friends locally over the past year or so, but I probably couldn’t think of any one person.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:

Things can get better and depression may not last forever, yet recovery is not a smooth process either.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

I can’t think of one in particular, especially as my year has been up and down. I may come back to this. I’m sure something will come to mind as I’m listening to music sometime this week.

Actually.. I heard You Say Party – There is XXXX (within my heart) the other day and those lyrics fit my mood over the last month or so.

When the morning comes
And the darkness presses on all sides
When the morning comes
I’ll have to fight

I will have a think to see if I can come up with anything more accurate.

_________________

So there we go. Another year, another meme. 2010 hasn’t been all that bad, although it started terribly and went down hill again a little during the last few months. 2011 hasn’t started too badly aside from the terrible cold over New Years, so fingers crossed it will be a good year.

A proper post is on its way. I am trying to get it written. Lots happening at the moment though and I can’t keep up!

Glastonbury…

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Yes, I return. I’ve spent the last week in the never, never land that is Glastonbury Festival and I’m back and exhausted.

Aethelread suggests that it wasn’t the best Glastonbury and I have to agree with him. However, my complaints weren’t with the headliners or lack of diversity in the crowd, more my state of mind and inability to enjoy anything. I spent most of the weekend unable to cope with the crowds, moaning about everything and not being able to let go and enjoy things.

I regret it all now. Watching back highlights I realise what I missed out on. I didn’t make the most of this year at all. I should have tried to forget everything and enjoy the freedom that Glastonbury gives you. I should have let go and just ignored how crap I felt and made the most of it. I should have tolerated the tiredness, my aching limbs and stuck it out. I should have put up with the crowds and not got panicky when I was unable to move for people.

I struggled all week though. I couldn’t cope with the crowds at all and felt myself getting anxious whenever I got stuck behind people and couldn’t move freely. Wednesday was so much busier than previous years and it sent me into a tailspin. I am used to a relaxed Wednesday with no one around. It was definitely a busier Glastonbury than the last two years and I couldn’t handle it all. I’m not sure if I just noticed the people more this year though because of everything that’s happened in the past year. I’ve definitely changed. I used to be at my most content at the front of a massive crowd at a gig. This year, I couldn’t cope with the dense crowds at all and opted for standing way back where I could still move a little.

I avoided the main stages wherever possible, only suffering the pyramid stage for Regina Spektor (my glasto highlight), Lily Allen and bits of Tom Jones and Blur. I spent most of my weekend in the Cabaret tent watching comedy, where it was quiet and you could find a nice spot to sit down. I also spent quite a bit of time wandering the green fields and not enough time actually seeing bands.

I also spent a great deal of time sleeping. I kept falling asleep during the day whenever we sat down for a bit. I don’t know if it was the heat (it was sooo hot!) or my medication but I just could not stay awake. On the Tuesday night before we left and the Wednesday I had terrible insomnia and barely got any sleep. By the Friday I was exhausted and on both Friday and Saturday I was in my tent before the headliners had finished. It seems I go from one extreme to the other in more ways than just my mood.

Then there was the rain and the mud. Everyone seems to think it was a relatively dry glastonbury, but it seems the TV coverage failed to mention the torrential rain on Thursday/Friday and the fact it still turned to a mud bath in no time at all. It certainly wasn’t as bad as two years ago, but I still struggled with the rain. I just hid under our gazebo. It rained really badly on Sunday night too, just as we were about to embark on the walk from site to our car. I was drenched in seconds!

Generally the line up wasn’t that strong this year either. There was very little I actually wanted to see. It doesn’t matter. I don’t go to Glasto for the line up. I go because of everything else, but it is a bonus when the music is good too. There weren’t any real musical highlights this year. No moments that stood out as being truly amazing.

In general, the whole experience seemed a little flat. I did enjoy some bits, but a lot of the time I actually didn’t want to be there at all. I wish I could enjoy things, but it seems even my favourite things have lost their shine.

Being back is difficult too. I don’t want to be back. I never wanted to come home from this Glastonbury. It had been a goal in the distance for quite some time and a reason to stick around and now that it’s over I don’t know if I want to continue. It feels like I don’t really have much else to stick around for now.

Hometown Glory…

with 3 comments

So I returned home for the weekend. I’m always astonished at how little that place moves on. We went into town on Saturday and it’s still the same faces and same places. Since I left home four years ago, so little has changed. The only notable difference is that M&S Simply Food, Costa and Pizza Express have moved in, obviously trying to turn this little town into an identikit, affluent small town. No doubt more will follow. It’s the faces that get me though. The same people, living the same dull lives. I see people from my school and they seem so far left behind. They’ve not moved on. It’s weird.

I’m not sure the title of hometown glory is quite right. Perhaps, hometown misery would be more accurate. Of course the title really comes from the Adele song of that name. It’s a song I definitely associate with this episode, the episode that continues a pace. It doesn’t lift my mood, only stands to fuel it, but I’ve never been one to turn to happy bouncy music to cheer myself up. It doesn’t work and only makes me irritated. Before I was off work, I listened to it on repeat during my commute, turning the volume up and shutting out the world, driving too fast and not caring if I make it. I know how irresponsible that is and I’d hate for anyone to get hurt, but I just hoped it would be only me.

I have to drive those roads today and I know it will be a risk. It is always a risk. I don’t care enough about my life to be careful. My car needs servicing and the garage is next to my work, so I will drive those roads again. Since I was off work, new signs have gone up. They say 4 deaths in 3 years or 79 casualties in 3 years or 46 collisions in 3 years. I know they are designed to make you think and slow down, but every time I see them, they only serve to make me wish I could add myself to those statistics. An “accident” would be easier. It wouldn’t hurt my family as much. Of course they would be upset, but they wouldn’t have to live with the knowledge that I’d killed myself. The knowledge that I was so selfish and careless that I didn’t think of them.

I made it through the weekend.

I got drunk on Saturday night in an attempt to make it easier to pretend. It was a strange evening. I was giddy and hyper, playing the games and singing along to the music, yet given a moment to my real thoughts I was full of sadness. Alone in the bathroom, I hurt myself for the first time in a while. Just superficial scratches with a sharp pin I saw lying around, but I musn’t have been feeling things as I have lasting marks. The reason I used to scratch was to give short sharp pain, quickly but leaving only feint marks that would fade. I must have done it harder than before, as the marks still haven’t faded and I can still feel them. I see them now and want to do more, but I need to be able to hide. No one has noticed the scratches yet. I hope it stays that way.

Throughout the weekend, there was a lot of talking about friends and people from school. X is in australia, Y is just finishing medicine at Cardiff, Z is in London on the west end. It’s a small town so everyone wants to know everyone. You get the idea. I think part of this came from seeing my music teacher and choir director on Last Choir Standing and from Nicole Cooke winning her gold medal. Nicole’s father was my A Level physics teacher. It was a weekend of thinking about people and how they have moved on, how they have been left behind or how they’ve left me behind.

The one that shocked me though, the one that has had the lasting effect, was something my mother said. Talking about an old school colleague of mine, my mum jumps in with “the one that has really fallen off the rails is her brother, J. He’s a manic depressive. Really bad. I bet his sister spends all of her time trying to stop him killing himself”. This shook me. I hadn’t known he was ill and I was horrified to hear the way my mother referred to him. It was like he’d become a criminal, not mentally ill. I hated her for it. I am worried about him. I’ve tried to look him up on facebook, tried to find out if what she said is true. There are signs of it on her sister’s wall in his comments (trying to reassure her he’s okay), but I can’t view his profile, so I don’t know. I hope he is okay.

Of course, the other effect of this outburst is one on me and my relationship with my parents. My family do not know I’ve been ill. They ask about work and I have to be economical with the truth. I talk about it passively, saying that there’s a lot on, but not mentioning the fact I’m not doing it. I hate that I can’t be honest with them, but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know if I could ever tell them. Knowing my mother’s prejudice makes it impossible. I know she doesn’t understand and she’s just ignorant, but I’m not sure I want to try and convince her otherwise. I wish I could talk to my dad, but I don’t want to hurt him and I think if he knew how I felt, knew my longing for death, he’d be heartbroken. I love my dad. We’re close and I hate lying to him, but I can’t handle the thought of my mother knowing. I hate the fact I can’t promise him I’d never do anything stupid. I hate how I resent my love for him, because I know it makes it harder for me to give into my thoughts and just makes this a never ending battle, in which I feel I can never win. It’s a relationship I struggle with and this secrecy makes it harder, yet easier too. I don’t know if things will ever change. I worry that they only will only find out if I’m ever hospitalised or kill myself and I’m not sure I’d be able to explain, but then I think that might just be the easiest way. I have this fear of hospitalisation, because I know that I couldn’t hide things from them if that ever happened. It builds this fear of honesty, fear of medical professionals and fear of the unknown.

I am struggling with nausea and have to get ready now. The physical effects of this are getting me down too. I haven’t been sick yet, but came closest this morning. I worry I might actually vomit though if I get in the car. I have no choice though. I’ve booked this appointment and I hate to cancel. I will find the energy some how.