Lost Love. Letting Go 

Its wonderful how music can take you back to places you thought you had forgotten about. The past week has been a time of living in the past in many respects, when old friends make contact you cant help but reminisce. I have been looking through old record collections and enjoying the music and memories. Each song has its own personal memory. Each memory is laced with happiness, sorrow and even regret. As my play list moves from song to song I am instantly taken back to places that I thought were only available to me in dreams…

David Bowie, Blur, Shakespeare Sisters, Mn8, Linkin Park, Fergie, Jackson five…  Each brings a mood. Each devours my senses and leaves me feeling raw. Sat in a moment ten years ago. Fifteen years ago…  Its a magical feeling. Music transports me to times in my life that were so special, so unique and oh so important at the time.

Today I have been reflecting on one song in particular. Fergie “big girls don’t cry”. I actively sought this song out. I listened to the demo, and downloaded it and I now have it on replay as I allow myself to linger in moments of the past. Its bitter sweet. I recall the first time I became attracted to this song. I was on a train making my way home from Merthyr…

That train journey was mixed. Emotions were mixed. Feelings were mixed. I listened to the song over and over for hours on the train. Travelling further and further away from where I had just been, tearful that I didn’t stay longer. Sad I wasn’t brave enough to say more. Happy I had taken the leap of faith. Disappointed that my leap of faith had caused me to crash land onto the cold hard ground. I was suffering at the time, broken hearted and fully aware that chances had slipped away from me. As I listen to the song now I can feel myself on that train. Moving further away from the only thing that mattered to me…

And now? Now I realise how far I have come. But more importantly, how much further I am yet to go…

Chester Bennington RIP 

Lives have been ripped apart. Tears seem to be never ending. Each and every fan is mourning in their unique and loving way. We have lost a true gentleman. A hero. An idol. We have lost a true talent both vocally and socially. I almost feel like the biggest moronic fool for even contemplating writing this. I am a stranger. He did not know me. He’d never recognise me at his gigs. I am just one dot, hiding within a million other dots. We are in a state of mourning. And those who aren’t mourning are living in shock. The type of shock that kills your insides and leaves you with an emptiness that is growing by the second. I wish I could say I knew him from age one…. That is how much I loved him anyway. That man. That band, has travelled through my life and has taken me by the hand every single step of the way. When I was angry, he calmed me down. When I was heartbroken, he showed me the light. When I wanted to die, his voice kept me going. When everything was falling apart around me, he gave me a safe place to be lonely. Each and every song  ever created holds the key to a chapter in my life. Last week I was meant to see him live in Birmingham…. I sold my tickets at the very last minute. A decision i will FOREVER regret until the day I leave this earth. I try my best to never cry. To always think of positively. 
As i listen to their very final album i can’t quite understand, why now? Each song from the latest album for me now sounds like a note. 

A very special note…. Saying goodbye. 

Only Know You Love Her 

AND YOU LET HER GO… 

Well you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go

Staring at the bottom of your glass
Hoping one day you’ll make a dream last
But dreams come slow and they go so fast
You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day you’ll understand why
Everything you touch surely dies

‘Cause you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go

Staring at the ceiling in the dark
Same old empty feeling in your heart
Love comes slow and it goes so fast
Well you see her when you fall asleep
But never to touch and never to keep
‘Cause you loved her too much and you dive too deep

‘Cause you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go
Oh oh oh no
And you let her go
Oh oh oh no
And you let her go

Well, you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go

‘Cause you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go

(Let Her Go lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC) 

2014 was the year. 

During the summer of 2014 I was diagnosed with Depression. It was the first time I had ever fallen ill mentally and everyday since then has not only been a battle, but a bitter sweet journey. Those of you who have read my entire blog will of course know the battles and challenges I overcame. I had not planned to go backwards with this blog, I really wanted to use it as a base to show how far I had come. And that’s what the blog will continue to be however, this post is an exception to that rule. I came across my diary from 2014 and 2015 and flipped through the pages, I soon realised that I underestimated how dark things were at points. I guess that happens though doesn’t it? You never really appreciate what you have overcome until you look back. This is an opportunity to revisit that journey, which is good for you readers as it means you won’t have to scroll through the archives to find out! see how good I am?

PRE-DIAGNOSIS: I had got to the stage in my life where everyone around me knew something was wrong with me. Even I knew I was losing my mind but I had no idea how or why and I certainly was not ready to admit I needed help. It really hard to describe the feeling of depression, its not simply ‘being sad’ nor is it a case of being ‘lazy’. I could not get to sleep at night and was suffering from violent dreams during the rare moments where sleep came. My eating habits were non-existent and I lost weight fast. My body ached constantly and my head pumped with pain on a daily basis. Physically I was unable to do very much at all, getting out of bed was like running a marathon and the concept of leaving the house was impossible. Very soon I started ignoring calls from loved ones and ignored the doorbell. I was isolating myself from everyone and everything but I didn’t care. My partner and I would argue daily and rows would often end up with me packing a bag and wanting to run far away. I was convinced he and the rest of the world would be better off without me- truly convinced I should be dead. I felt nothingness. Empty. Alone. Lost with no hope. My hair became a mess, my clothes didn’t fit, music gave no joy, god was absent, family were a chore and my greatest desire was to stay awake all night and sleep all day. After one particularly terrible argument, I finally broke. Sitting on the bathroom floor in floods of tears I prayed as hard as I possibly could; ‘God I beg of you to take me away, let me go to sleep and never wake up’ I sat on that floor and begged for my life to be over. Every natural survival instinct had gone and i wanted to die. I planned to die, in fact I made many plans, different methods, possible risks, I wrote notes to loved ones and made sure my affairs were in order and I felt peaceful- and THAT is what scared me the most. My partner eventually forced me to go to the doctor…

DIAGNOSIS: My 10 minute booking with the doctor turned into over an hour as I sat there and broke down. I had reached the point of no return and begged and pleaded for help. it was obvious to her what was wrong with me yet there I sat crying and shaking begging her to tell me I hadn’t lost my mind. I had no idea what was wrong with me and I was convinced nothing could save me. She took my hand and gave me a tissue and said to me, ‘I think you have depression and we need to get you help immediately’. I broke down again- how did I miss this? how did I not see this coming? I left the surgery with a white bag of pills and a leaflet about depression and drove home to tell my partner that i was broken. And that day I took my first pill…

PILLS: The first drug of choice which made my life hellish for a long time was citalopram, followed by sertraline and finally venlafaxing. By day 2 of taking these pills I was experiencing every side effect in the book. My insomnia grew to the point of seeing creepy crawlies out of the corner of my eye on a daily basis. I was suffering from constant nausea and vomiting as well as restless legs and increased suicidal thoughts. I became angry and confused and experienced moments of no emotion at all. Within 5 weeks my mood had started to lift out of depression and into nothingness. no despair, no anger, no joy, nothing. and on top of this I had the additional battle of trying to get my loved ones to understand what was happening, the ‘D’ word scared most of them away to the point I stopped telling people. In the space of 4 months my medication was increased more and more as the depression started to win and with every increase, the side effects got worse to the point where I felt worse off then before. I went through a week of staying in bed and only eating when forced, washing only when needed and alienating loved ones again. The final straw came while driving down the expressway at about 70mph listening to music and basking in the sunlight… then out of nowhere I started crying uncontrollably. I could barely see the road ahead and realised how pathetic and worthless I had become, my partner should leave me, my parents should disown me, even my bloody cat hates me, I am nothing. And then it came to me- what if I just put my foot down and drive as fast as possible into a wall? I sped the car up, I took deep breaths and looked ahead at the traffic… lots of traffic, lots of poor individuals who have no idea what I want to do. The thought of causing so much damage on that road scared me into sense and low and behold I found myself back at the doctors shaking and crying and in need of help… more and more drugs were given to me in the hope that something would work long term, and eventually I was introduced to venlafaxine- this is the pill that worked best for me although the side effects were bad. I remember on one occasion things were really bad, a diary entry follows;

“Not sure how many of my friends are currently taking a tablet called Venlafaxine but if you do, or know someone who does.. Please feel free to pass this on.. I have been taking it for a few months now. Its a great drug and really helps the issues for which it is designed. But please take warning. I accidentally forgot to take my dose on Tuesday. And on Wednesday I was feeling rather emotional and very sleepy. This lead to me going to bed early and unfortunately missing my second dose…Last night I suffered cold sweats, night terrors and insomnia. And today, I make no exaggeration… I felt as if I was going to pass out. Dizziness. Blinding migraines. Hallucinations. Hearing voices. Seeing insects. Violent sickness. I honestly can’t express how horrific I was feeling. Finally at about 5.30pm the penny dropped and I realised I had missed two doses.. I quickly swallowed one and LITERALLY less than an hour later, I was totally back to normal. It was as if nothing had happened. Please I urge you to pass this to those on this medication. Missing or skipping a dose is very dangerous, I’ve been told had I have missed a third… I could have ended up in hospital”.

NOW: Although there were struggles finding the right combination of therapy and medication, in the end the tunnel did get brighter, I did start to feel normal, I started to “feel”. Its been one hell of a ride and I am now off all medication and coming out the other end much wiser and maybe a little bit stronger too. I know it might come back, that big fat black cloud might show up again and try to take my life away from me, but I like to think I’ll be ready, I’ll see it coming and will know what to do on that day. But for now, I stare at the sunshine and smell the flowers and smile at the small things. For now, I take in as much happiness as possible and hold on to it tightly

Slipping Away 

The sun sets on another day,

I have nothing to feel and nothing to say. 

The moons soft glow lights the sky,

But I’m all alone and I don’t know why.

A calm peace fills the night air,

I worry not. I don’t even care.

Slipping away like the hands of time, 

My body aches, I’ve fallen out of line. 

Self destruct is a beautiful sight, 

I push that button with all my might.

The world starts to spin, I’m left behind,

Im on my own and I really don’t mind.

Dangerous is the girl who cannot choose,

With nothing to gain and nothing to lose. 

Relapse into Depression? 

I’m in an odd state of limbo at the moment. This is not brand new information for me, I’ve felt it coming for a few weeks now. It’s a feeling I’ve not experienced before and therefore I am working hard to understand what it is, and what it means. 

I am not jumpy and agitated or fearful like I was when talking medication for Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I’m not panicked, my heart rate is normal. Im not overly stressed either. 

Im not feeling hopeless and worthless like I was when I was taking Antidepressants. Im not suicidal nor do I want to hurt myself in any way. 

I simply feel, well… I feel nothing. Empty. Neither good nor bad. Happy nor sad. Relaxed nor edgy. 

I don’t even feel confused by this. It just IS. And to be honest, I am not quite sure what to do about it or really how to express it. 

Insomnia has kicked in too which doesn’t help and I find myself feeling sleepy and slow throughout the day. 

Today…. I wore the panties that I was wearing yesterday.

THAT’S A HUGE SIGN THAT SOMETHING ISN’T RIGHT. 

I think I need a check up.