Tag Archives: depression

Music and Me

I apologise for not posting my word prompts before noon, I got a little too excited today with a delivery I had of a new musical instrument I am attempting to play – something I can hear on bad days and doesn’t require difficult fingering for my left hand – a recorder.   

I have always been musically inclined, since a small child I would visit my grandmother and play on her piano in her dining room whilst she prepared lunch, we often visited her on Sundays, usually just my dad and I.  I would play all the notes and eventually started to learn some tunes by ear.  I never learned to read music even now I have never learned to read and understand music fully or professionally or with professional help. 

The piano was my first attempt at music, always perfect righthandedly and terrible with my left hand due to my disability.  When I was around seven years old my dad talked mum into buying me a keyboard so I can practise at home whenever I liked and ever since my house has never been without a keyboard in it.  I have never personally owned a piano and I never learned to use a pianos foot pedals or learn the proper terminologies for anything regarding music, except for one word I learned listening to classic FM radio as a teenager = Adagio means to play slowly.

I was then upgraded to a more professional style keyboard aged seventeen as a birthday present, this had digitisation to it (I think that’s what people call it), where I could hook up the keyboard to the internet and download new songs to learn, because this particular keyboard had a function where it taught you how to place your hands and how to keep time.  When I was about nineteen my brother gave me an old copy of Cubase that a friend of his owned and I learned I could compose music by using this, without ever knowing how to actually write the music.  I had saved the music I composed onto an MP3 floppy disk and I still have it to this day and the keyboard too actually!  Unfortunately that Cubase I had is years out of date and I have never been able to finance a replacement, so until I can replace Cubase, my composing days are over!

Pianos and keyboards were never my only dip into the music world; I have in fact learned to play a paper and comb, some notes on a harmonica, belly dancing cymbals, some tunes on my dad’s bugle, an xylophone at a day centre for children when I was around thirteen, some notes on a guitar but again my left hand failed me and I never did get around to replacing my guitar with a left handed version, I also played quite well an accordion, but my parents sold it at a car boot sale once, they claimed they were having a hard time and I never did get it back, I was doing better on that than the keyboard and I had rather of given up the keyboard instead. The fact I did better with an accordion stands to reason as it was a right handed instrument and the fingers I needed on my left hand could do the job properly.

I haven’t played music for nearly six years because I was ill, but also because the house got a little too crowded and messy and I couldn’t set up my keyboard in a permanent position anymore; afraid it would get damaged I had it boxed up and stored safely under the bed in the spare room and I feel that a neglected and unplayed musical instrument is sacrilege. 

Funnily enough my depression started around the same time I boxed up the keyboard.  I came to this realisation a few days ago but I knew my left hand is worse these days and I can’t improve my left handed playing at all now.  I nearly got into a deeper form of depression with this realisation but then I watched a YouTube video to stop the negative thoughts in their tracks, I stumbled across a TedTalk by a woman named Barbara Sher and the title of the video was “Isolation is the dream-killer”; I have been thinking so much about how isolated I am despite my battle to escape from it because of the struggles I had with certain people in my life a few years ago.  I thought maybe loneliness was one of the main reasons I am depressed, how can I be sure it is missing a musical instrument? 

Well anyway, here is a link to see the video for yourselves – https://youtu.be/H2rG4Dg6xyI

She put out a question that I had to think about for myself and that is “What is your dream and what are your obstacle/obstacles”? 

My first thought I don’t exactly remember, but I do remember that I had several dreams I have that are still unaccomplished and most of the those dreams boil down to financial insecurity where I have to think twice about buying a bottle of Pepsi and of course, isolation.

I browsed a book by my bedside, I think it was called “The Little Book of Wonder” and the lady who had written it said that you have to remain curious throughout your life, if you don’t know something, don’t shrug and think that it doesn’t matter and it isn’t important, if you had that question in your head, go and find the answer as it might lead you into an entirely different path in life.   

So I absorbed those words and thought about stuff and then I browsed more YouTube videos and I found a doctor of psychology called Guy Winch in another TedTalk; He said that loneliness can knock significant number of years off our life and cause us to become ill, it can affect our immune system greatly because our emotional wellbeing determines whether we are healthy or not.  This explained a lot to me, because since living in my own home with my husband and having a baby I have ironically became more isolated than I ever was before I left my parents’ house (ironic because my main form of abuse and neglect was social isolation growing up, even as an adult it was very coercive and controlling the relationship between my mother and I).  But because I had a baby and fell ill just a few weeks shy from his third birthday, I became drastically isolated after being free from true isolation for nearly three years!  In fact for the first eight months of my illness I couldn’t get out of bed to go and talk to a doctor about what was wrong! 

It was around this time I decided to never talk to my parents again too, so the only guaranteed socialising I could have done when I became sick, I cut off.  I was getting five or more phone calls per day from my mum and once a week visits that lasted six hours a time, to having no phone calls with anyone and only annual visits from my adult nephews, to then having just the annual visits ONLY for the next six years.

That isn’t good for anybody!

So I had a long hard look at my life and realised that depression and loneliness is killing me, literally.  It must be, because around six years ago I was diagnosed with a handful of different types of auto-immunity diseases and recently doctors are suspecting MS and/or neurological problems as well. 

One thing I have always been frightened of is Motor-Neurone disease, it runs rife on my dad’s side of the family and my dad’s family as a whole are very close within family, extensive family (we still talk to our cousins four times removed) but don’t socialise much outside of family and church friends or salvation army duties. 

I wondered if illness due to isolation or loneliness could be genetic on my father’s side.

Anyway, Dr Guy Winch’s video can be found here – https://youtu.be/F2hc2FLOdhI

Worrying about being isolated, too sick to socialise and the expense of joining college or a social club (because I have to rely on public transport), I asked some questions to the universe.  I asked the universe what you want me to do?  What do I have to do to change things being there are more obstacles for me than anyone else I know?  I got no answers.

Then I asked the universe that if my life was supposed to be to help motivate others, or be as creative as I can be in all creative interests I have then send me money somehow – if my life isn’t meant to be like this, then make something else happen to blatantly show me what it is I was made to do! 

So, knowing that money doesn’t just fall onto the doorstep when you implore the universe to give it to you – I tried to make receiving it easy.  I decided to (and this is no exaggeration) I decided to take a risk, I had just £15 left for my own personal treats (not the families, my own, I get around £40 a month just for me it is Paul’s rule that I treat myself each month) – I took that £15 and I spent it on 888ladies.com and I won £200, for me that is like winning 5k, I was so happy it paid off my overdraft and I could have a little to spend on a new bra and some new trousers as my clothes are getting too big on me lately.  But I thought that doesn’t change anything; it just helps my current situation without improving it so I took another risk – I said the universe, if I am supposed to learn a musical instrument and buy art supplies I will need this again or a bit more please.  So I rolled the slots again and I instantly won another £250 that is enough I thought, that is enough to get some art supplies and buy a cheap instrument – but I didn’t know what instrument to get?

This made me very happy and I decided to “Be Curious” as the book said earlier that night. 

I asked myself some questions.

What does all these musical instruments I hear on the BBC Proms sound like as solo instruments?  I didn’t know a majority of them singularly.  So I again, went onto YouTube and I searched through every musical instrument I could think of to find solo samples. 

I made a list of my favourite sounds.

Piano

Harpsichord

Jazz Piano

Bass

Trombone

French horn

Piccolo

Recorder

Saxophone

Crystallaphone

Glockenspiel

An apprehension engine

Xylophone

Harp

Lute

Cello

Accordion

Violin

And trumpet

There were others but I don’t remember them. 

Then I asked…

What musical instrument can I learn that has limited mobility to the hand?

Perhaps go back to the accordion and this time learn to read music?

A recorder doesn’t require the left pinkie to play.

A trombone

A xylophone – crystallaphone or a glockenspiel

I then thought about the types of classical music I love the most and I know that I love folk, medieval and baroque above all others! 

So I decided on the recorder first and foremost and eventually the glockenspiel. 

So I bought this recorder for me and Henry (because whenever I do something new Henry nags us to get him the same so he can share practise time with me, which is sweet and expensive sometimes)!

 

 

It was pretty cheap £16.37 each from Amazon.co.uk

It is a Yamaha YRS302BIII Soprano, plastic.  When I had decided it would be the recorder I discovered a wonderful lady on YouTube called Sarah Jeffrey who teaches you practically everything about being a recorder player, she is very enthusiastic and passionate about the instrument and makes learning about it fun!

She can be found here, this is the first lesson https://youtu.be/-d6uVjIEkMY

Until I found her videos I never knew how many different types of recorders there are and that they can all be played the same way, because they are the same instrument.  Different woods and plastic and lengths can make different sounds.  A true and passionate recorder player will have a large collection of different recorders to choose from.  I am getting a baroque alto before Christmas as I am taking to this instrument remarkably and yes, I am trying to learn how to read music now.

I have practised for three hours today and I am very tired now.  I know it is likely I will have two months a year off from practise because I am prone to very nasty chest infections in the winter that usually always lead to pneumonia for some reason.

So, there you have it.  The reason behind why I was late today.

Let me know in the comments below whether or not you are also musically inclined and share with me what you play and what you are passionate about, I would love to know!

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Sunday word count 3

This week’s grand total of writing towards my novels is…

2500 words to be exact!

You what?  I normally write that amount in a day!  True, true, but not this week, this week has been a hard week all round for the family.  So therefore I inevitably got to go to…

THE WALL OF SHAME!

dreaded wall of shame

Says some random booming monstrous voice from goodness knows where!

“Yes and I feel so ashamed”.  Said the author of this blog with a huffy laugh and without any hint of conviction in her words;

I didn’t get anywhere near as good as I did in the first week of doing this, let alone my minimum of 10,000 words as you can clearly see. 

Here are the words spread out throughout the week so you can see how much or how little I wrote on any one day;

4th of August – 784 words, quite bad really.

5th August – 0 words – you what?  Call yourself a writer? But the books over there look so pretty, so inviting!

6th August – 811 words – better, but not great, in fact quite awful actually, but not as awful as Sunday’s count.

7th August – 0 words – what again?  What act procrastination doth thou blame this on?  The shiny books?

8th August – 196 words – Oh you are really going to get writer’s cramp with that amount aren’t you?  Rolls eyes*

9th August – 0 words – can you have zero words?  Evidently you can, there is no words to describe how awful a writing (if you can call it that) day like this is!

10th August – 709 words – Yes, good, but I won’t praise myself too much here because this week was utterly disgusting as far as being a writer goes!

The overview is that this is a shockingly terrible week and whoever thinks they are a writer, writing like this ought to completely revalue if they are really a writer or not?

Well I would say to the over viewer (which is myself, so technically I am speaking – no arguing with myself here) is this; I am a writer, however school holidays make dedication to work difficult when I choose to write in the living room, not shutting myself off from the entire world.  Family is important to me, contrary to what certain cretins might say about that!  Not to mention that this past week I have set myself a challenge to read ten enormous books by the 23rd August, so therefore I am reading much more than I normally do and it has also been a bad week for depression; a very bad week in fact for depression.

I have a lot of worries about people that I love too.  Paul has been having difficulties this week as he has injured his arm, I found out recently that my cousin is in hospital for heart problems and he is the only cousin I can trust to emotionally support me in my time of need, the only person in my family other than my immediate household in which I trust has good and non-judgemental intentions towards me.  Also my aunt has been battling cancer for two years now and as much as people think I don’t batter an eyelid, I try not to dramatise anything about others and pretty much keep my thoughts and feeling to myself regarding their problems.  But I am finding that difficult lately and people really don’t know how much I do care about them, because I never turn their problems into my own personal dramas like most people tend to.  Often this makes me come across as aloof and uncaring, but I actually care very deeply about people who are related to me or within my social circle, more than they know, I am just not very good at showing support or love for them and I am sorry for that.  You see in the past I have been accused of being too loving or caring to the point of weirdness and then not enough and so I feel I can’t ever get the balance right, so recently, I guess I don’t even try anymore.  Sorry.  Also I have learned that someone in my family has made a decision to move far away from supportive relatives and isolate themselves and I know that they don’t socialise outside of the family at all and they are very vulnerable due to their disabilities and they are elderly and this is literally freaking me out, as I think to myself, oh my god, what have you done, you impulsive thing you, don’t you learn?  They’ve placed themselves so far out of reach for a lot of caring relatives, that if they need anyone, it will be incredibly difficult to get to them as most of the caring relatives who would help them don’t have their own transport and are on the poverty line and I have heard from the grapevine that they are not happy with their choice after all and there is nothing they can do now, the move has took a lot out of them.

Along with this, Henry has had some problems too and now we are receiving help from a certain charity, I won’t mention what the charity is and what Henry’s problems are because Paul would rather me keep that to myself, but things aren’t going well for us currently and that in itself is contributing to my depressive return; and with all of this too, I have far too many hospital appointments coming up and too many tests that need doing.

Personally I am struggling a lot with my disabilities to even write or read regularly, hence these stupid goals I am forcing onto myself – I am trying to make my life somewhat productive at least.  I might have a neurological problem other than the suspected MS, we don’t really know yet; the doctors are all on guess work right now.  All I know is I am scared of whatever it is getting worse, because lately reading and writing is becoming affected.  I am getting my words mixed up a lot and I don’t even notice it when I reread it half the time.  It could just be depression, who knows?  But I am scared.

When I get bouts of depression I tend to meditate too much to try and forget what got me there in the first place. 

Last week I watched a lot of YouTube videos, this week I haven’t even done that.  But I really should, I should force myself to watch things like the Motivational Archive when I get like this, it sometimes helps.

Well anyway, thank you for reading – you’ve all been an absolute gem to keep on reading.  I hope you all have a lovely day and have lots of fun and come back again soon.

Good luck with your own writing adventures and why don’t you send me a snippet for me to read?  I don’t read many blogs, I really ought to, and there are some amazing people out there.

Hopefully next week will be a better week?

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You are not going to blow my dreams away

I’m not going to be what you want me to be anymore

I never was that person

The person who’d never go out and was a bore

I am not going to live the life that you always wanted me to

Not anymore

I am going to be me and do whatever I want to do

I am going to have a full and happy life

A life and person of which you wouldn’t let me become or do

You are out of my life right now and that way you will stay

Because I don’t want you to come back and blow all my dreams away

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Filed under Poems V - Z

Just not today

Let the tears come

Let the suffering come

Separation is here

So shed those tears

Love is gone

May the night sometime become day

So maybe I can feel like I want to play

But not today, life has gone sour

Right now is not the right hour

I do want to play

But not today

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Filed under Poems J - L

Writer losing her mojo

We all have heard the saying that “writers write as simple as that” and it is really is as simple as that, but most don’t actually do it as regularly as they should or at least believe they should.  For me, I do not write as much as I believe I should because in the last few years I have lost my mojo, I forgot what it meant for me to write and I have done a lot of soul searching in the past year to find out where the passion has gone.

I did something rare for me – I re-read a book, usually I don’t re-read books unless I put them into a reference category but this particular book I re-read and saw it with fresh eyes and read things I didn’t remember were in the book in the first place.  The name of the book was “Big Magic” written by Elizabeth Gilbert.  When I read this book I asked myself a question; “Why do I think I have lost my love for writing”?  It was a simple answer really upon reflection and I would never have gotten this answer if it wasn’t for this book.  My writing became too focused on financial panic, the urge to write as much as I can so I can earn a living because I needed to break out of debts, but instead, this kind of pressure halted everything about my creative mind and I found I couldn’t do anything other than dramatic self-pitying poetry on mass, the stories and the playtime died, literally.

For the word, nothing has been published except for the things that are published on this blog simply because I didn’t want to approach a publisher with such depressing poetical themes, because I still hold to the idea that I am primarily a fantasy and horror story writer, not a poet!  I am also an essayist I suppose, because I like writing and hoarding information I have learned about my favourite subjects, but I am not sure how to become a paid essay writer and I am not really going to approach that as a career until I learn more about it. 

Anyway – getting back to the main subject of this post.  I forgot how to play – yes, even in real life, I have forgotten how to play and to laugh because of my severe depression, breakdown and financial worries.  I became so down in the dumps about my life that I had two years of being carefully guarded by Paul my fiancé because I couldn’t be left alone for fear I’d commit suicide, seriously.  One point it got so bad, Paul had to go out somewhere without me and he needed to ask a neighbour to sit in with me.  To say I am over that now, would be wrong, the slightest thing brings it back, but I am not as bad as I used to be, the self-harming has stopped a little bit and I am more predictable these days; but ultimately, the depression is still there and I am trying hard to find out how to play again, how to feel happy again and how to enjoy life.  I don’t enjoy anything anymore and it is getting increasingly difficult since the doctor is now looking into what they believe to be a very serious neurological problem, either MS or motor neurone disease, but like always there is a long waiting list here in the UK and I won’t really know what’s going on with me for several months apparently.

So, how does one go about trying to find out how to be happy again and learn to play again?  It turns out according to the book “Big Magic” and a couple of other books I have read recently that it is something most adults get out of practise of, that once you start trying to become playful and do things which are generally playful (even if you don’t feel happy doing it or feel that it is playful) you will eventually trick your mind to becoming playful and you will build up a type of momentum.  Once the momentum is built up, you will start to feel a change – well I hope so.

I thought hard about how I write stories now in comparison to how I wrote them ten years ago, was there any notable differences in how I produced work back then than now?

Yes there was a huge fundamental difference in fact. 

A decade ago I wasn’t afraid to be thought of as eccentric or insane, I would play with my imagination and I would share my thoughts and ideas no matter how obscure and strange they were with people around me and then I would write about those ideas.  I used to have a lot more creative friends too, but many of them have creative careers which have made them too busy to socialise even online, some have died, some have decided that they too have lost their playful side and have become super conservative people.

I have also found that my social circle is smaller these days which is amazing because I used to think my social circle couldn’t get any smaller ten years ago, the people who I do talk to these days are very serious people who have a worried look on their faces whenever anybody talks about anything out of the ordinary, even if you were to explain that you are an artist and a writer so it’s not a mental health problem, it’s just my mind playing with ideas and therefore there is a story in this.  You’d be surprise how people like that can dry up your will to be imaginative or to share your ideas.

Some people who have very little imagination tell me that they wished they had more of an imagination and they start to tinker with my story ideas themselves (which I don’t mind) but then they start demanding that they must change my concept on my fantasy worlds because things are just not plausible and that readers are real people who live in the real world and they want something believable, so they start pulling at the threads of my fantasy infrastructure and start literally pulling my fantasy communities apart by the seams.  It turns out that even my perfect all powerful fantasy God is not infallible, that he has other beings that will cause problems he can’t deal with and that even this God ponders who created him and so forth.  I told the person, you are going too deep here buddy, I don’t want to go that way in my story, but they insist that I must.

I became a fantasy writer because I find the real world too boring and predictable for me to want to think about and write, the idea of making a fantasy based novel plausible, to me, is laughable, because fantasy is supposed to be anything BUT normal. 

To cut myself off from such people will almost completely isolate me again, which I don’t want.  But can I really sit through another conversation where my worlds are being shattered write before my eyes?  I often feel like screaming at the top of my voice “Of course this fantasy God has a creator you dumbass, it is me, I am their goddess, I made them, but I am not egotistical enough to put myself in the book as the all-power”, does any other writer go through this?  Or is this situation totally unique to me?

So I am currently on a journey to find “My tribe” as Elizabeth Gilbert puts it and to find my playful imaginative self again and to have the confidence and focus of not listening to those who are dismantling my worlds and to continue with what I had always planned instead.  Which is a shame because these people used to feed me ideas, used to support me, but these days it is just soul destroying.  I have to ignore the world destroyers.

I wanted to join a writers group, but not sure what is involved with those and I am scared to find more people who are like that, once they’ve heard my stories.  I am trying to forget the people who are making me focus on writing purely for financial reasons and try to focus once again on writing for me, for fun, for release and for pleasure; the way it should be for all writers.

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Going deaf to your misery

 

royalty free image from pixabay

DISCLAIMER – 

The below poem is not meant to be offensive – I am personally a sensory impaired member of society, I am very short sighted with astigmatism and I am totally deaf in my right ear with only 35% hearing in my left ear and I could potentially lose that, considering I have auto-immune inner ear disease.  I have only learned to develop a sense of humour with the cards I’ve been dealt with in life, please understand.

 

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of deaf

I shall hear no evil, but see a lot I might

Though I hear not the barks that scold me, I see the awful sight

Evidence of those who hate me are seen everywhere

And they sit back and they think that I really, really care

But yea, the mind is full of ego

And they shall think of themselves

I shall sit in wonderment, why they don’t put the hate on their shelves?

I wonder why every day, why they think of me?

When I have left them long ago, yet they still want to torture me?

Then I realise that those poor dears, they do not have a life

So that is why they taunt me, with curses and poisoned words of strife

They of course have an ego too, that you can be sure

That they sit around every day gossiping of the times of yore

Becoming old and bitter, making their friends think that they are a bore

By choosing to focus on the dead past, the past that makes them sore

And I sit back still amazed, that they have chosen to concentrate

On things about me, each and every day, because poisoned words always finds a way

To go back to the victim

You see that’s the side effects of your conviction

Gossip not and leave the friction

 

 

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Filed under Poems G - I

Fair-Weather Friend

You call me a fair-weather friend, that’s not true

I am here for you

Though times are hard for me too, I don’t like being blue

So often I seem cold to you, but I am always there for you

I don’t always say warm words, I tell home truths too much

I try to bring humour in and it makes me seem out of touch

I sit and listen to your woes and I sit and listen quietly

It doesn’t mean that my “Oks” make me take your problems lightly

I can’t let your problems become mine; I can’t get too involved

I don’t have the energy or the time, especially when your problems are old

I tell you time again, how you can mend your pains

But you just carry on your path and it often drives me insane

So when I don’t call or say too much, think about my life too

Think about how I sit and listen and that I am there for you

How I try not to talk about my own anger and pains

How I listen dutifully when your cries are always the same

How I hear the same thing over and over again

And I’ve not yet gone completely away

Is it fair then to say…

You’re a fair-weathered friend?

Well, Okay!

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Filed under Poems D - F

Life is sometimes…

My life, sore as it may be, is still a blessing to me

There are things I don’t often see, happy things, miracles and a certain ease

I try not to be blind for the things I have

I try not to be ungrateful

I know that life could be much worse, it is sometimes inescapable

But I count my blessings as often as I can

So I can make a stand and say

It isn’t always this way

There are happy days and there are sad

There are good days and there are bad

But one thing that we can always be sure of

Is that life is changeable and we all know this – sort of

So when times are hard and difficult – remember it will also change

That life will lighten up and the suffering will ease and good times you will gain

But remember too that goodness, will also fade away

Be prepared for the bad times, as they sometimes come to play

But live for the moment is the most important of all

Something you don’t learn at school

So when you’re down and thinking silly things

Remember this message and let your heart sing

That times won’t always be bright and gay, but times aren’t always shades of grey

You will someday, find your peace, be happy again and pain will cease

Trust me, all things eventually decrease

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Filed under Poems J - L

You’ve allowed me to imprison you

You must like pain if you still read my poisoned words

Always aimed at you

Always said in truth

Always breaking you, because you allow it

You allow it, because you sit and read

You sit and allow yourself to grieve

At the words I say to you

You are the fool

I am your cruel mistress

Because you allow it, submissive

You read it and I don’t make you

You’ve allowed me to imprison your mind

And I will always own you

As long as you still sit and read, sit and grieve

Even after I’ve disowned you

It’s true

It’s true

You’ve allowed me to imprison – YOU!

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Filed under Poems V - Z

Sweet love sept 2018

I wander

I roam

And nowhere is home

I look around

But I’m still seeking love

Sweet love I need

I looked in your heart

But it is locked up

And I grieve coz I’m alone

I grieve alone

Could you open the door?

I’m alone in fear

I need sweet love

You are the one for me

I can set your heart free

You can rely on me

Sweet love of mine

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Filed under Poems S - U