Happy Birthday to me, Time to move my family

It’s been a while since my last post.  Been busy with work and with the baby.  In this time I’ve also been planning a future for my family.  With this comes news…

I’m moving my family to South Wales! I have a new job at an ABA Autistic school which begins on Monday.

Hopefully this will mean there’s more time and space to create.  It’s certainly a new adventure!

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I’m an Addict

I’ve always thought these three words would make me sound week…

I’m an addict.

Despite the way I’ve perceived such a confession I hope to draw strength from this self-acceptance.

I’ve had issues for many years and was always too afraid to admit it…let alone try to work out the root!  But now that I have…here we go!

The first addiction I remember having was falling in love.  As young as 5 I’d find a girl who I had feelings for and the thought of her would end up becoming my comfort during the stress of life.  I was an anxious young lad and decided this was the best way of having hope.  This addiction continued and carried over into addiction to lust and pornography as a teenager and actually is only recently something I’ve been working on for the sake of a healthier marriage (and now family)!

Handcuffs

I found the addiction was controlling me and I was not the husband I intended being.  I think I was shocked when I realised getting married didn’t magically make my addictions go away.

 

Other addictions I have challenges with are chocolate, tv series, computer games and negative thoughts about myself.

I’m no expert but it seems to me that I’m addicted to addiction and thought writing about this would be not only quite interesting but also a positive way of expressing the situation.

I’ve never gone as far as attending support groups but it is something I am considering should I end up in future struggles.

As far as the song goes I have ended it with a question mark. A “To be continued” if you would like.  I believe this is the point where everyone with addiction would get to before there’s more variation to the journey.  Also, we all love a good cliffhanger!!!

Addiction Addict

I’m addicted to addiction,
Am I ever gonna last the distance?
I’m addicted to addiction,
Am I ever gonna make a difference?

I’m addicted to falling in love,
I’m addicted to thinking I’m not good enough.
I’m addicted to pornography,
I’m addicted to thinking I’ll never be free
And I know there is more to this than meets the eye,
But I’m too scared to let the gates open wide

I’m addicted to addiction,
Am I ever gonna last the distance?
I’m addicted to addiction,
Am I ever gonna make a difference?

I’m addicted to negative thoughts,
I’m addicted to seeing things worse than I ought.
I’m addicted to anxiety,
I’m addicted to diets that aren’t good for me
And I know there is more to this than meets the eye
And I’m starting to let the gates open wide.

Just why is it I’m addicted?
Oh why is it I’m addicted?
What has got me so afflicted?…

 

The Opposite of Déjà Vu? (Memory: Part 2)

Ever wondered if there was an opposite to Déjà Vu? I didn’t either! But one day in 2013 I found out there was. It is called Jamais Vu.  I wrote a song about it.

Here is an acoustic version of the song:

Jamais Vu

I am sure you have come my way
You’ve been in my intimate space
I believe that you have explored
Every facet of my soul
Lost control
Was so sure
Of your resemblance before

Feel like I should know you well
And it’s got me thinking ‘what the hell’
Everything that I thought was right
Could well be an oversight
It’s not right
My whole life
Has been flipped upside down

Yeah I know who you are
But I don’t know your face
Jamais Vu, clogging up my view
Losing you, face I thought I knew
Jamais Vu, I despise you
Thought I’d seen her before

Here is my story:

Song Story – Jamais Vu

I wrote this song in 2013.  It is from the perspective of my wife, Tammy, who had experienced the sensation of Jamais Vu during her recovery from a mental breakdown.

She was lying down leaning on me and got really worried because she knew who I was but had no recollection of what my face looked like.

Jamais Vu Art

She turned to me and then remembered…Despite that being resolved we became very worried that this was a sign of dementia coming.

A quick call to Tammy’s psychiatrist (and hero of ours), Robin Lawrence, soon revealed to us that this was just an occurrence of Jamais Vu which is like the opposite of Déjà Vu and nothing to be concerned about!

It was such a strong worry but also such a quirky thing that I just had to write about it! Then around 2 years later in 2015 I refined the song.  Only now have I gathered the skill, courage and platform to share!

Finally, here is Wikipedia’s description of Jamais Vu (For it is the root of all knowledge)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamais_vu

Thanks, but no thanks for the memories (Memory: Part 1)

Brief analysis of the impact of memories

“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Memories have been at the forefront of my mind this week. We all remember things in different ways and those memories are evoked through different means. Places, smells, sounds, colours or even words can send your mind into action.

Earlier in the week, I was looking back at some photos of a holiday from a few years ago. I thought “Mmmm what a lovely restful time” but my wife, Tammy, felt uneasy looking at the photos. They reminded her that this was a particularly stressful time for us as a couple and she let me know this for the first time.

memory-lane

This was a great shock to me. I was truly upset with myself for my responsibility for that hard period as a couple. As a man with a negative default all I could think about was that I’d tarnished this place and these photos, possibly for life.

The revelation shook me to my very core.  I was a prisoner of this guilt and shame again for at least 2 days.  My body became heavy and it ached.  I was so angry with myself.

Thankfully Tammy was not revealing that information to make me suffer.  She just needed to express her feelings to me.  She worked hard to remind me that for every sad memory there are many more happy ones in her mind. That helped me so much and gave me ammunition to fight off the negative thoughts.

The battle I overcame draws parallels with a song I wrote last year so here is an acoustic version of it which I hope to play at an open mic sometime when I pluck up the courage.

When the fear descends upon me
All my hopes and fears
Feel oh so far away

All my fun becomes a pressure
And all that pressure
Makes me want to run away

This burden on my shoulders
It builds and builds til

I get that sinking feeling
My torment
So unappealing

I don’t believe that I can do this
My genetics say
I’m just not made that way

I start to think a little different
I slow things down
And take it one step at a time

Step by step I claim the victories
My momentum builds until I find

I beat that sinking feeling
My torment no longer steering

The world is not my oyster

Negative Default

I won’t get up this morning,
I can’t get out of bed.

No point in making effort,
My life is doomed to fail.

The gloom and the worries and fears
I can’t leave behind.

The gloom and the worries and fears
Consuming my mind.

The world is not my oyster,
It’s the shark that swallows me.

The day I wrote this song I was in bed and overwhelmed by life in general. It was a day off from work but I just didn’t have the energy to get out of bed.

I get those days on occasion and it’s not anything to do with having the flu or a fever. I suffer with depression. It’s a very heavy thing.

A big part of depression for me is constant battles with negative thoughts in my mind. I have a negative default therefore it takes a lot of effort to go against my instinct and find positivity. This particular day I rolled over to get the laptop up and I recorded a demo using only the laptop’s microphone the keyboard and recording software.

It ended up sounding a bit muffled but still it was a little progress. It was also a way to slowly help me back up. The next day came and I wasn’t feeling as heavy.

*Disclaimer: I don’t always manage to recover from my down days but this particular day ended up being a slight victory! It isn’t always straightforward from my experience*

Eventually over time I recorded the song again using some slightly better equipment. It’s not exactly Bohemian Rhapsody, heck the verses don’t even rhyme! However it serves it’s purpose as a expression of that suffering.  Also this particular time I could use the song to acknowledge what was happening. Recognising what is happening can often be the first step in recovery.

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and I think anyone suffering needs to know they aren’t alone. There is help out there if you think you need it. Go see your GP and they can discuss medication or speaking to a therapist.

negative