Sunday, 16 February 2014

And this is why I don't listen to music

If they need a new form a torture in this horrible world then they could do worse than going with heart wrenching nostalgia. Subjected to that incessantly, like Alex in A Clockwork Orange but instead of images of horror and violence,  images of different times, happier times, younger times, times before your world was shattered for whatever reason - that'd drive the hardest mind to cave.

I find myself home alone. At last. It's been two months since I was on my own for any length of time. It doesn't matter how much I love the person I'm with every day, my skin starts crawling to freedom. I never truly relax unless I'm on my own. I told someone this once and they though it was a shame. I don't know if it is. I just know that when I'm alone my mind relaxes, my body breathes differently and my mind seems to explode with creativity.

The first thing I've done, obviously, is play loads of music really loud. I don't like doing that while other people are around me. Partly because I get incandescently angry when people do it to me and partly because I still haven't quite shrugged off the fear of music judgement by people cooler than me. At school it was a daily battle to make sure you didn't slip up and admit to liking something shit, especially when I started hanging out with people who took their music very very seriously. Of course, no one gives a fuck and I will happily admit to liking the odd Coldplay song actually, thanks very much, but I do like to play whatever I want without fear of someone going: HAHA. You know when you write blog posts sometimes and realise they make you sound mental? This is one of those.

I love music. I love singing badly to it. I love the way it makes me feel. I pay as much attention to lyrics as the tune and when one perfectly combines both it's glorious. But it also seems to unleash the feelings. And I don't like that.

As an over sensitive, over emotional, neurotic mindmelt with anxiety and panic on the side, most of what I do every day is designed to remain level. My medication, my meditation, my writing and my exercise. All of these things help me to level out and get through the day with a modicum of peace and tranquility. That's the whole idea. I've had to adapt my life in order to understand this, recognise it and start to fight it. And that's fine, all of these things make me feel good. Apart from the meds - I wouldn't mind kicking those. But as anyone else who was put on SSRIs in the late 90s'll tell you - fucking HELL, are they hard to get off.

My point is, everything I choose to do or not do is planned and measured against whether it will help me to feel stable or will trigger a spiral into the crazy place. The whole purpose of my life right now is to not feel things that make me hurt and ache and cry and wish things were different. The whole purpose of my life right now is to accept the way things are. I have battled and fought to accept my dad's death. It's been nearly 13 years and I am only part of the way there. But I know that in acceptance is peace. And that's what I want more than anything.

So the songs I listened to this morning that stirred up my grief and pain and sense of injustice and fear and horror and horrible, horrible nostalgia will just have to stay unplayed for a while longer. One day I'll be able to go back to them without the sickening lurch in my stomach and the lump in my throat. But that day is not today.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I think it was Martin Amis who said that a writer is most his or herself when alone. When it comes to creativity, solitude has always been underrated, I reckon! And meditation is a great 'leveller' for me too. Keep up the great writing and may you find the peace you're searching for.

  2. And, silly as this may sound, thank you for leading me back to the Romantic poets. Your George III blog took me back to Shelley: this one reminded me of a bit of Byron which resonated with me when I read it at the "right" time. Took me a (pleasurable) while to find it, but I eventually did: in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto IV, stanzas XXI to XXIV, Byron "nails" the feelings you've described (and which I've felt, too) exactly. Anyone interested, and lacking Byron on their bookshelves, can read it at: