pls use headphones

I’ve been wanting to revive the blog for the past couple of years, recently thinking about using book reviews to do so, but I haven’t been reading books so I haven’t been blogging a lot too.

I’ve been thinking of different posts I might want to write and publish here. Namely about living with depression. I feel okay to do so now because I was diagnosed with it and I am taking medicine for it. I talked about how I was feeling before, many times actually talking about self-diagnosed depression, but that was many years ago.

Wow. I’ve been blogging for four years, nearly five.

School is good, actually it’s more than good. English is such a geeky subject and the people who teach us are awesome and the course is fantastic and more than I could have ever hoped for.

I am studying English at Queen Mary University of London which is a Russell Group university and my insurance choice (I did not make it into UCL and barely into this one). University is so chill which is a brilliant balm for my anxiety, and to some extent for my depression.

 

I’m taking five modules this year where one of them swaps after the new year.

  • Reading, Theory and Interpretation (RIT)
  • Literatures in Time (LIT)
  • Poetry
  • English in Practice (swaps to Narrative)
  • Shakespeare

Possibly the most high-intensity courses are going to be Poetry (exercises to be submitted for feedback every week) and Shakespeare (you read from a 3500-page Gargantua).

It’s absolutely lovely though. In LIT we’re studying medieval literature and talked a little about this dude called Caedmon and how he was illiterate but was told by some visiting creature one night when he sat by himself not wanting to sing with the lads that he needs to sing, and so he sang this sweet poem in praise of God’s creation and it reminded me so much of Prophet Muhammad’s beginnings. Like Caedmon he stayed away from the festivities and usually hid himself away in a cave, where he was visited by angel Jibreel (Gabriel) who demanded that Muhammad should recite. Muhammad didn’t know what to recite but the angel demanded and so the very beginning verses of the Qur’an were recited by Muhammad. And the book Caedmon’s hymns were in also talk about how his hymn was unlike anything could have produced during his time, so much like the Qur’an.

That was lovely, but even better was our lecturer waltzing to the rhythm of Thomas Hardy’s The Voice. The idea of spending the rest of this year tapping music out of the poems I’ll be studying (and that being the whole point of the module) is almost magical.

I haven’t taken my medicine today.

I did wake up with vicious anxiety yesterday. That’s such a sucky feeling, but I sort of pushed it away with a few deep breaths. (It pops up now and then but not so intense).

I have left Wednesdays as my rest days since I need a job sometime soon so weekends are out of the question and this Wednesday I spent watching Lucy Moon videos, in particular her 168 Hours vlogs because she’s a great filmmaker.

There is another dimension to the depression now and that is being depressed at home where my family know I am suffering. The thing about living in an Asian household is that mental health is sort of thought as flimsy where it’s perceived that I’m not actually ill because this illness of mine is not visible. Depression, for my mother at least and in the way my father acts sometimes, is simply a feeling.

Living with a mum who knows I am mentally ill but doesn’t know what to do with that is a little difficult. My father has PTSD and I didn’t know that until two weeks ago when I confronted him about my depression. My parents want me to keep my depression a secret. I don’t. I really don’t.

Well, I got a cold on Thursday for probably the first time in at least a year. Being physically ill in the most typical way was nostalgic, and made me have all the thoughts about all the illnesses I suffer from. I suffer from two chronic illnesses, one physical and one mental: PCOS and depression. I think they’re connected to each other because PCOS is fundamentally to do with hormonal imbalance and so’s depression right? While my brain can’t take in healthy amounts of serotonin my body can’t take in healthy amounts of insulin.

It’s just how I roll.

I thought this year that I’d like to focus on myself: mind, body and soul. I need to lose weight to help manage both the PCOS and depression, but more than that I need to pay particular attention to my diet.

I ate a breakfast of chicken nuggets and fishcakes and I felt sick halfway through the meal but habits die hard, man. I finished off the entire plate, crashed in bed under some sort of oil overload, and started feeling very miserable indeed.

Living at home sucks especially with the prospect of living outside of my home in my face. I wonder what it would be like to live on my own. To be honest I don’t think it would be much different and in some ways a little disastrous. Being Miss Zombie means that I will probably live off chicken nuggets and fishcakes forever and make myself very sick indeed. I have little to no impulse control and having that much responsibility over myself seems like a bad idea.

Hah.

I’m so going to get out of this place the moment I figure out how to, can you tell?

The thing with living out while I’m here is finance to be honest. I applied for the maintenance loan and I’m getting 3K but that’s nowhere near enough to last me a whole year even with budgeting. I will typically spend £300 a week including rent, I know this to be true. Books, clothes, travel, food etc will add up eventually so while one week might go well another I will spend way over and on average it will get to 300 quid a week. Rent in student accommodations are actually pretty neat at something healthy like £150 a week so that’s okay. I’d be able to get out of the house whenever I wanted and come back whenever I wanted and hang out with anyone I wanted. My time would be my own and if mum wants to call I can decide to pick up or not (does that make me a dick?).

So £3K will last me 10 weeks, which is decent but definitely not enough and actually won’t even last me that if I think about the deposit. There are perks though, living on my own will force me to learn how to take proper responsibility for myself. Ever since my mum knew I was her daughter and not her son, she sobbed with her newborn in her arms knowing she’ll have to hand me over to another family in twenty years’ time. I have always known that I would be under someone’s care whether that be my parents’ or my husband’s. I’m also lazy or depressed or whatever and have been for some time (this is not normal it’s not normal you think it’s normal but you’re way too sad way too often and ‘sad’ is an umbrella term for all the lows you can think of) so I have let myself be taken care of. So much. By everyone who wanted to or needed to, to be honest.

My therapist says I take too much responsibility over my parents and I think I’m just scared of and not really used to the idea of taking care of myself instead. Of dedicating time and money into the basic things like clothing myself well, cleaning myself up well, feeding myself well constantly. And on top of that to keep on top of loving others well, and studying well? Gah.

No, perhaps moving out right now isn’t a great idea. Throwing myself into the deep end when I’m struggling as it is might just be too much for me. In fact I know it will be. There are other ways to take responsibility for myself and for what I want to achieve in the short and indeterminable time I have here.

You see right now I have opened the door in my room that gives access to the garden. It’s dark but the wind is only a little cold. I can hear the gentle white noise murmur of the city around me. My room is coated with a warm yellow glow from the lamp, and I think I really like this. I really love my room and my house. I haven’t had a chance to properly make it my own yet but I’m really looking forward to that. I can’t leave my home.

This morning, after the bad breakfast, what kept on running through my head was the thought of carving a life for myself that I wanted. Sometimes I feel like I have half of it: the location and the tools (laptop, internet, school stuff, bed, food, clothes, toiletries). I just need some sort of decent income and the ability to get in and out of the house whenever I want.

Two things that are achievable now that I think of it. Wow.

Did I tell you that I want to become a book editor? So much of it fits with what I like and what I want moving forward: I love reading though depression mode has put a damp on everything tbh. Also, I want to write books. Often when I go on Wattpad I sort books into ones I want published, ones I want a movie made out of, ones I think are gorgeous and ones I know with some tweaking can bloom. I want to help people, it’s something that brings me a great amount of pleasure so yeah I want to help people bring something amazing they’ve created to the light. I have an analytical mind and I’m determined to learn everything I can.

And I’m taking an English course here. London is fucking publishing central and is absolutely gorgeous, in cultural terms.

I shall expand on this – depression makes everything taste like nothing, or like the same uninteresting boring thing. The flavour of reading or the flavour of listening to music or the flavour of watching something that’s fucking good has gone. I know that book is the love of my life, or this song brings me to great heights, or that the movie is fucking good but I don’t have a taste for it anymore. I can’t taste it, it all tastes the same. And the aftertaste of everything stinks the same stink. But I’ve slowly started to get my love for music back. And it’s a different taste coming back to me now. I’m pretty sure the same will happen with reading, or so I hope.

 

I just, I really imagine a life for myself where it is difficult, like now. Where things that aren’t supposed to irritate me put me down for ages and it’s such a fucking hard time doing the simplest things but god do I love this city. I walk around it awkwardly, I don’t know where to look most of the time, and people are dangerous here and kind of rude I guess to outsiders. But we have this thing okay, and London has this aesthetic of old and new and historic and groundbreaking that fucking works. Plus the people here all have resting bitch faces and are actually soft sweethearts, I promise you.

I’ve become the sort of person who likes whole albums mostly and there’s three albums I am slowly exploring. They all came out this month and unlike last time I discovered my love of albums, I’m not listening to each album again and again. I’m going through them and finding songs I love and listening to those songs on repeat. Those albums are LOVE YOURSELF by BTS, A MOMENT APART by ODESZA, and AWAKE by ILLENIUM. They’re all fucking good (and I’ve put the tracks throughout this post!).

 

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3 Replies to “pls use headphones”

  1. Haha…writing my response in word process so I can listen to the videos you posted! Love the first video by BTS. Even though I have no idea what they are saying. I guess it’s the beat and the foreign language part that attracts me. Wish my college life was as chill as yours. Mines more stressful than anything. But, at the same time, its opened up some things that I’ve known needed fixing for a while, but didn’t want to admit I had a problem. Jealous of your Shakespeare and poetry class. I enjoy reading both. I also like Beautiful Creatures by Illenium. I’ve already found them and BTS on Spotify and add them to my list! Nice to know I’m not the only college student still living at home. How did you tell your parents about your depression and anxiety? I keep wanting to bring it up with mine, but don’t know how. Not that I’ve been diagnosed with it, more like I know somethings wrong and need help, but don’t how to go about it sort of thing. I feel like if we knew each other, met, we’d be fast friends. I’d love to move out. In fact, for me I feel like it might be a better step than trying to do school. I hate school. I’d want to live close to my parents, but start making my own decisions and figure out who I am and what I’m capable of. What about? Could you move out if you lived close to your parents? I’m glad you’re not afraid to talk about your depression, you shouldn’t have to be. Though, who am I to say. Not a dick at all! I love it! I’m the same! I’d have more money if I wasn’t having to save for school
    (this is not normal it’s not normal you think it’s normal but you’re way too sad way too often and ‘sad’ is an umbrella term for all the lows you can think of)…..these are your words and they totally spoke to me! This past week as been really rough…and not normal!

    1. When I read this comment you absolutely made my day, especially considering how dedicated you were to commenting that you set up your word processor to listen to the songs at the same time!

      I’m so glad you like BTS and Illenium!!!! ODESZA’s other albums might be worth exploring (this album is my least favourite: most of the songs in it don’t stick to me but I think I need to listen to it more to get into it).
      I’m sure if it’s chill now it’s only going to get worse in the future. I mean I’m barely pushing through the weeks as it is. 😛
      What are you studying?
      So my parents found out about my depression and anxiety after mum saw the meds in my bag and asked me why I was taking them. It was sort of like ripping off a bandaid for me. I got my parents in one room and told them that I need to tell them something important. Then I literally blurted out: I’m taking tablets for my depression.
      And then all hell ensued.
      Actually they were pretty calm about it, probably a little shocked but eventually they asked what they could do to help and kept on asking why I was depressed.
      Hey I’m down for becoming fast friends! That actually made me grin weirdly at my phone in public so… XD
      Ah, the urge to move out is actually so real. That’s actually interesting cos if I moved out I’d love to stay in London but I don’t want to live near my parents. But yeah I think it’d be easier to get them to be okay with me moving out if I was close to them.
      For now though, in terms of finding out who we are and what we’re capable of we’re just going to have to take it one step at a time and push our limits and get out of our comfort zones in other ways.
      On talking about depression, thank you. And perhaps it’d be easier for you to talk about how you’re feeling or your experiences. I mean for a long time I didn’t know that this was legitimate I thought it was just how I was but it was only with an outsider’s perspective that I managed to realise that this isn’t normal. It’s actually kinda funny cos it’s only now that I realise how damaging it was for me to treat this as just a suspicion. I mean I tried to take care of myself but sitting at home instead of going to school and staring at the ceiling until it was time to go to bed doesn’t seem so good right? I think that now that I know I have it I can anticipate problems better. Like first week of school I had an exercise to hand in and completely slept through the deadline because I had a really bad episode I guess? So that’s just created a problem for me that I’m ignoring instead of handling. But in light of that I got in touch with the school’s disability centre and advice service and I’m learning about doing things way ahead of the deadline cos of how unreliable this depression makes me.
      Thanks for reassuring me about my not resembling a penis!!! It means a lot 😀 Ah, money. I need a job so bad but I haven’t done anything to get one.
      I’m so glad those words got to you cos honestly it’s a symptom of depression to think it’s normal. I hope you feel better but I know this takes time and often it’s a forever sort of condition where recovery and relapse interchange all the damn time. You’re not meant to feel so shit so often x

    2. I was studying American Sign Language, but I dropped my classes. It was a good choice for me. London! I’ve always wanted to go there. Actually it’s been a weird dream of mine to live there for a year.

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