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)
- English in Practice (swaps to Narrative)
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.
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!).