27 March 2019

Pieces of Starving

Written 23 March 2019.

Whatever this thing is that wants me dead -- mental illness, demons, whatever you want to call it -- is resourceful. I've started fighting to not be sad and negative all the time (because otherwise nobody will ever associate with me and I want human interaction more than anything), and in the absence of space to be sad, it's turned to other means.
In an attempt to get this out into the open but unwilling to burden my already long-suffering friends and acquaintances with yet another issue, I'm posting it here. If my friends see this, they see it of their own accord. I didn't force it on them, and I take comfort in that.

I've been restricting food. I've discussed this with my counsellor before on a couple of occasions, as it's popped up before. But each time it gets stronger. I only ate one meal yesterday, and it's 1.23pm as I type this and I haven't eaten yet today.

Part of it is finances -- I can't really afford to buy more food, so I'm trying to stretch out what I have.
Part of it is perfectionism -- 'you aren't good enough to deserve to eat.'
Part of it is scheduling -- between school and rehearsals and job-hunting, I don't have time to make food.
Part of it is exhaustion -- again, school and rehearsals and job-hunting take so much out of me that the thought of making and eating food makes me want to lay down and die because I just don't have the energy.
Part of it is for attention -- maybe if people notice I'm not eating they'll start paying attention to me, if only to intervene.
Part of it is suicidal -- if I stop eating, eventually I'll die. Maybe the too-soon death of one who literally starved for the sake of being good enough (too busy practicing to eat) will wake some people up. Plus, I'll be dead and won't have to fight anymore, and I'm just so tired of fighting. It seems pointless and I feel like I'm not really needed. Yeah, it would suck for the shows I'm in because they'll have to respace everything, but really, how much would it affect anyone's soul if I wasn't there? I'm shoved in the back anyway because I'm not good enough, it's not like anyone will notice I'm gone... and that's not their fault, it's mine. For not being good enough. For not practicing hard enough.

I shouldn't feel guilty for eating food, for spending the money, for not eating something other than eggs -- again, but somehow I do. It's not that I think I'm fat or need to lose weight, it's mostly just pure mental/physical exhaustion.

17 March 2019


These are the days that make me miss home. The blue sky, the sun, the smell of damp grass as the snow melts, the overwhelming brown of dead grass, mud, and last year's leaves.

I've noticed in the past few years that my depression worsens in the spring. Winter has always been my favourite season, and with each passing year I despise its departure more and more. I hate the mud, I hate the brown, I hate the slush and the damp and the receding snow. And I hate more than anything the fact that everybody gets so darn excited about it. Everybody everywhere suddenly starts celebrating the drab brownness everywhere and the mess and the fact that you can't take one step outside without getting covered in mud. How is this something to celebrate...? It's like they're rubbing the horribleness of the season in your face. Just when you thought you'd forgotten it's not crisp and clean outside anymore, someone comes up to you and says, with eyes brighter and wider than any human's should naturally be, 'ISN'T IT SO NICE AND WARM OUT TODAY BOY I THOUGHT WINTER WAS NEVER GOING TO END DON'T YOU JUST LOVE THE SUNSHINE THEY SAID IT'S SUPPOSED TO GET UP TO PLUS FIVE TODAY I'M GLAD I WORE SHORTS.' It's like a firehose of fake cheer in my face, trying to drown me. Have you actually looked outside? It's BROWN. No colour. No life. There's nothing beautiful about it. Don't tell me spring is when the flowers bloom, Martha, that happens in June. This is March.

And the statistics bear me out. Suicide rates spike in May. Not November. Not February. May.

For me, I realised today that one of the reasons my depression bottoms out at this time is because for whatever reason, days like this remind me of home. And I'm not home. And I won't be for the forseeable future. Ach, der mich liebt und kennt / Ist in der Weite.


Written 7 March 2019, 11.01pm.

I'm tired of trying so hard and sacrificing so much and only getting people telling me I'm still not trying hard enough/giving enough. I have sacrificed my time, money, sleep, meals, friendships, health, mental health... everything for this. And still it's not enough. What WILL be enough? What more do I even have left to give up to be good enough to satisfy everyone? Performing is all I have left. My life has become so narrow - there's nothing else I can give up, short of my actual physical life. And at the rate it's going, even that's not going to be enough for some people.

Unfortunately, those are the people that hold the roles in their hands.

04 March 2019


Last night, on a long-ish solo drive, I got thinking.

I've kind of been not-talking to a lot of my friends lately. It's not that I don't like them or have any problems with them, it's just that I know most of them have a LOT going on and I'm terrified to be a further drain on them, even more than I already have been. Of course, hot on the heels on this thought was the time-worn logic that's been dictating my life for over a decade -- if you were dead, you wouldn't be a drain on them anymore.

If only I could somehow make myself smaller. If only I could make myself need less. If only I could be even more self-sufficient. If only I didn't need SO MUCH people-time. If only I could be happy with the same surface-level relationships that everyone else manages to be happy with. If only I could somehow apologise deeply enough for the fact that I need so much from so many -- without immediately regressing back into the same behaviour that I'd just apologised for. If only I could apologise enough for taking up even the little 5'3 amount in time and space and oxygen. If only I could apologise for wasting the time of everybody I've ever said 'hello' to. If only I could be smaller. If only I could need less.

And I realised that I've been thinking these things, in some form or another, for as long as I can remember. Even as a kid. Even today, I'm constantly making myself small -- I draw my knees to my chest, I keep my things piled high rather than spread out and I keep them close to me, I tuck my feet under the chair, ankles crossed, I stand (against the wall) rather than sit, I keep my elbows tucked against my ribs and my hands close to my chest and face. I've been looking for ways to take up as little physical space as possible for so long that I do it without thinking now, and I feel guilty when I make any kind of expansive movement or step into the middle of a room or even raise my voice or start a conversation.

I'm tired of apologising for existing. But I don't know how not to feel guilty for breathing.

01 March 2019

Music Day - Tourist Trap

I recently acquired this album on vinyl. I already have it on CD/my iTunes, but this is one of my top five favourite albums of all time and I wanted it on vinyl.

For context, this is a space-age concept album, born out of the 'not of this world' school of thought that you find in the Bible (referring to the people of God whose home is not on earth, but in the kingdom of God). This is a theme also used by Larry Norman in his Only Visiting This Planet album (1972) and Petra's 1983 song Not Of This World, although in my completely biased opinion Crumbächer gave it the most thorough and relatable treatment.

Until I listened to the vinyl and read the enclosed lyric sheet, most of the lyrics of this song had eluded me. I had gotten the general idea of it -- that this was a song about how alluring fallen-earth society can be and how easy it is to get comfortable and to lose sight of the fact that this is not our home. But on the day I listened to this vinyl, lyric sheet in hand, I was not in a great headspace and I was starting to ruminate on suicide again (I say this casually only because it's such a common occurrence).

This song had never been a favourite of mine (that was an honour given to tracks like Royal Command Performance, Interstellar Satellite, and Solo Flight) -- until that day when nearly every single line leapt through the stylus and struck me, particularly this one:

When the pressure drives I want to stall
It would be so easy after all...

It would be so easy. At the time I was exhausted -- physically, mentally, emotionally. The thought of waking up every single morning for the next sixty years and fighting literally non-stop with the demon in my head when I was already so deeply depleted at such a (relatively) young age was more than I could stand. All I wanted was to stop fighting. I just wanted a break. I just wanted to breathe without something telling me I couldn't or that I wasn't working hard enough or that I wasn't good enough. The song's opening lines capture it so perfectly: [W]hen every day's a constant uphill climb / They say the joy of living can get lost within the bittersweet of time...

In spite of that, the chorus continues:
So I sally forth, try, try again
Passing up a 'last chance' now and then...

I couldn't feel the same determination that Stephen and Co. feel in this song within myself, but I caught enough of theirs that it inspired me to keep going, just one more day.

Title: Tourist Trap
Artist: Crumbächer
Album: Escape From The Fallen Planet
Year: 1986
Label: Frontline Records
iTunes here; YouTube here.

Musically, I think my favourite moment is the key change after the guitar solo (I'm always a sucker for a key change). Other highlights include Crumbächer's trademark harmonies and of course plenty of space-age keyboards. There's a nice little guitar solo in here too (a rarity in early Crumbächer, but I think it gives the song added weight and substance).