Let’s have a talk…

the last gasp from a burst lung

I can’t quite articulate how I’m feeling right now.

I am trying to come to terms with my grief and felt the need to sit down and write about something very prevalent but also very difficult to discuss.

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“Come find me now, where I hide and
We’ll speak in our secret tongues” Frightened Rabbit – The Woodpile (Pedestrian Verse, 2013) 

There are thousands of people in mourning about the death of Scott Hutchison – none more so than his family, bandmates and friends. Scott, his respect for people suffering from mental illness and his ability to make people feel something – even if it is sadness was a brilliant but troubled soul.

The world has lost this soul but we must ensure his message and beliefs are not forgotten. I am sure I am not alone in saying that us fans are better off having had our experiences with him and his music. Just reading some interactions Scott had with his fans I can substantiate this.

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As I’ve said before (and many others have, too), Frightened Rabbit and their songs have been a huge part of my life. My early 20s were full of finding new music and Frightened Rabbit happened to be one of the bands I uncovered. When I was in the depths of despair or just wanting to listen to an old favourite, I would always turn to Scott and his soulful lyrics and I knew I would be ok.

Scott’s ability to articulate the feeling of depression was incredible.

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The Winter of Mixed Drinks, 2010

Upon listening to some of Frightened Rabbit’s albums over the past two days, I have been reminded about how remarkable and poignant his song writing was. Even if the song was desperately sad, the energy the band made with their music could help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. I just wish he could have seen it, too.

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I have fond memories of seeing the band play in Sydney several times and on one occasion took my brother and we had a fantastic sibling adventure. Scott was a consummate gentleman on stage, his humour hiding the fact he was in fact quite shy. I remember at Laneway festival when the band started their set he said, “We’re fat, ugly and you’ll probably hate us – but fuck it, we’re going to play for you anyway”. I danced and sang my heart out and it was honestly one of the best performances I’ve ever seen.

Our lives have been enriched for having had you in it. Rest in peace, Scott. 

Lately I’ve been in a bad place myself and entertained dark ideation. I have felt unworthy, unloved and extremely unhappy. I am lucky that I recognise my triggers and sought help which I am fortunate enough to have access to. I also have some very important people in my life who I would not be able to live without.

Sometimes people aren’t so lucky and can’t see through the thick fog of depression. Life is hard enough and it’s SO much harder feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders.

The thing is that no matter who you are, you matter. 

I’m not saying that it’s always easy but there are people you can talk to, there are places to turn and there are people that love you. The stigma attached to mental health needs to end. It’s ok not to feel ok.

I will close with one of his songs that I have held close to my heart for years and will do so forever.

The booze in my blood runs fast and loud
and my brain shouts down to my mouth
“Say whatever I think. Say it at him.”
When the dam bursts open and you’re drowned out, boy
better go outside, sit in your boat and wait
’til you get washed away

Hold onto your thumbs
Tighten your eyelids
Lock up your ears, my dear, I’m verbal when I am loaded
Duck under that desk
Cover your neck
Thicken your skin as I begin to shoot myself in the foot again

As the body succumbs and my mouth goes numb
I limp out to the sound of the breaking of broken toes
A vandal spoke
In the stark and the sobering dry sunlight
I will blink my eyes and hope the blink can erase
all the shit that I said and did

Hold onto your thumbs
Tighten your eyelids
Lock up your ears, my dear, I’m verbal when I am loaded
Duck under that desk
Cover your neck
Thicken your skin as I begin to shoot myself in the foot again

If I shoot at you, you should shoot at me, too
and we can drown in pools of the thick dark words we threw
As my face turns white, I apologise
I am sorry
it’s not your fault
its mine

Hold onto your thumbs
Tighten your eyelids
Lock up your ears, my dear, I’m verbal when I am loaded
Duck under that desk
Cover your neck
Thicken your skin as I begin to shoot myself in the foot again

FRIGHTENED RABBIT – FOOTSHOOTER (THE WINTER OF MIXED DRINKS, 2010)

 

If you or anyone you know is struggling, please contact the following :

NB. These are Australian numbers.

2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Thanks to my friends for letting me out of my cage (and letting me use their power to charge my phone)

I spent NYE with my beloved friends and we rang in the new year as only we could with Daryl Braithwaite’s The Horses. It was incredible. Strangely I was not hungover the next day!

So I’m back at work now, it’s as hectic as ever. Nursing just doesn’t ever stop.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want recently and what I want to change and things I can do about it.

At the end of last year we got some shocking news on the ward about a patient we had looked after for a long time – one who we thought would recover but sadly did not. It forced me to think about my life choices and how they affect those around me. It really threw me – a reactionary depression, they call it.

I’m doing a lot better now, in a better space but still working on myself.

This year I plan to:

  • Start studying again (Nursing Honours) – I just got my study leave approved!
  • Lose the weight I gained post appendix surgery – my body has changed and I have scars to prove it which I am shy about but I want to get back to being healthy.
  • I’ve decided to go back to morning shifts so I can have a routine week with a home/work/life balance.
  • Dad and I are going to start running together in Manly – walks first, then runs. Baby steps (and 3 bras) will be required.
  • Enjoy time with my loved ones and visit my grandparents in Armidale. Reality sinks in when you realise your beloved grandparents are 85 and 80 respectively. They aren’t as sprightly as when I was young but my grandfather just bought a dozen cattle which he is SO proud about.
  • TRY and get some annual leave – maybe not go anywhere fancy but just take some time out.
  • Say YES to more things – I get very uncomfortable living life on the fly – but I want to be more spontaneous.
  • Be more open with who I am and understand my limits.
  • Embrace myself for my faults and love myself anyway.
  • Accept my anxiety and depression and their triggers.

I don’t have a new years resolution per se, but I just want to take better care of myself and I hope that those around me will benefit from this.

Please everybody don’t forget, if you’re struggling there is help.

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

https://www.lifeline.org.au/

https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

This year… 2017

This year has been massive.

I have loved and I have lost, I have worked and been rewarded. I have been blue, oh so blue but now I’m in such a better place.

I wanted to reflect upon this year where so much (but also so little) has happened.

  • I started and then deferred my Masters of Clinical Nurse Education
  • I have just enrolled instead in my Post Graduate Honours (Acute Care Nursing) degree (2018 here we come!)
  • I had a wonderful relationship with a wonderful person that was just not at the right time.
  • I travelled to Spain and Portugal with my Dad, a kind of goodbye to solo family holidays and a celebration of the best man I know turning 60.
  • A job as a staffing co-ordinator which I hated and dreamt of being back on the wards again (which I ended up going back to my beloved general medicine) – it gave me a whole new perspective of the hospital
  • A first wedding anniversary for my beloved brother and his beautiful wife
  • turning 28
  • making new friends, saying goodbye toxic friends
  • losing my appendix and then gaining weight
  • dealing with new found body image issues (scars on my abdomen)
  • flings with flirty physiotherapists
  • tinder dates that would tire your eyes
  • reality of my darling dog, Millie growing old (I got her when I was 15)
  • becoming more of the person I hope to be
  • being a better friend
  • not losing touch with those who just need some space, then finally reconnecting with them
  • finding so much musical bliss
  • accepting that I am who I am
  • acknowledging my anxiety triggers
  • freaking out about my ticking biological clock
  • crushing on ridiculous people
  • being proud to be Australian and a part of making the “YES” vote count
  • being a daughter, sister, and friend who is loved unconditionally

Thank you, 2017. You have taught me so much about myself and those I adore. It has certainly not been easy but I’m still here and we’re still here and we’ve GOT this!