Life, Death & Coffee 

​Some people require a visual. Some are more auditory. Others still prefer the written word. This vlog/blog post has it all.

I actually have a friend who prefers my vlog posts, where I TALK, more than she does listening to what I – and many others feel – is the considerably better use of my voice. 

Personally, despite having a good vocabulary, I find it difficult to verbalise my thoughts and feelings. I am unable to put these things into SPEECH. So, I put them in songs (one uses a different part of the brain when one sings than when one talks… this is the reason why some people who have suffered severe strokes, rendered speechless, can sing just fine…it is also why a stutterer can sing perfectly and clearly) or in visual art which illustrates how I’m feeling.

I find talking overrated. When I’m forced to speak, I do so…but, it’s rarely willingly. And, inevitably, I never end up saying what I really want and need to get across. It’s very frustrating. I don’t stutter badly, but I have elements of the problem. Speech is just hard work.

Of course, the problem with art, in any form, is that once it’s ‘out there’ it’s open to all sorts of interpretation. You see, hear, read and feel it through YOUR filter.

Sigh. It is the human condition. 

But, I continue to try to communicate, for what it’s worth.

 Life is hard. One could say, life is hard as speaking, and life with ANY chronic illness is a prison. Here’s an animation illustrating the daily struggles and dreams thereof:

This next video is a music video… I’m not explaining it. Just watch and listen. 

And, ending on a fun note. One of my grandfather’s favourite jokes was about a guy who needed to pass his school exams, but he was woefully stupid. His teacher, trying to be kind to him, decided to help him out by marking him a passing grade if he could spell just one word correctly. The teacher thought about it and realised that the student was too dumb to even get one word right, so decided to let him pass if he could just get ONE LETTER of one word right. The teacher thought that, surely, even this idiot could at least get one letter in a word correct. So, the teacher said to his student, ‘Spell the word coffee.’ The student replied, ‘K.A.U.P.H.Y.

And, thus, I give you this:

May your coffee be good and may you always be heard.

Life As I Know It | an animation

This goes out to the precious extraordinary carers of those of us with bpd.  What makes these people so unique (and rare) is their ability to accept us as we are (when that is so hard to do) and not do the typical abandonment of us when we are difficult. This love and support makes all the difference to a sufferer. Specifically and personally, this is dedicated to my carer and husband, Jamie, with my unspeakable thanks.

Kicking Around Ideas

Do you have a bucket list? I’ve never had a formal one. The thing is, when one longs for death, the top of the bucket list is to kick the thing. 

I’ve sort of had ideas of things I’d like to do or accomplish, though. Some of these things – like recording a studio album, performing at The Musician, performing with Melanie Page – I’ve done. Some things I’ve done above and beyond. Like, I used to want to visit the UK. Now I live here and have done for over 12 years. I used to want to put a wild coloured streak in my hair. Now I have coloured it several times in wild, bright colours. Some things I’ve gotten close to, but no cigar… like, I recorded the album, but I still have no physical cds made, and that’s something I really wanted to do.

My informal list has changed since I was young, adjusting to what was possible and what was forever out of reach. When you’re young you can dream crazy dreams of singing a duet with Sting. You later realise that you’re filling your bucket with pipe cleaners when you add something so ridiculous to it. So, singing at Carnegie Hall and the London Philharmonic became singing at the Musician in Leicester. And, winning a Grammy by the age of 16 became just being satisfied with having a regular platform to share my music with others.

I can’t be climbing any mountains or travelling to see Greek ruins. I will never have the energy or the money for those things. A bucket list shouldn’t be full of pipe dreams; otherwise it would be called ‘a wish bucket’…or, a Bottle full of dreams, but that’s another story.😉

My proverbial bucket looks rather empty. It sits there taunting me…shit, I’m rhyming. No, this isn’t going to be a song. 

Today, I began trying to think of things that I would like to do before I get out of this wretched skin…things that are actually possible.

Some days, when the longing for death is intense, it seems like just dying is impossible. There’s that taunting bucket, not letting me kick it.

Alas, miles to go, and all that. I’m so tired.

But, ok… let’s see. Let’s list some new things to do while I wait – some possibles…but challenging ones.

1.Do a gig (proper gig, not an open mic or folk/acoustic club, but a gig where I’m the featured artist) where I primarily play guitar (rather than keyboard/piano).

2. This edges near impossible, but it isn’t totally out of the realm of happenables, so… I’d like to meet Ryan Gage in person, give him a hug and see that amazing smile up close.

3. Visit Bradgate Park again.

OK. ..well, there’s a start, anywho. Feel free to tell me yours. 

Oh…and here’s a new song… it isn’t about buckets… it’s about longing.

Of Kings and Royal Moments

I need to take more time to post the positives when they happen. I get so worn down – am so worn down – by the negatives and the depression and other chronic illness that it can totally obscure those small – but beautiful – moments that happen. Pardon me, while I relate this story.

I still remember the first fan letter I ever wrote to a celebrity crush when I was a little girl.  It was Ricky Schroder of Silver Spoons (oh, gah, am I ever dating myself now). I was properly obsessed. I think I was hoping for a marriage proposal to come from my letter. I’m sure I would’ve been thrilled with just a response from his management team and a signed picture or something.  I received nothing.

I was disappointed, of course. I continued to crush on other celebs from time to time, but real all out fangirling was something I kept to myself and, as much as was in my control, avoid. Years and years later, and I eventually began to feel that maybe fangirling was a symptom of bpd and my obsessions were not something to encourage. However, sometimes one can’t help themselves.

Then came the emergence of Twitter. And, regular people were actually conversing with actors and artists of all media. I, of course, took my little stabs at being noticed, tweeted at, etc. It was Ricky Schroder all over again.

Now, the thing is, even with only my extremely limited success (read failure) at the music business, I realise that being in the public eye and desirable can be full of pressure. And, there’s the politics of it. You can’t be seen to be favouring one over the other when you’re trying to keep all your fans happy. Sometimes it’s easier just to ignore everyone who messages, mentions, tags, etc. you, rather than taking the chance of offending some by missing them out. And, I’m certain for many celebs who have millions of fans, there simply isn’t the time. One must work and sleep, after all…or the rest of us would have nothing over which to fangirl/boy over. And, believe it or not, they do deserve lives of their own.

There is a point to all this. Please, stay with me.

When the BBC first aired The Musketeers, I was enchanted. Here was swashbuckling adventure and beautiful (and talented) actors and actresses to gaze upon. ‘All for one and one for all’ come alive on the screen. Loyalty and love and gunpowder…and…

The best King Louis has EVER been portrayed, played by the exceptionally talented and simply gorgeous actor Ryan Gage.I tried my damndest to keep Mr Gage and his smile out of my heart and only on my screen. Have I mentioned, I’m good at failure.

But, look how strong I was. I managed to get to the third and final (sigh) season before looking to see if Ryan Gage was on Twitter. I managed to nearly make it to the middle of this last series before tweeting ‘@RyanGage is the best King Louis ever’. I didn’t expect anything at all…I just couldn’t contain my enthusiasm anymore. 

But. I did get a response. One of the writers of the show liked my tweet. Really, just that made my night. It was nice to have the comment noticed and appreciated. Especially by someone who worked so hard to bring us this quality entertainment.

But then, there was the next day. I posted something else Ryan and Louis related…and…  Holy French curly wigs, Batman! … I got a notification on my phone that the man himself had liked it!

I posted a few more things. He liked them, too!

Shit. I mean, it was awesome and it made me smiley. Very smiley. Elated. Ricky Schroder, Neil Gaiman, the entire cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer WHO?! But, it also threw me immediately into full-on fangirl mode.

‘Oh, Autumn, you’re too old for this. You’ll get annoying. You always do. Stop it. For goodness sake, you’re flirting. Surely he gets tired of all this. You’re going to make a nuisance of yourself. He has better people than you to pay any attention to.’ And, then, the running negative track in my mind turned even darker and more tormenting. 

Now we come to the specific moment this post is about. Yesterday, feeling particularly rough with the depression I suffer, my 9 year old daughter, who has a talent for drawing, drew me this picture to try to cheer me up. 

Last night, I posted it on Instagram and tagged Ryan Gage in it. Not only did he like it, but he posted it, too! Now, my little girl suffers from low self esteem a lot of the time. She loves to draw and has an eye for art, but all too often she feels bad about herself and thinks she isn’t good at anything. I got to see the joy in her face when I showed her that Ryan himself had liked and reposted her drawing; I got to see her light up at the comments others made about how good her work was. 

So, while I can’t promise that I won’t get annoying – I hope I don’t; but, I know how I am – what I’ve found is that this gifted actor is as sweet to his fans as he is beautiful to look upon. The time he takes to look at fans’ posts and acknowledge them makes him very rare and special…and even more worth fangirling over. 

So, thank you, Ryan Gage, for being you. And…if I get annoying…just go all Louis on me and have me beheaded…kiss me first, though.

Thoughts Spilled From A Brain Left Ajar

I was inspired by this man and his vlog to try vlogging again.  But, sheesh, it takes longer to edit and upload the video than it does just to write a blog post, so while I’ve said this is episode 1 of ‘Thoughts Spilled From A Brain Left Ajar’, who knows when and if there will be an episode two.  This is a raw, intimate look at the real me and what I struggle with daily.  Anywho, with no further ado…