Watch “Silence – a song about depression by AUTUMN DAWN LEADER (with commentary by the artist)” on YouTube

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A Foray Into The World of Vlogging

I sing. I write and I sing. I don’t like talking. Talking is too much like, you know, work. It takes a great deal of energy. In writing, I can carefully craft what I want to say and paint pictures with words. In singing, I express myself with the most freedom – no longer reaching for what to say or struggling to get my point across. However…

a friend of mine has told me that, in this day and age (where video has well and truly killed the radio star), I need to TALK in order to connect with the fans (and potential fans) of my music and reach my internet audience better. So, I’ve done it! Eek. My first ‘vlog’. In this, I TALK about my music, in an effort to help people discover and connect to me as an artist. It gives an overview of where my music comes from and what it’s about and who might be interested.

On another note, my friend John watched it and told me I, apparently, have a sexy accent and sexy lips.  So, if you watch it for no other reason than that, you haven’t wasted your time. 😉

Thus, with no further ado…

It’s A Borderline Thing

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So, yesterday’s post got me into some trouble with a friend. I wouldn’t have wanted to deliberately disturb or hurt my friend, of course.  But, hey, it does seem to be a borderline thing. We lose friends like leaves falling off trees.  It’s not easy being green and it isn’t easy being (and staying) a friend to a squishy brainer. People that don’t suffer with these conditions tend to misinterpret the actions of a borderline.  At first, it made me question whether I should be so open in this blog.  But, I appreciate knowing I’m not alone when I read other bloggers on here who also struggle with mental illness.  One blogger that I follow has shared things I haven’t dared share (they would make my friend run a mile – or several miles, in fact, and put up a giant wall and maybe get attack dogs), but I so appreciate that she has written of these things, because I can identify, and it’s a comfort to know I’m not alone in going through the situations she’s written so frankly about.

 

I’m happy to report that I didn’t lose this particular friend.  He’s decided to stick around for now, and hopefully long term.  But, I think I explained myself poorly last night when he came over and confronted me about what he felt to be ’emotional blackmail’.

 

All the borderlines are now nodding their heads.  This sounds familiar, doesn’t it?  We get accused of being emotionally manipulative.  We are extremely emotional, our feelings are overwhelming. And, when we can either no longer keep the mask in place and hold them in, or we simply choose – like on this blog – to express how we feel and what we are going through, it makes “the normals” uncomfortable and many feel they must rationalise it by accusing us of being this way just to control them. But, while I can’t speak for my fellow borderlines, I can say that I never intend to manipulate another person, and I feel that if THEY feel manipulated, then that’s more THEIR hang-up than mine. I’m sharing how I feel, not to get something out of anyone else, but to rant and rage at life as it is.  Sure, it’s great if the regular non-squishy brain types find the blog informative, if it dispels some stigma, if it softens a few negative opinions about those of us who struggle with chronic pain and mental illness, but that’s not the main reason I blog. This is my place where the mask can come off. And, yes, sometimes, the gloves come off, as well.  This my place to be brutal.  But, it’s not a brutality aimed to hurt anyone – it isn’t malicious, even when I am furiously angry at life – well, it might be malicious toward life itself, yes.  But, it isn’t a maliciousness aimed against any person in order to try and get my way.  It’s just me having a place to talk, to really talk, to bring it out in the open instead of suffering with it in silence.

 

So, some points:

1. When I post here, the farthest thing from my mind is how what I’m saying may pressure you into doing something for me. Again, if you feel that way, it might be an issue of your perception.  What it is NOT is my manipulation!

2. When I post here, as uncomfortable (or, in some cases, impossible) as it may be for some to understand, this is where I am right now. It isn’t something I chose. I am going to repeat that: it isn’t something I chose. The question is, should I choose to openly share about it.  And, as I say, that’s what I’ve been asking myself today: should I continue to post my experiences and feelings and how chronic illness, and life itself, affects me?  Or, should I stop?  Should I bury it.  Never expound on it. Only refer to it in songs that people can either ignore or choose to interpret in another way? This sounds harsh, but is your comfort more important than mine? I’m honestly – and, without malice – asking the question.

3. No, I don’t want to feel the way I do all the time, but I don’t think that my mental illness necessarily makes me wrong all the time. I do see a lot of things very differently, yes.  But, I’m not convinced that just because my brain is squishy means everything I think is messed up.  I am a creative person, and expressing myself here is an outlet, an unleashing and releasing.  It helps me, and sometimes it helps others, too.

 

So, maybe it’s a situation of, take the good with (what you consider) bad.  And, realise, this blog isn’t some sort of agenda to get my way.  It isn’t an act to get attention.  Sometimes, yes, it IS a cry for help (I’ll give you that one), and – though it might really scare you – I’m not alone in how I think and feel; there are many of us here.  We are sorry if we make you uncomfortable or feel threatened, but try not to judge or blame us – if you want to blame anything, then, like us, blame life, and rage against it a while with us, because it really is a bastard.

 

In other news, (pardon this bit of shameless plugging) I updated my bandcamp page, doing some sound edits, improving some bits here and there, and it’s all there waiting for you to discover. Now, shall I emotionally blackmail you to check out my music? Ha ha, ’tis a joke.  I want people to like my music and download it because they like it, not because they feel like they’ve been railroaded into buying something they don’t really want.  If you like the music, YAY. I work hard on it, and it is the very deepest expression of my soul.  And, yes, like all independent musicians, I can use all the support I can get.  So, if you haven’t checked out my music yet, give it a go.  If you’ve checked it out before, why not take another listen to see if there’s anything new you might have missed.  Oh, yeah, and of course, I could really use the validation. :p  There I go again. 😀

 

Here’s just one of the songs you’ll find there… listen:

 

 

 

Not Today

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A quote from Lauren Child’s book ‘Clarice Bean Spells Trouble’.

 

Longing for death is different than being suicidal. With being suicidal, one is actively looking for a way to end their existence in this world. Longing for death is just wishing it would happen without lifting a finger to do it oneself.

Most of the time I am firmly rooted in the longing category. Not today. Today I am suicidal.

I received some bad news yesterday, news that suggests circumstances are getting worse, with even more worse than that to come.

I find myself researching how much of my meds I’d need to take to be fatal.

It’s a practical matter.

Someone says to me, “You’ll survive this.” I don’t want to bloody SURVIVE! Not if it’s going to be so much worse. Why do people think that as long as you keep existing, that’s all that matters? (See my post “Life Goes On”)

However, patience being a virtue, I’m going to wait and see if it’s going to get as terrible as it most likely will. After all, sometimes things do turn around or one gets a bit of a reprieve. There isn’t much hope but, at this point, I cling to a shred. So, I’m not going to down every one of my pills yet. Not today.

I can’t promise about tomorrow or the next. Just not today.

Today I will read my new book and I will make more music that only a few people will take notice of, but will be beautiful nonetheless.  I will make love to my piano. And, I will hold to that tiny shred of hope until it, too, is ripped from my aching hands – but, that won’t be today.  Today I will let time play out.  And, when the stinging tears fall hot and angry from my eyes – as they will – I will tell life I’ve got its number. I will end it when the time comes. And that’s not today.

Life Goes On

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“Life goes on.” Don’t you just hate this saying? It’s right up there with “snap out of it” and “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” (gag). The problem is, unlike those latter sayings, “life goes on” is true.

I recently watched an episode of a tv programme I like. In this episode, one of the characters has lost his wife to cancer. He looks out the window and laments that the view is the same. The love of his life is gone from him and so the view shouldn’t be the same.

I agree.

When there is grief, or when life just generally fucks you over, or when the complications that are a part of chronic illness happen, the world should stop. Life shouldn’t go on. But, it does. Relentlessly. Maddeningly. It just keeps going on. And on. And on. It’s wrong, on soooooo many levels.

And we wear our fake smiles and masks and try our best to appear normal because people we encounter are going to tell us “life goes on”. Human compassion has its limits, and they don’t have the capacity to deal with our pain (another reason life should not go on). So, we prepare our lies for when they ask us how we are. “I’m fine.”

I’ve often said this:

Life goes on. And that, my friends, is the tragedy.

It isn’t the loss, or the unfairness of life, or the issues that arise because of our illness – those things are bad enough, but they aren’t the tragedy. The tragedy is that life goes on…when it shouldn’t.

And, so, with all this in mind, I wrote this song and created the artwork for the video.

No, not everyone will get it or like it. But, there will be many who will. It will resonate with anyone who has ever suffered a significant loss, and it will resonate with my fellow squishy brainers. We’re the ones who know what the tragedy actually is.

Life, You Bastard!

Something happened today to remind me never to get my hopes up.  Life plays these little games of letting me think that maybe I could have a little win…and, then.  Lucy, Charlie Brown and the football. I wish I could learn from this.  But, I’m afraid.  Life will do this again, and it is very tricksy.

I’m just so tired.