First Day at School

Not me obviously, my son! His mum and I took him in this morning and he was so excited for his first day that he was telling anyone who would listen. Including his teachers, they found it highly amusing and I’m sure as super cute as I did. He wanted to leave the house early, he was so desperate to get there. I remember feeling really nervous and unsure about it and he’s taken it all in his stride. He’s such a confident and strong-willed little guy and I’m so proud of him and pleased he took those traits from his mum.

I, on the other hand, have been fretting about it all this week and most of last week as well. Asking myself all of the questions an anxious parent would ask themselves, over and over and over again. What if he doesn’t like it? What if bigger kids are mean to him? What if he feels like he’s been left there? To add, he’s been at a nursery since he was 1 year old so he’s so used to being around random kids and having to make friends and be a part of a busy room. He’s already familiar with the environment to some degree but I do wonder if there will be issues with the structure and more discipline that school will bring. He needs these things but I wonder how he will react to them. He finishes at 2pm today and I will be waiting with anxious breathlessness on the message from his mum to say how he got on.

I haven’t been able to write or anything because of how obsessive I’ve been over it. He’s the most precious thing in my life and I want everything to go so well for him and for him to make friends and be completely happy. What I often forget is that he’s ready for this and ready to take the next steps in his journey through childhood. He has been excited for starting school for months now. He posed for all the photos we took this morning, memories that will be ingrained in my brain for the rest of my life. I am so proud of him and of the wee man he is becoming with each passing year. He is smart, considerate, funny and full of wonderment at life and the world around us. I’ve never loved anyone this strongly before and it grows as he does. I cried for a full five minutes after I dropped him off and got back to the car (out of eyeshot of anyone).

I will likely write an update later or tomorrow with how his first day went. I hope you are all well and I’m sorry for being so quiet. Sending my love to you all as always.

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We Are Not Your Kind – Slipknot (An attempt at an album review)

I’m branching out into something a little different here as I’ve been struggling to write anything of late. Hopefully, this will kickstart the creative flow in my brain and lead to some more posts and creative pieces, that I may or may not share.

To give a bit of context, I have been fascinated with and in love with Slipknot’s music since the album, Iowa was released, I believe in 2001. A lot of people will listen and just hear angry thrash-metal but there is so much more depth to it than that. When you think about the band and the fact that there is one singer and eight musicians, it takes a lot of skill and refinement to make that all come together and work in terms of musicality. Their lyrics ring true with me in a lot of senses and the sheer depth of anger in some of the tracks is therapeutic in times of sadness and anxiety. Almost like the anger gives you a sense of control and belonging. I wonder if that will make sense to anyone.

We Are Not Your Kind was released a week ago today, the 9th of August and has been on repeat at home and in the car on the daily commute for me since. I found the new sound to some of the songs odd at first but on further listening, I love the slight changes and the album flows brilliantly from the opening intro track to the heavy ending. There are elements of a few tracks that remind me of Iowa actually and the filler tracks are devilishly atmospheric and dark. You can clearly hear the echoes of lead singer, Corey Taylor’s battles with depression and broken relationships throughout the lyrics across many of the tracks. He clearly used his art to vent his frustration and anger and in A Liar’s Funeral, there seems to be a lot of reference to the stigma associated with mental health and for men in particular.

Insert Coin is the opening intro track and it sounds (to me) like a dark sort of arcade game environment. Like Tron meets Silent Hill almost. There is a choral arrangement at the beginning of Unsainted which is haunting and beautiful simultaneously. The album rumbles on with the heavy and unapologetic Birth Of The Cruel, which sounds like a track that would not have been out of place on Iowa or All Hope Is Gone, their fourth album. Death Because Of Death follows and is an instrumental/filler track which builds and builds with the same repetitive lyrics and ends with a whisper which catches you completely by surprise. I get a shiver every single time I hear it. That’s just more evidence of the atmospheric nature of the album.

I won’t break the entire album down, track by track as that will fast become a tedious read. I would recommend listening to it though, especially if you have any interest in metal music. It could prove to be a bit too dark for a lot of people but I have heard stuff that is way darker. The closing section of the album is intense but incredible and the musicality combined with the deeply meaningful lyrics takes you on a journey through a man’s battle with his own mind and the perception people have of this. Spiders, Orphan and Not Long For This World are some of my favourite tracks on the album with Spiders starting off like a horror movie soundtrack and developing into an outstanding song as it rolls along.

Slipknot really help me out of mental health ruts with their sound and lyrics and I think people are quick to judge that listening to this is just furthering anger. I always counter that by telling anyone that wants to discuss it that it’s similar to the blogging community, hearing lyrics that resonate with you definitely doesn’t make me feel worse, it makes me feel better. Much like reading posts from people who have similar issues with anxiety, depression and such.

I hope this “review” reads well and if you haven’t thought to give Slipknot a listen, maybe now is the time.

Love to you all.

Tears

They started flowing and they haven’t stopped since. Like endless lashings of heavy rain, constantly filling my eyes so every blink creates a waterfall, rolling down my face. I feel I have no control over anything right now and it is scary. I know that the control exists for certain things but what my brain knows and feels are two very different things a lot of the time. Emotion and reason occasionally don’t mingle all that well with each other.

I keep deliberating over who to turn to. My son is asleep in his room and I’m in mine feeling alone, even though I pretty much know I’m not. I think I’ll call someone or message them but I start typing and delete it. Or I go to press call and can’t do it so close my phone. So here I am, reaching out to the WordPress community that’s given me so much support and love. I don’t know what I need, not even a slight idea but I know I need someone.

The temptation is there to go carry my son through here and snuggle into him but I don’t want to unsettle him either. He was tired for a lot of today and is needing a good rest. I tried playing the PlayStation, couldn’t. Tried reading, couldn’t. So I’m trying to write it out of my system a little. The crying is starting to give me a headache too now and is making my eyes tired and sore. I know I’ll be fine, I know nothing is as bad as it feels just now. It’s tough sometimes though and I feel vulnerable and hurt.

I wish this was a brighter, happier post. I was dreading this weekend as there were no real plans and I am craving routine right now and loads to keep me unconditionally busy. Hope you are all doing a lot better than I am tonight.

Steve

Light Amongst The Dark

There are scatterings of light slicing through the veil of darkness each day but it’s still a painful and difficult battle against the infinite black abyss of my mind at times. Sometimes, the moments of light cause the darkness to close in harder. Almost as if my brain (or the anxiety within) tugs back on the leash of happiness and tells me to heel because the anxiety is more important and I need to be fretting endlessly over things. Does anyone else experience that? Where moments of happiness are ruined by you realising that you’re “supposed to be” freaking out over something, or more often than not, nothing.

The scatterings of light are certain people in my life. They all know who they are without me needing to tell them. Their actions, words and thoughts spread warmth through my bitterly cold emptiness that I keep being filled by. I couldn’t feel luckier or more appreciative about the impact they are having on my life in these awful moments. I spent half an hour on the way home tonight considering if I should swerve over the road and into an oncoming truck. The same names and faces kept appearing at the front of my mind though and reminded me that even in the dark, I can emerge into the brightness once again.

I sit and wonder about how I became so broken and then have to remind myself what a fellow blogger, and good friend, would tell me. She would tell me to remember that I am the sunshine in some peoples’ lives and that I’m not broken at all, just that I’m me. I need to positively affirm more and she is teaching me that. To find good in the bad, to be more comfortable with who I am. Find even more slivers of light to chase away the infinite black of sadness and depression.

I am infinitely grateful for the support from everyone who comments and reads. Vee, Liz, Eliza, Peony, Geneva and all the others. This community is making a positive difference to my life and showing me that I can get through the hardest of times. Nothing in my life is particularly dreadful, just the same things everyone experiences at some point or another. I know this and I try not to wallow or feel like it’s a dire situation. You all show me that how I feel and how things are can be very opposite indeed.

Love to you all and hope I can help you the way you help me.

Dark Days

Before I even begin, I want to give a massive shout out and thank you to Vee and Liz for taking the time out to check in on me and for noticing that I’d slipped into a quiet phase. I would like to pass a second thank you to Liz for the Sunshine Blogger Award post that she tagged me in, I promise I will follow that up as soon as I can.

I’ve been wallowing a little in some dark corners of my mind of late and I’ve struggled to break out enough to even read blogs or write my own feelings down. Every day has been a battle just getting out of bed and doing the usual adult things we all have to do on a day-to-day basis. I feel like writing this post is a huge step as a result.

It started on the last few days of my holiday and I’m not sure where it came from at all. Still haven’t been able to figure out the genesis of this particular anxiety and depression “blip”. That’s almost as frustrating for me as not being able to tunnel out of it, even a little, for so long now. I had myself considering all kinds of things that I really shouldn’t and I am still completely safe in the knowledge that I will not ever hurt myself or do anything that leaves my son without his Dad.

I want to write so much about how I’ve been feeling but I’m afraid it will turn into a novella of sorts with the amount of content so I will break it down and post little segments to make it easier to read and not a total assault on the eyes for anyone reading it. There’s been a combination of things going on in my life but I can’t pinpoint any of them as particularly catapulting me into this deep, dark abyss I’ve been drowning in. My monthly finances are as challenging as ever with me still trying to keep the house going on my own and with all the bills and things associated with it. My mum has been in hospital for several weeks now following a cancer operation and subsequent stroke. My son has been acting up for a number of weeks now too and I am trying so hard to get a lid on it a little and find an effective method of improving his behaviour.

As an update on the situation with my mum, she has messaged me today to say that there’s a strong chance she will get home next week at some point. She’s made amazing progress with her speech and is now mastering all of the physical tests the hospital have set out for her. She’s the most incredible woman I know and that’s really saying something as I know a number of phenomenal women at present. Women who are true to themselves and face the world with bravery and honesty. It inspires me every day seeing them be the people they are.

I hope this post finds you well and I will go into more detail in the next segment. Sending out love and good vibes to all.

A trio of photos from today

I apologise that there hasn’t been more conversation or dialogue to go with the pictures but I will do a full review when I get home.

The last two days have been anxiety-riddled and I have felt pretty down and I’m not exactly sure why. Could it be a break in routine or the change of climate affecting sleeping patterns? I hope it becomes more evident before much longer.

Anyway, here are the three photos from my wandering down the waterfront today.