This article written by Alan Corcoran is part of our #MentallySound series, discussing mental health in music. Trigger warning: depression.
Mostly I just feel paralysed. If my head was in a better place I’d probably think that sounded melodramatic, but for now the only feeling is a lack of feeling. Options stack up in front of me. Impossible options. I cannot make any decisions today.
I know there’s work to be done. Life admin. Basic stuff. Exercise would be good. Shaving and a shower are definitely on both a mental and physical list. Relationships of every kind are going untended. Texts. Gigs. Invites to celebrations. Sorry, sorry, sorry.
A gnawing in my stomach reminds me that I’m at least still capable of some feeling. Anxiety, like a snake in a particularly on-the-nose fable, sidles up to wrap itself around in an embrace. Breathing exercises can get fucked, I can’t breathe. A headache fog fills my brain.
I cannot begin to express how little that writing a ‘list of things I am grateful for’ will achieve.
Happy music isn’t helping. Sad music really isn’t fucking helping. Matt Skiba is not the answer this time.
I’ve never been one for the type of earnest, gritty, life-affirming gruff punk that helps some people through these times. I don’t have a neat stack of lyrics to draw from, or possibly tattoo on myself. Tom Delonge and Mark Hoppus are silent at times like this.
Lie here. Later and later into the night. Counting down the hours of sleep that are still available. Distractions clawed for. If I do something then this day won’t have been for nothing. My body is exhausted and my brain is fizzing over. I’ve picked up and put down three books. I’m seeking some sense of fulfilment, some sense of worth from what I am reading. Anything new seems unfamiliar and mentally tiring. Anything old seems lazy and isn’t enough of a distraction. I have achieved nothing.
Lie in the dark, synapses firing.
Unsent text messages and neglected friendships.
Drag myself to work. Again. And again. And again. Five times in a row. I force myself to make meals in the evening and eat them at set times the next day. They are interchangeable and mostly tasteless. Futurama’s Bachelor Chow. Everyday events at work turn into mountainous waves falling to hammer my mood downwards. A laugh. Innocent singing. All of it is there to solely to annoy me. A walk and a break. Some perspective. Short lived. Irritation is never far below the surface.
Retreat home. Snap at those who love me most. Frustration at my head, my body, my self. Regret.
Do not drink alcohol, alcohol will make this worse. Repeat like a mantra of a mental health; a less problematic Fight Club.
Go out. Sit. Surrounded by friends. Unsure, but hopefully present enough to fake it and not bring the judgement of others onto myself. Guilt. Why am I the one who is like this? Guilt. I am not the only one who is like this.
My throat is dry and I’m exhausted and I’ve done fucking nothing for days.
Walk. Feel okay maybe.
Food is important but I cannot remember what it tastes like.
Cycle through 20+ podcasts. Nothing fits. Too happy. Not happy enough. Subject matter too depressing. Silence fills me and makes it hard to breathe.
Calls incoming. Inconveniences. Care thrust upon me over and over from the outside until I allow it in. A clamp is loosened. The weight suddenly lessened a little.
Bayside help? Not what I was expecting, but I’ll take it.
Breathe. Reach out.
This is part of our #MentallySound series, discussing mental health in music. We believe that openly discussing mental health challenges which music lovers face may help to remove the stigma surround it.
Read more from Alan Corcoran here.