One Love

I had wanted to post about the bombing at Manchester Arena when it happened. But, I felt I couldn’t put into words how upset I was. It is bad enough to hear of terrorist attacks happening, but to have one target an event that had so many children, young people and their families is something of pure evil. 

Manchester Arena is somewhere I have been to dozens of times to see some of my favourite bands. I have so many fond memories from nights there. It breaks my heart that an event that children had looked forward to could be at the heart of such carnage. 

I’m not much of a crier. But since becoming pregnant, I find that I am more sensitive to things. I shed a lot of tears over the Manchester Arena attack. I can’t begin to think how the families of all those killed are coping and all those injured. 

Right now, I am sat watching yesterday’s One Love concert. I have cried for most of it. Music is a powerful thing. I just can’t get my head around the world we live in. 

Within the past two weeks we have had two horrible terrorist attacks in the UK. It makes me worry for my little girl when she is born in 5 months time. 

I don’t want to live my life in fear. All this has made me more determined to make the most of each and every day. There is too much good in the world to give up and let these terrorists win. 

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Goal setting

Depression and anxiety affects my life in a number of ways. During a recent counselling session I was asked what I would do if Dave surprised me with tickets to a gig this weekend. I would out right refuse to go. Even thinking about it makes me anxious. 

As mentioned in my post about this in February, I have missed out on seeing some of my favourite bands live over these past few months. One of the bands was Halestorm. 

When I was checking my emails today, I had one about Halestorm playing at a small venue in Liverpool. It turns out that this gig is during the week of my 30th birthday in August. I messaged Dave about going. He did talk about whether I would be up for it. We decided we would go and we have got tickets!

This might not sound like a big deal to most people. Going to a gig is not something out of the ordinary. But depression and anxiety can make the ordinary things seem impossible. Setting goals is something I feel will help aid my recovery. With it being just under 3 months until the gig I think it is achievable. I’m going to bring it up during my next CBT session on Tuesday.

10 positive things

I was reading through some recent posts of blogs that I follow. Bipolar Whispers has done a challenge and has asked others to do the same – to write 10 positive things about youself that have nothing to do with any of your mental health issues.

This is something I thought I would do. I focus on the negatives a lot. Funny that I saw this post this morning. I got up to find a notepad with a post it note on it from Dave – for the positive things. I am going to write at least one positive thing that has happened each day.

10 positive things about me that have nothing to do with depression or anxiety:

  1. I am a determined person. Once I set my mind to something I can be unstoppable. 
  2. I am a wife and love it. Dave proposed to me after being with me for 7 years and we got married after 9 and a half years together. Regardless of what others have said about the novelty wearing off, I still love being called Mrs and it hasn’t got old in the past (nearly!) 6 months
  3. I have a godson who is 2 on Wednesday. I have known him his entire life as his mum is one of my best friends. I love that I am known as Auntie Gemma to him. 
  4. I am passionate about the things I like and causes that are important to me. Examples of this are seeing my favourite bands live numerous times and having a jigsaw piece tattoo (autism awareness) on my ribs.
  5. I devour books. Ever since I can remember I have loved reading. I can easily sit and read for hours. 
  6. I am from Liverpool, England and very proud to be! Although I haven’t lived in Liverpool for a number of years I still have a scouse accent. 
  7. I am a gamer girl. I love nothing more than to sit and play on my xbox 360 particularly co op games with Dave. Our wedding cake was an xbox cake!
  8. I am a caring and loyal wife, daughter, sister, auntie and friend. My family and friends are extremely important to me and I love spending time with them. 
  9. I have climbed Snowdon and Scafell. I used this as an opportunity to raise money for Action for M.E. as my sister has M.E. I am hoping to climb Ben Nevis so that I can say I have climbed the three peaks in the UK. 
  10. I enjoy helping others, whether it is helping a friend out with a problem, helping someone in the gym who looks unsure or helping Dominic or other autistic children. I couldn’t imagine not being a helpful person. 

This was a really hard post to do. I have been attempting to think of 10 positive things about myself throughout the day. I am glad I did this though. It is something I can look at when I am struggling to think positively. 

It would be great if anyone else out there is willing to do this. Write 10 positive things about you that have nothing to do with any of your mental health issues.  Post them on your blog and share the link in the comments.  If you are not comfortable writing a blog post and linking it, you can write the 10 things in my comments section on this post.

The power of music

When I was about 14 I discovered the amazing world of rock and metal music. The band that drew me in was Linkin Park. Their album, Hybrid Theory, is still one of my favourite albums even though I don’t like their more recent releases. 

I became a fan of live music around the same time. I am fortunate enough to have seen so many amazing bands live on a number of occasions including a few festivals. I have made friends at gigs and festivals including one of my now closest friends. I have met a number of my favourite bands/singers including Slash, Stone Sour, Papa Roach, Disturbed, Lacuna Coil and Shinedown. 

Music helps motivate me. I listen to it a lot – when doing household jobs, driving etc. It keeps me going when I am having a bad day. Music is an amazing distraction at times. I love discovering new bands and when my favourite bands release new albums. 

Papa Roach have a new album out. They are a band I have always liked. Fantastic live and were lovely when I met them. I mention them as one of the tracks on their new album, F.E.A.R, is called, ‘War Over Me’. It sounds cheesy but it was like this song spoke so much to me. If I could actually write, this would be the song. It definitely reflects what I am going through at the moment. 

Papa Roach – War Over Me

My depression and anxiety has had an impact on me seeing bands live. Before Christmas I should have gone to see Volbeat and Slash. I had forced myself to go and see The Gaslight Anthem. I didn’t want to let my brother down who I was going with. I struggled the entire time with the experience. I felt trapped in the venue and I didn’t get any enjoyment from it. I spent the entire time texting Dave as a way to deal with the overwhelming sense of panic and fear I felt. After The Gaslight Anthem, I decided that I couldn’t go to see Volbeat and Slash. At the time I told my Dad and brother that I was too ill with the chest infection I had. The truth was I didn’t want to go. It would have been detrimental to put myself in a situation that would no doubt cause me added stress. 

Until I am in a better place I am not going to bother buying tickets to any gigs. It is frustrating as loads of my favourites are going to be touring this year. But, the worry and dread become more apparent as the date of a gig creeps up. It’s not worth putting this pressure on myself. A friend has bought me a ticket to see Nickelback (a not so guilty pleasure :P) for November. We have seen them together before and she insisted on buying the ticket when I expressed an interest in them but explaining that I can’t afford to go as I am not currently working. I was overwhelmed when she told me that she was happy to get me a ticket and it wouldn’t be the same seeing Nickelback without me. I would also like to think that as the gig isn’t until November I will be in a better place. It also gives me something to aim for in a way.