Category Archives: Music

Change and Adapt… Reluctantly Speaking

Changes are not good for me. Changes are even worse because I hate them. I don’t know what to do with them and they scare me. After almost quite literally overnight having my life as I always knew it taken away from me, I have not adapted well. Worse – I have now had to think about starting to adapt my environment to suite me, and that is not easy. Or cheap. Ten months ago, on Halloween 2013, I began this journey of hell. Somehow, coming down with pneumonia, move house, go to work, and having to single-handedly look after our new rescue dog who had just been brutally attacked and was terrified of everything, just broke whatever that was left of my body (and it was already extremely frayed). I’m not technically disabled (and I do not like that word, anyhow) – but I have been certainly left unable to do a lot of things without help. A lot of help.

I had my longterm best friend, who I live with, home on sabbatical for months. During that time she became my accidental carer, my helper, my little guardian angel. My SBT-mix, my lovely puppy dog, Soul also became my accidental helper. As my health deteriorated, my mental health deteriorated, and the pain kept on increasing, and if it wasn’t for these two I don’t know how I would have managed to get through the last nine months since this started. However, things have changed again. My friend – who is also my companion and helper – has now had to return to work… Sabbaticals aren’t forever. On the positive side, she returned to a closer office to home so she leaves later and returns earlier than before. On the negative side, I’m left to fend for myself. And I’m rather terrified about it, and about the fact I must now do it every single day. The most basic things are exhausting and daunting. Making food is reduced to making sandwiches from pre-made sandwich fillers or things like sliced ham. Making coffee is extremely difficult, and I can only do it once because after I’m exhausted and in pain. Having had someone in the house as I get worse has been a blessing – but now I’m on my own, I have no other option than to figure out how I’m going to manage this situation.

I’ve already tried to start. I’ve ordered new gear for the dog so he can physically help me more – he’s a strong and enthusiastic dog who enjoys being physically challenged (… well, when he’s not busy being happily asleep!). I’m going to get myself a cute little hot water dispenser so I can make my own coffee, I’ve already got myself a high bar stool chair thing for the kitchen, so I don’t have to try and stand when making stuff, and I even use it to bring the sandwich ingredients to the counter, so I don’t have to try to carry them (I can’t lift much of anything, and holding stuff is difficult enough too). I’ve worked out my “independent” food – like the sandwich fillers, picnic food that I can fetch from the fridge (cocktail sausages, little falafels, ready-cooked chicken, etc), pre-prepared salad, humus dip… I can eat all this stuff without too much bother. If it’s too much bother, it causes too much pain, and then I can’t even eat, so having figured this out is a bit of a relief. At least now I know I won’t starve.

Souly The Helper DogThe other side of this is going outside without anyone but the dog. Both doggy and I need to go out and walk as much as I can, so we go anyway. He pulls me (and I mean really pulls me) so I can actually go out. I can’t really move my legs, so walking on my own is difficult enough in the house. Going out is not an option unless I have the dog. Have you ever been pulled by a really strong dog? You’ll probably know they’re perfectly capable of dragging you about – and that momentum is what gets my legs moving and allows me to walk. I trained Soul to pull me properly – he has his commands, does as he is told, and knows he’s not in front because he’s the boss: He knows very well he’s in front and pulling because it’s his job, and it’s a job he takes pretty seriously (until we stop – then he wants to cuddle and kiss everyone he comes across!). It’s difficult for him to drag me about – I’m very lucky the dog my friend accidentally brought home to us (he wasn’t planned – she saw him and just brought him back!) was a dog bred to work and able to pull – but he really gives it all he’s got, and even if we’re both having difficulty in getting home, he’ll dig even deeper and work even harder, going up a whole new extra gear. He even knows better than I do if I need to go home – he’s amazing! He works like he’s in a pulling contest for World’s Strongest Dog – and he just might win one of those on the first try after pulling me about for the last few months!

Going out with him gives me confidence. He helps me, makes me feel safe, and I know that anyone who might want to do anything to me will think twice when they see him. He’s 23kg of muscle, thanks to a good diet and pulling me about every day. They don’t know the only thing he’ll do is drown them in kisses, unless they try to actually hurt me. I know if I was genuinely attacked he would protect me, regardless of the fact he’s never been trained do so – that’s just instinct. We go wandering about, going on our routes, and we just trot around on our own. I cope by stuffing headphones in my ears and blocking the world out, and focusing only on Soul and whatever I am listening to. After about an hour and a half of dragging me about, doggy is really tired and is quite happy to sleep it off the rest of the day, unless I need him to help me.

Unfortunately, there comes a time when I must go out alone. This afternoon, I must go to the GP by myself for the first time since I got this ill. Since I’ve been unable to walk on my own (without Soul). I’ve had to book a cab to take me… The practice is only just down the road, and frankly I rather resent the fact I have to pay for someone to take me there. I am fighting with myself to not be angry, hurtful or hateful to myself about this. I feel like I should be able to do it, like I used to be able to do it. Even though I’ve always been overwhelmed by going outside – always been agoraphobic to some level or other – I’ve always been able to use tools and techniques to go places I’ve had to get to. But now, I am in so much pain, unstable on my legs, feeling so vulnerable, I don’t want to go anywhere on my own. This time I can’t even take Soul. It’s honestly going to be a lot of trouble just to get out the house and walk to the car when it comes.

I’m scared of going; it’s going to be hard – physically, emotionally, psychologically. I have learned a lot about myself in the last few months – more than I’ve learned in the last 30-odd years of being me before, so I’m trying to use that knowledge to help myself now, hoping it’s going to help me cope and not have a panic attack or meltdown. I’m so used to going out with Doggy or my friend that I have no idea how to cope with going out all by myself in this state. So, I did myself a favour and downloaded a new album that I wanted this morning that I know will help me feel more relaxed and focus my mind on something I love (the soundtrack to Mass Effect 2, to go with the Mass Effect 3 one I already have… I’m such a Gamer Girl Geek!), and I will also have my books to read in the waiting room on my iPad. I hope this will be enough for me to manage. Even getting some of the anxiety out by writing this has helped a little, allowing me to confront and analyse my feelings, and to be able to accept them and at least try to not fear the fear itself. I hope that if I just focus on the music I will be fine. I really hope I don’t have a panic attack… The last thing I need today is a meltdown from one.

*

… I knew all this was coming one day… but not quite so soon. I’ve been slowly been getting progressively worse, and probably subconsciously taking more note of it that I probability thought I did, I probably did a lot of things that have probably helped it along over the years. However, I’ve enjoyed throwing myself into the physical activities that I used to love  and can no longer do. Horse riding (and falling off the horses) was probably the worst of them – but dancing, walking, singing, yoga… I became absolutely absorbed in each one, to the point that although I miss them, I know I pushed myself and completed enough of what I wanted to do with them that I’m not too disappointed about not being able to engage with them now. On the other hand, the normal things you take for granted. Even writing this has been very painful. My hands are aching a lot, in the top bones and in my fingers and thumbs, especially in my right hand. All this makes me feel afraid of going out there alone, of being at home on my own… I hope I’m going to get through it all in one piece.

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Save Me


 
 
Why am I scared of who I am?
Why do I hide myself away?
Why do I care so much about
What everyone might say?
 
A cold heart in a cold wide world
That’s laughing at me every day
When will it all ever end?
When will the pain fade away?
 
Tears always stream down from my broken heart
Torment pushes happiness away right from the start
Can’t help wondering “what if – what could have been?”
Life torn apart… What hope could there be?
 
Passion died so long ago
Personality gone astray
Inconceivable happiness
Always one step too far away
 
The silence of my empty soul
The burning anger of my fear
The loneliness never dies
I’m just a stranger in this world here
 
Will I ever leave the storms that haunt my every dream?
Why isn’t anything in this life ever what it may seem?
Just hold me close and shield me from this pain I feel
A life to redeem… A heart that hopes to heal
 
I’m searching for a better world
For a universe who’ll accept me
Tired of being the lonely one
Don’t want anyone to see…
 
I’m hurting inside
So I stay angry and hide
Please save me
Oh please save
 
Pain tears through my heart, my soul
And confusion is all I know
Don’t know up from down
I don’t know where I’m supposed to go
I’ve been hurt too many times to open up my heart to feel
Feel my soul…
Please come to come and save me
Please come and save me
 
Tears always stream down from my broken heart
Torment pushes happiness away right right from the start
Can’t help wondering “what if – what could have been?
Life torn apart…
 
Please come and save me


Don’t Look Back

The life you never knew of
Is there for you to take
The fear inside makes you want to hide
You need to find some faith
 
It’s a dark and lonely night
And you’re waiting for the dawn to come
Don’t regret the life you’ve had to lead
Because now you can see the sun
 
It’s time; don’t look back because the past is gone
This time don’t let destiny decide your fate
Through it all you just believed
Don’t regret the life that you have lived
Everything will turn out right in the end
Don’t look back
You know you’ll finally live again
 
You think you’re trapped inside
But now it’s time to let go
A victim of life, but if you’re strong enough
Don’t cry for it anymore
 
It’s time; don’t look back because the past is gone
This time don’t let destiny decide your fate
Through it all you just believed
Don’t regret the life that you have lived
Everything will turn out right in the end
Don’t look back
Because you know you’ll feel that fire again
 
You’re scared, and alone in the world
Longing to be set free
You think there’s nothing left
But shadows and misery
 
It’s time; don’t look back because the past is gone
This time don’t let destiny decide your fate
Through it all you just believed
Don’t regret the life that you have lived
Everything will turn out right in the end
Don’t look back,you know you’ll finally live again
You’ll finally live again
 
 
 


Starting Over & Changing The Game

 

The hard work begins here…. I have started on this (long?) road of my training with Chapterhouse Publishing’s course in Copy Editing and Proofreading, and I have just enrolled.

I will be waiting for the manuals with the tools of the trade I feel already quite familiar with to arrive, so I will finally learn the “proper” ways of doing it that other people will be requiring from me.

Working with Cat is always really straightforward – she’s a good writer and writes fairly short articles, which she then just emails to me and I edit on MS Word – or Google Docs, if I need easier online access. The mistakes are usually minor and quickly rectified, and the articles are always interesting and entertaining to read. All bonuses when it comes to these things! I rather think it will not be quite so easy when it comes to doing it professionally, though…

I am aware that a lot of copy-editing is still done on paper and requires specialist correction techniques so as those who receive the edited copy can adjust the writing accordingly. It’s learning this skill that will be important, but will also make editing much less straightforward than the way I edit Cat’s writing. Other than that I’ve had the experience of editing and proofreading copies for years, for so many things, so I think I’m ready for it!

What I am looking forward to (in the – hopefully – not-too-distant-future) is attaching my natural fascination and acquired skills with IT and programming to the learning how VBAs and analytical tools can be used to assist with editing. The SfEP (Society for Editors and Proofreaders) runs courses on these skills – as well as specific website editing courses – and it’s something I’m looking forward to doing when I’ve gained the relevant skills to apply for them.

I’m not really naturally inclined to handle paper – electronic and virtual things are much easier to use, manipulate, and don’t clog up space, and they also much more fun to play with. For me, it was the final pro-point to trying to start this up as a career, as I could “geek-it-up” and continue to use my IT skills with it, and learn new ones too – a huge bonus. I would love my main focus to be with on-screen editing, website editing, and using programs and software to help me do this job to.

My original dilemma was that I didn’t want to leave the geek-world of IT behind for “traditional” non-IT work. The only “old-fashioned” thing I embrace is reading real books – as in ones made of paper, not Kindles. After reading that these skills were becoming core skills, and were being coveted by the “clients”, I was finally convinced that I would be quite happy slowly transferring my career into this industry. 


After reading there were even specialist courses on doing these things, it was the final tick for my boxes, and now I’m excited about learning how IT programming and analytical tools can be applied to copy-editing. I will also enjoy this, as it will then mean I can still use my “toys” (IT software and programs) to work – something I would have sorely missed if they weren’t the way forward in this industry. 


To be honest, if I hadn’t read about them, I would never have even really considered it as a serious option as a possible future career. Now I realise how I can finally mesh all my passions together to do one pretty interesting job – and I will be really focusing on getting on with the training, and honing transferable skills I already have to something I pretty much to anyway.

I would also love to put these to good use within the IT or gaming industries – editing and proofreading for game writers or IT manuals… But that’s for the future. I’m still putting it down as a goal though!


For the first time, I may be genuinely looking forward to the future… 


Broken Souls

Empty pillows, empty chairs
Silence echoes through the walls now you’re not there
The shadow came too fast to take you from my sight
The heavens gained another star tonight…

I still see you…
I can feel your soul
As my burning tears bring you into the light…

Gone but not forgotten
An angel frozen in time
Footprints etched inside our hearts
And this broken soul will forever be mine

Spectral colours, spirit passed
Spooky feelings of love that will always last
Gone too soon, snatched too cruelly from my heart
In the blink of an eye we were torn apart

I still feel you…
Meet me in my dreams
And my burning tears bring you into my sight…

Gone but not forgotten
An angel frozen in time
Footprints etched inside our hearts
And this broken soul will forever be mine

Loneliness, emptiness
Young life forever gone
Your soul forever young
Left grieving for your love
Beyond the grave now your time has come

My burning tears sees your star shining bright…

Gone but not forgotten
An angel frozen in time
Footprints etched inside our hearts
And this broken soul will forever be mine

Gone and never forgotten
Our angel’s loving legacy
Your presence always fills our hearts
Your soft touch and warmth forever in memory

Heaven needed another angel home tonight…
Gone too soon
But your star up there will be always shining bright…

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