Still sorting myself out

I was born (in 1980) & grew up in South West London, UK. I’ve suffered from/with depression at various points during the last, dare I say 17 years?

I moved (a few hours by train) away to study for a BMus at Colchester Institute in Essex in 1998 — I lived in a half-room in a shared house with 3 other students (2 music, 1 English). There were times I wanted BAD to happen to me, just so that SOMEthing would happen. I ended up moving back Home and going to what was then Surrey University Roehampton which was / is 20 mins (on foot) away. It soon became Roehampton University, London. [Seems they no longer offer Music Degrees :( ]

Then again around 2006–7–8; in June 2006, we moved out of the house / home I’d grown up in. My parents separated and caused a palatial shift in family dynamics / situations. I moved to Nottingham to live with my then-girlfriend (who I’d met through work — we were both Playworkers at an after-school club in SW London) who was studying at Nottingham Uni, where we rented a terraced house together. I was working nights (c10pm-7am) at Sainsbury’s (I’d transferred my job from my then-local store in Surbiton, SW London); she was studying during the day. I didn’t want to be there / with her but felt pressured to move away from stuff happening at home — and to be with her. We split up and I moved back Home in June 2008.

I had a spell of counselling or therapy (for about 8 weeks) some point around 2014, and was on mild antidepressants for a few months. I went on a different antidepressant for a few months a year or 2 later. There were times I want to Not Exist — which I didn’t feel was quite the same as wanting to commit suicide — I couldn’t do that. Feelings (whether genuine or misplaced) for a musician I was collaborating with, strange / limited diet, lack of a Routine / Job all added up to the way I felt or lead to feeling Nothing / Empty. After Telling All in a handwritten letter, we parted company — meanwhile I had developed strong feelings for someone else — a singer.

Guess where they lived — near Nottingham! Complicated situation. We’d connected on social media through Cheeky Promo and started chatting a lot — including Skype video calls. She was going through a tough time with a family member dying, and then splitting with her husband / father of her children. I went to meet all 4 of them during their visit to a certain leisure location in London — THAT was VERY weird. But some of the nicest 5 hours of my recent life. I was feeling stuck, having been living at my dads for a number of years. I needed to get out, a change of scenery, and I wanted to be nearer to my far-away-friend.

[I did a part time music business course at ICMP London — The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance during Aug-Sept 2014].

So I moved to Nottingham. Again! Except this time, I had some Money as my compensation from an accident I was in during September 2011 [on the way home from a social gathering hosted by the female musician I’d been performing with] came through. 6 Months Rent on a detached house (I had to pay upfront as I didn’t have a Job), a full spec iMac (which I’m still using right now), an upgrade to my Hifi system; 30K gone in 9 months! In the 7-ish months I was there, I saw Her literally twice. Started claiming Unemployment after Christmas as I didn’t have a Job — then moved back home a month after the 6 months was up.

Back to square 1. I felt stupid for spending the money so quickly / not having started to sort myself out. and Depressed. What had I learnt or achieved in the last 6 / 12 / 18 months? I’ve been working on Cheeky Promo since January 2013 — including the 14–15 period in Nottingham.

External pressure to “get a job, ANY job’, a return to lack of routine / income / poor diet, lack of exercise, sleeping too much / often being nocturnal — probably as a way of avoiding life. Catch 22 / vicious circle.

How could I get out of the situation I was in? How could I sort myself out? I started a job as a rubbish collector a few months ago — an opportunity I was offered through my local Jobcentre. I’ve been doing 1 day a week; it’s been taking me a few days to recover after each shift because I’ve found it so physically exhausting. The 60 pounds / day I’m earning for my time / energy is supplementing the Universal Credit I’m getting (c220 a month). Most shifts I’ve done have been 6–8 hours but on Saturday 30th December I was out for 10 hours as there was so much paper & cardboard after Christmas so I was even more tired than usual yesterday and spent another 4 hours in bed in the late afternoon. I told my mum and my employment agent I would move up to 2 days a week.

What lead to the biggest decisions YOU’VE made?