25/09/22 - Changes

A lot of changes have occurred recently. Most notably in my life, I am now back at university. I really have no idea how I feel about this. I’m back in my old flat where I hold so many negative memories from last year. It’s tricky because I can’t really be anywhere else. All of my old flatmates have left university and I’d be terrified to start all over with new flatmates this year. So here I am on my own again. It’s not that I dislike living alone, living with flatmates whilst it was great, it was also at times a huge pain. I’m completely responsible for everything that is wrong with the flat now, there’s no one else to blame, there are also no distractions in the form of running into other people when getting a drink, something that was a very common occurrence in my old flat and at home. I have no one to distract me anymore, and whilst I thought this would be a good thing and help motivate me with work, I found last year that it only meant I was more inclined to do nothing. I realise now that I was blaming my poor working abilities on my flatmates distracting me with games or going to the pub, when in actuality, without them around I was still working just as little. The only difference is that instead of procrastinating my socialising I was now procrastinating my lying in bed and staring at the wall. It’s not anyone else that’s the problem its me, its always been me, but it’s so difficult to try and correct this behaviour. It’s been a tricky 6 months and looking back, I really haven’t achieved anything that I wanted to.

One of my biggest hopes of suspending my studies was that I’d be able to seek the help that I’d been putting off for so many years. I wanted to return to my studies happier and overall healthier, but I wasn’t able to do that at all. I tried very hard to try and suspend my studies for an entire year, thinking that with that time I’d be able to go through everything I thought would help. But I was only allowed to wait until the next term began in September, and all my plans had to be cancelled. I’d wanted to work at the florists near my house, but they were only looking to take on people for a year at a time. I’d wanted to take part in an art curation training job, but the course was 6 months long and would end after I’d left the city. I wanted to have driving lessons, but the wait-time for the test was after I’d be back at university, away from my teacher for several months of not driving. I wanted to seek help for my health problems, but the NHS waiting list was longer than the time I was still around to use the local services. I’m not saying that if I’d been allowed to stay off for a year all of my problems would magically go away, but having the time needed to access help and healing would have gone a long way. As it is, I’m not sure if my time off has helped me in any way. I’ve only delayed the inevitable, and now my class has graduated without me. I wasn’t particularly close to anyone on my course, but I do feel bad that they’ve all moved on while I’ve remained stagnant. The way the course works, its unlikely that I’ll make any friends with my new class, they all know each other and I’m cripplingly incapable of speaking to any of them. The worst part is that I knew this was going to happen, that’s probably why I was dreading this return so much. The only thing I can hope is that this extended period of nothing might make doing things again easier. A part of me knows though that it’s only going to make things harder. I can only try not to make the same mistakes again. Look back at what worked and what didn’t last year, and trying to find ways to break the cycle.

At some point over my break I had finally decided to contact the counselling service that my doctor had recommended to me in summer of last year. The sign-up process was really odd and involved using scripted prompts to respond to a bot in a chat box. I was eventually told that I could receive a meeting on the phone or via video call in 7 weeks. I remember being really confused as to how to respond, and simply said I wasn’t sure what I’d be doing that far in advance, but they booked it for me anyway. When I finally received the sessions, I had 6 with 2 week breaks in between. The sessions lasted 40 minutes each. I don’t really know what else to say except that I gained nothing from this, the whole experience has made me feel worse. I remember trying to hold back tears when she told me 5 minutes into the last session that we needed to spend the time going through my discharge form and explaining how it helped me and why I would recommend this service to anyone else. I understand that The NHS is underfunded and stretched incredibly thin but having so little value as a patient that you spend 40 minutes every 2 weeks talking about the weather, because you’ve not formed the trust to open up, then saying job done after 6 sessions, isn’t going to help anyone. It took me a hell of a lot to work up the courage to apply for this service and now I wish I hadn’t. I’ve spent half of my life trying to be taken seriously by medical professionals, even after explaining this myself to the therapist I’ve ended up repeating the same thing all over again. I hear time and time again, “don’t suffer alone” and “don’t be afraid to ask for help” and I’m so, so fucking fed up with it. What is the point in seeking help if every time you ask you receive none. Sometimes I wonder why I let it get so bad, and then I remember that whenever I try to improve to improve things, it never goes anywhere. I wish the NHS wasn’t so underfunded, but as people can’t even afford to heat their homes right now, it looks like that’s not going to be happening any time soon.

Speaking of things that cost a lot of money, the Queen died a couple of weeks ago, as I’m sure you’ll know unless you live under a rock on another planet. (Apologies to the entire rest of the world for having to see the UK dominate your news headlines) As unpleasant as it is to say it about somebody’s death, it really was a great distraction for me. I don’t think I’ve ever watched live television so much as I have done the last few weeks. The entire process from the announcement to the funeral has been fascinating. My friend was clowning on me for this, showing me a clip of some lady who the BBC had interviewed in The Queue™ to see the Queen lying in State who was talking about the experience as if she were on a family trip to Disney Land. And yeah, it is mental to make such a spectacle over a person’s death, it really is, but from a historical perspective? It’s just so fascinating. There hasn’t been a death of a Monarch in Britain for 70 years, there are few people still alive who remember it. My Grandmother is 90 and she was only a child when George VI died. The fact that these proceedings have been occurring for hundreds of years and we are getting to see them televised for the very first time in 2022 is astounding. I had no idea that the Lord Chamberlain had a ceremonial wand that was tied to the life of the Monarch, or that it is broken upon their death for a new one to be created for the next. Seeing all the uniforms and ceremonial attire that only come out for such an occasion was so interesting, especially those that have remained the same since the Tudor period. It really brings home how you’re witnessing a piece of history in the making. And the funeral procession itself, wow, it was like a scene from a movie, it’s so crazy to think something like this could still happen in this day and age. The whole thing had such a feeling of high fantasy, I think you sometimes forget that the genre has its roots in real historical tradition until you see something like this. Even though it made me physically cringe every time Andrew was on screen. I was also stunned to see so many world leaders in one place during the funeral, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. Politicians from different countries who I’m sure cannot stand some of the other people in attendance, all together. Even if the Monarchy is abolished tomorrow, this will still be a significant moment in history.

I watched every part of the proceedings that was being broadcast, I can’t believe I just sat and watched a hearse move down a motorway for several hours but I really couldn’t look away. Maybe it’s the same reason I like The Crown, the Monarchy is just really interesting. I feel terrible for saying that, because its our bizarre fascination with the lives of the royals, and the modern conversion of the Royal Family into reality-tv-esque tabloid fodder that has caused so much pain for those involved. I think about how Harry and Meghan don’t even feel like they can stay in the country anymore because of how much the tabloids have demonised them (especially Meghan). And of course, it was the press’ rabid obsession with Diana that led to her untimely death. I know I can’t distance myself too much from that after just talking about how ferociously I consumed the coverage of the Queen’s death, but I really, really don’t care about the Royal family. Every time I see a news story about Meghan Markle doing literally anything that apparently is somehow news worthy I want to throw my phone. Nobody cares, seriously, leave the poor woman alone. It drives me mad to see the Royals in the news so much over literally nothing, who cares? Who cares?!?! I just think that the historical value of the death of the Queen was mesmerising, as something that has occurred in the same way for hundreds of years, it was amazing to witness. The whole thing was so interesting it almost distracted me from how much it all cost in the midst of the greatest financial crisis in years! Now it’s over I’ll go back to eating my plain white bread because there’s nothing else in my cupboard! Hurray for the cost of living!

Anyway huge tangent aside, the funeral was a great distraction for a couple of weeks, but now its over and I’m back at university, I’m aware that there isn’t much else I’ve got in my life right now. This isn’t so much a change as it is a return to the way things were. I don’t find myself getting excited about little things anymore, like movie releases or new books. I am reading something interesting right now. I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette McCurdy’s memoir, which I actually pre-ordered. I’m trying to get back into reading for enjoyment, and I’m really liking the book so far. It’s pretty horrible and voyeuristic to read, but so, so interesting. Maybe there’s a pattern developing here? I think hobbies have been one of the best things to help manage your mental state, I’ve mentioned before how much I think maintaining this site has helped me. I’m working on a few new reviews for the Film & TV blog, which I look forward to posting. Things are going to have to change in my life from here on out, else I won’t be able move forward. I can’t stay where I am now, there’s no future here. Here’s hoping I can break the habit, hopefully the next time I write here, it will be a lot more optimistic.