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May 25th, 2015

10:35 pm - In spite of myself, I...
Made it out. Phew. Feeling shattered, but in a good way.

Made it out.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Iris - In Spite (Magenta Mix)

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May 24th, 2015

01:52 am - Well then.
Dat feel when the body you've always wanted turned out to be the body you had 6 years ago, and you just didn't realise it. Seriously, I felt fat back then and I have no idea how much heavier I am now, but it's a lot. I've managed to get back into the swimming recently, and that's going well, but I've been trying to psych myself up for the mountain biking again this year and it just isn't happening for some reason. I love riding my bike, and I know that the more exercise I get the better a chance I'll have of getting my old body back, so what the fuck. I could have been riding for at least a month at this point, but instead I sit in my house feeling the weight of my stomach resting on the top of my jeans and feeling pathetic about everything. For fuck's sake :-(

Why couldn't I see this at the time?
Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
Current Music: Goldfish - In too deep (featuring Emily Bruce)

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February 20th, 2015

12:21 am - Life begins at 33?
I'm 33 now, woo. The groundhog day that is my life begins anew. It's no fun looking through old LJ entries and finding stuff I'd written 8 years ago complaining about how much I hated my job and that I really needed to get out of there. The same job I'm still in now, 8 years later. 8 fucking years. No two ways about it, I am absolutely pathetic. It reminds me of those animal experiments to do with 'learned helplessness', that when animals are confronted with a negative situation which they believe (or have been trained to believe) that they have no control over, they just give up. The way I feel is difficult to describe, it's like the feeling you get when you suffer a bereavement or the breakup of a relationship; that feeling of hopeless despair that nothing will ever be the same again and there isn't anything you can do about it. Except that the pain of loss lessens in time, broken hearts mend, but depression just kind of lingers on, making you feel shitty about everything. Logical James knows that there's plenty I can do about my job situation, but Emotional James knows categorically that it's a lost cause and that I need to feel terrible about it. Not helpful.
In a broader sense it's not just feeling helpless about my career, it's about feeling helpless against my depression too. The thought that I might not ever feel any better than this is terrifying. When Robin Williams killed himself last year I found that to be very disturbing, because he was pretty much the poster boy for carrying on in the face of depression. He had that great line in one of his films about suicide being a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but ultimately, and very unfortunately, it was a problem that he wasn't ever able to get out from underneath of. And that scares me a lot, that a person like him could live a fulfilling life, find success as both a comedian and an actor, be beloved by millions of people across the globe, have a loving family, plenty of money, and still all of that wasn't enough to convince him that it was worth his while to carry on living.
Something I've come to realise over the last year or so is that when you're sinking down into the depths of depression, suicide stops being a horrible thought; it actually becomes quite comforting to think about. When you're having a particularly bad time of it, it can be reassuring to know that if nothing else works in life, you still have one way out. When you're feeling so unhappy that you can't bear it, or when you've gone past that point and are just so numb and tired of it all that you want everything to just stop, you can take solace in the fact that there's a solution to the problem which means you won't ever have to feel like that ever again. Sure you'd be dead, but at least there would be an end to it, a definitive action you can take to wrest control of your feelings back from everyone and everything that's getting you down. During my crappiest moments I've pondered a few different ways to go, but I'm not sure I could ever go through with something like that. Mainly out of a sense of guilt. I don't think I could do that to either Alice or my parents; it wouldn't be fair to put them through something like that, and it wouldn't be fair to make them sift through the remains of my life when I'm gone. My scenarios always involve trying to get my affairs in order beforehand, but still, it would be a shitty thing to do to the people that I love. I guess I've always found it easier to do things for other people than for myself, so if sticking around is better for other people then that's what I'll have to do.
Sometimes I mull it over in a more hypothetical way though; maybe ending it all is a bit extreme, but wouldn't it be nice if I could just somehow pop out of existence instead? If there was a way for me to be erased from history it would be a win/win for everyone; I'd get to not be here anymore, and if I was never here in the first place then nobody would have to miss me. If I rubbed a hypothetical lamp and a hypothetical genie came out to grant me that particular wish, I'd have to think long and hard about whether or not to take him up on the offer. Because sometimes I feel that life just isn't worth the trouble of living it. And I wish that I didn't think like that. Maybe the genie could grant me that wish instead.
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Shigeto - Escape From The Incubator

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January 19th, 2015

09:30 pm - That's not really how it works
I've now got half a dozen different self help books, but I'm too apathetic to read any of them. It's weird; the thought of having a fulfilling life is a great idea in theory, but it always seems like it's the sort of thing that should happen to other people rather than to me. Happiness doesn't really seem to exist for me except as a kind of abstract concept; I can imagine what it might be like to be happy, but I have no way of knowing whether that's accurate or not. There just isn't enough data from my own experiences to say for sure. Maybe that's the problem. I have no idea what that feeling is supposed to be like any more, so the thought of improving my life and increasing my quote-unquote 'happiness' just doesn't seem enticing; there's no carrot dangling at the end of the proverbial stick.
Current Mood: exanimateexanimate
Current Music: Chanes - Instill

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April 4th, 2014

09:34 pm - Let's pretend!
Imagine that you're a giant robot.
Your robot body goes about it's business, going places, doing things, interacting with your friends, your family, your colleagues. Sat inside the head of the giant robot is a little person. That person is you, the 'real' you, a combination of your personality and your intellect. The little person controls the giant robot, looking out of your eyes like they're windows, and pressing the buttons and pulling the levers that make your robot body interact with the world.
Now imagine that some of the buttons are broken, some of the levers are stuck. You try to make the giant robot get out of bed and go about its daily routine, but the button marked 'get up' just won't work, no matter how hard you pound on it. You get more and more frustrated, but because that button doesn't work, the giant robot doesn't go anywhere. Other people might look at the giant robot and call it lazy because it's not doing anything, but they don't know how hard the little person inside is trying to make it get up, to do something, anything at all.
Or maybe some of the controls are confusing to use, and there's no instruction manual supplied. The giant robot is having a conversation with someone, and you're pressing the buttons that determine what the giant robot says. You press the button you think is for 'witty remark', but it turns out that's the button for 'unfunny joke' instead. You panic and accidentally hit the switch for 'awkward silence', and the person talking to the giant robot wonders what its problem is.
I realise that this analogy isn't a brilliant one for explaining the entire spectrum of depressive and anxiety disorders (or the myriad of other problems people can face), but my point is that it's not always possible to infer things about a person's personality just based on the things that they say or do. It can be very frustrating to be the little person inside the head of the giant robot, seeing the outside world but not being able to interact with it in the way that you want to. Over time (and in fact, by watching the Ben Stiller version of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which was surprisingly good), I've realised that one of my biggest problems is that my brain always seems to stand in the way whenever I try to do anything, especially new things. This can be everyday stuff, like trying to do some exercise, or things that involve stepping outside of my comfort zone; things that might involve having new experiences or learning new skills. I've wondered why this is for a long time, getting pissed off at my brain for denying me opportunities to do things and wondering what the fuck its problem is. But lately I've come to see that my brain isn't trying to hurt me, it's trying to protect me. Except it does this far too zealously. Every time I want to do something or try something new, anything that doesn't involve me just sitting around and doing nothing, my brain sees danger. It wants me to be safe, so if I put myself into a situation that it can't fully control, things might happen that it can't predict and so it springs into action to 'help' me:
"You want to go swimming? But you're tired, you won't have a good session. What if you injure something? What if you don't make any progress? It might be boring. You're not happy with your body and you don't want people looking at you. It might be busy in there and people might get in your way. Or even worse, you might get in other peoples' way. The traffic might be bad and you'll be sat in the car for ages before you even get there. What if this isn't the best use of your time? You could be doing something else that turns out to be the best thing ever, but you'll miss it because you're at the pool. The water's cold. There might be really good swimmers in there, and you'll get sad that you're not as good as them. What if you don't get to finish your set before the public session finishes, you might get pissed off."
This is something that happens to me every time I try to go swimming, and I've been going swimming for 7 years this month. If we go back to the giant robot analogy, this is the equivalent of the controls having a particularly restrictive safeguard on them; imagine the times you do something on your PC and Windows pops up a message saying 'Are you SURE you want to do this?'. The controls of my giant robot pop those messages up so often and so fast that it just stops being worth it to try to make them go away, and if that's the sort of thing I have to contend with just to go to the fucking pool, you know that if I ever want to do anything out of the ordinary those little pop-ups are flashing their warning messages in big red angry letters with lots of exclamation marks at the end. So that's currently where I am. I have a better idea now of what's wrong, but knowing the problem isn't solving the problem; it doesn't really offer any clues as to how best to proceed either. I need to disable those warning messages, but right now I'm still thumbing through the instruction manual.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Roots Manuva - Dreamy Days

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April 2nd, 2014

05:49 pm - James' continuing adventures in depression
So this is pretty much how it goes whenever I decide to do anything. Pretty much anything at all, stuff I need to do, stuff I want to do, stuff I enjoy, whatever. An example:

James: Today I'm going to go swimming after work. I've got all my swimming kit packed in the car, I'm going to head to the pool and have a good session and it's going to make me fit and healthy.

James' brain: Nah, you could do that but instead I'm going to make you go straight home and waste the entire evening sat around like a useless fat fuck. You want reasons? I'll give you as many reasons as you've got time to listen to. They'll all be shit, but I'll make you listen to them all the same. Until you're beaten down by them and you don't want to fight anymore. So you can sit there impotently writing a journal entry instead of doing something to improve your life, you loser.


In other news I finally got to the doctor's a scant 4 months after she told me to come back in two weeks, and my antidepressant dosage has been upped. The only thing the tablets have done for me so far is make me fatter, so I'm not really looking forward to how this goes. She did give me some thought exercises to do, but how do you do anything when every fibre of your being is screaming at you not to do anything? It's like me and my brain are entirely different things with entirely different goals; I can't get anything done without my brain being on board with it, but right now my brain's purpose seems to be to make me feel so horrible and awful whenever I do try to do anything that it's just not worth it. It's a visceral thing, a tightness that spreads throughout my body and presses against my temples, and it gets worse and worse up to the point where I decide to abandon whatever it was I was thinking of doing. And then it recedes, leaving me feeling pissed off and exhausted instead. Several members of my family suffer from depression as well, so my biggest fear is that if I'm predisposed to it I'm never going to be free of it. Fighting against it seems like a good option, but the will to do that is precisely the thing it takes away. Goddamnit. I'll just keep taking the tablets and see what happens, I guess.
Current Mood: apatheticapathetic
Current Music: M.O.O.N. - Hydrogen

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October 16th, 2013

11:22 pm
I spent a good chunk of this evening watching Youtube videos about mountain biking and wakeboarding, and now I'm going to go to bed so I can get up in the morning and go to the office where I've spent the last 7 years doing the same thing. This is life, I'm living it. YEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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October 13th, 2013

12:30 am
I have little orange-flavoured pills now. They make my mouth numb and hopefully they'll make my brain work properly too. I'd like to do things worth writing about again.

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December 5th, 2011

05:43 pm - Divide By Zero, 03.12.11
After a pretty long hiatus, I was back in the DJing saddle again for Divide By Zero at Undertone last Saturday! Undertone is a much nicer venue than the last place we were at, the sound is great and it was lovely to see a decent number of people turn up for it :-) Here are all the singsongs I played:

01. she – Coloris (S-T3RRA Remix)
02. Ken Ishii – Sunriser (Publicmind Remix)
03. Kele – Tenderoni
04 . Mason Vs. Princess Superstar – Perfect Exceeder (Radio Edit)
05. Daft Punk – Derezzed (Original Mix)
06. Nero – Me & You (Dirtyphonics Remix)
07. Mastgrr – Duty Calls For 162bpm
08. DJ Shadow – Organ Donor
09. Skrillex – Syndicate
10. Renard – Terminal
11. 16bit – Can You Show Me What Head Is
12. The Prodigy – Warriors Dance
13. D. Kay & Rawful – Be There 4 U
14. UNKLE – Restless (Fake Blood Remix)
15. Mike Hunt – Lick My Window

Oh my god, a list of Youtube videos for everything I played is right here! Click it!Collapse )
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Aphex Twin - To Cure A Weakling Child

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September 5th, 2011

11:14 pm - Two birds with one stone.
Game trailers and awesome music, all in one? I'm liking this current trend of licensing tracks for use in game trailers, it introduces me to cool new games and cool new music at the same time. Thanks internet!

Sonic Generations, set to Tenderoni by Kele

Trackmania 2 Canyon, set to Me & You by Nero (Dirtyphonics Remix)

Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
Current Music: Del the Funky Homosapien & Tame One - Teddy

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