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My Year So Far

Posted 02-04-2016 at 03:59 AM by Phylum
Updated 02-04-2016 at 04:02 AM by Phylum
I've only left the house one time, except for grocery shopping, some uni stuff, one day when I worked and random walks. I have nowhere to go and nothing to do. It feels kind of like I've been dropped by my friends.

The last 6 months I've done literally nothing. It's been a confusing mess of not knowing what I'm capable of and having nothing to do. I wanted to join like a club or something maybe? But with my health I couldn't really commit to anything regular. I was going to go to some cool sounding stuff at the Adelaide Film Fest, but my health was bad that week and I didn't want to buy the ticket if I wasn't going to be able to use it.

It's so weird. I keep thinking I need to do things. But what do people do? Where do people go to meet other people? I literally have no idea. I look at lists of what's on in my city and there's just nothing for me. The museum had a cool exhibition on about opals for a while? I probably should have gone to that actually.

But even if the opals were great, I'm not exactly going to meet people at the museum. I need new people - my friends are just people I had classes with in highschool. Every conversation I have with them feels like the most gratingly awkward thing in the world. I just try so hard to engage them and get one word answers. Nobody ever asks me questions. Nobody ever just shoots me a message to ask how I am.

I'm not going to pretend I'm an easy person to get along with. I never have been, but after 3 years of poor health destroying my social life and leaving me a boring potato living life through a laptop screen things have just gotten so much worse. I'm so bad at talking to people. I feel like I get some points for effort, people definitely know that I'm trying, but they just don't really enjoy having me around. I feel like I have 2 settings - either extremely uptight asshole or so relaxed I can't think about what I'm saying and just ramble pointlessly. People just look at me like "what the fuck is this guy doing".

I just with I could be a normal guy, like mainstream shit and have friends that I do things with. I wish I shared common interests with people I (infrequently) meet. I know I'm a big part of the problem, but I can't figure out how to change.

I feel pretty bad a lot of the time, but not in the way I used to. I don't feel helpless and hopeless. I don't spiral wildly out of control some days and end up sobbing in bed. I was on anti-depressants for a pretty short time, but we gradually lowered the dose and I just kept feeling better. It's kind of like I just needed something to lift me out of the horrible dark corner I'd ended up in. I feel like having nothing to do and being incredibly lonely all of the time is a pretty acceptable reason to be feeling bad, and it's not a constant looming thing now.

I feel more relaxed after basically giving up my dream of being a musician too. Like it's just not something to worry about now. It's over. I'm going to do a boring degree and get a job I'll probably hate, joining the rest of the sensible working world. I want to focus a lot more on doing things, and people, because those are the things that really suffered in highschool focussing on music, and the last 2 years trying desperately to balance my health with my degree.

I'm house sitting for my brother again this easter, and looking after their dog again. I remember I mentioned it last year, and someone wondered if "dog-sitting" was a sexual thing. I think my parents are going to pressure me to invite people over while I'm there, and that's stressing me out a bit. Like, who? What will we do? I'll probably just do it, if I can find anyone who wants to come.

I'm pretty sure that dog has shown me way more affection in 3-4 days than anyone else has this year though. Every morning he'd be at my door ready to say "hello" shortly followed by "let me out the back to do a wee". He'd get my attention to play games and stuff throughout the day. In the evenings when I'd be chilling out watching TV he'd jump up and try to lick my face, but eventually I figured out how to calm him down and he'd just curl up in my lap happy to be near me.

Like damn why can't people be more like that. Nobody ever touches me. I'm so fucking lonely goddamn
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Varrok's Avatar
Out of curiosity: why did you give up music?
Posted 02-04-2016 at 04:01 AM by Varrok

Phylum's Avatar
Can't do a degree that needs so many goddamn hours of physical music practice and 2-hour rehearsals with my health :/

If I go back for another year I risk losing another year. It's been 2 so far and I literally can't go on like this.
Posted 02-04-2016 at 04:03 AM by Phylum

Varrok's Avatar
Do you need a degree to be a musician?
Posted 02-04-2016 at 04:05 AM by Varrok

Phylum's Avatar
Well, it's a chance to spend a few years studying with some goddamn awesome musicians and have it payed for by the government, just leaving me with a debt at the end. The usual pathway seems to be bachelor degree -> honours at an interstate uni -> study overseas for credentials -> "Professional Musician". That or you just teach locally all your life, but I wanted to aim a bit higher than that at least.

But really the answer is no. Playing all the goddamn time is still a problem though. Anything physical is just unreliable for me, and music is definitely physical.
Posted 02-04-2016 at 04:07 AM by Phylum

Varrok's Avatar
I completely agree about music being a big strain on organism. What tires you the most? Is it "just" the lungpower? (It's a big deal, I think, but there may be other reasons)
Posted 02-04-2016 at 04:10 AM by Varrok

Phylum's Avatar
Imagine going for a run when you have the flu or something. All of your limbs are heavy, your head is thick. You can do it but it's a huge fucking effort, and afterwards you're ready to curl up for a week. What I experience is more of a whole body fatigue thing, rather than just struggling with the "lungpower".

Imagine gradually pushing yourself more and more until every fucking step you take is agony. Goddamn I fucked myself up so much last year. People on the street gave me weird looks, and almost definitely thought I was one something from the way I'd hobble around. I had one of the most humiliating moments of my life when I basically got stuck at the bottom of the ramp at my train station after a long day, and had to gradually limp my way up hanging on to the wall. A family came past and my god, the looks they gave me. The man asked if I needed help, but the woman. Fuck.
Posted 02-04-2016 at 04:23 AM by Phylum

Phylum's Avatar
Sorry that comment flew off the rails in a major way, but I think it kind of gets the point across.
Posted 02-04-2016 at 04:30 AM by Phylum

Varrok's Avatar
Hm. Okay.

Do you have any hobbies that it's possible to earn money from and don't require much physical activity? I'm talking drawing, writing etc.

Do you play piano? It requires much less body work, as you're not standing and using hands is much less exhausting than anything including lungs.

Are you asthmatic?

In worst case, you can still compose music without playing it, in style of, for example, The Synthetic Orchestra:

Edit: Hell, Jason Becker managed to write this only with eye movements after he was diagnosed with ALS and his health condition worsened
Posted 02-04-2016 at 04:40 AM by Varrok
Updated 02-04-2016 at 04:42 AM by Varrok

Phylum's Avatar
Oh I'm still playing music don't worry. Piano is fucking exhausting though. Saying it's just your hands is crap - music comes from the whole body, quite literally. And any instrument is tiring when you're talking about playing for 6+ hours a day.

I've started picking up my flute recently again. I'd put it off because when I'm playing it's an every day thing. It's perfectly manageable, but I'll never be good enough to go anywhere with it in the classical world unless it's a full time thing. I might do some busking stuff at some point.

Composition is hard and I suck at it. I have skills and knowledge, I just struggle to develop ideas in a meaningful way so I don't bother. I'm more likely to sit down and write analytical essays about pieces than compose my own. I think I'll write a good piece one day though, and I often fiddle around with ideas.

At the moment I'm doing some coding work for my local doctor - basically just some scripts to help manage his waiting room music library. I should be getting about $400 in total once it's all done, but most of the time is sitting around ripping CDs honestly

e: And re-asthma I've had every test known to man and my body is in tip top shape. They don't usually just come back ok, it's generally good or better. I'm a bit underweight and a tad unfit (been doing more about that lately too though) but other than that I have no obvious ailments.
Posted 02-04-2016 at 04:58 AM by Phylum
Updated 02-04-2016 at 05:11 AM by Phylum

Manco's Avatar
Did you ever get a diagnosis? I seem to remember you mentioning ME at one point.

Being dropped out of social groups fucking sucks, there's no easy way to get around it. A lot of friendships start in school/workplace and meeting people outside of that is so rare. Do you a lot of social stuff online, like playing team games and stuff?

The best advice I can give is to just not turn down opportunities to get out and do stuff, even if you don't expect to meet someone it'll still be more fulfilling than staying home. That opal exhibit sounds fucking great, I'd be there in a snap.
Posted 02-04-2016 at 09:06 AM by Manco

Varrok's Avatar
Did you ever get a diagnosis? I seem to remember you mentioning ME at one point.
Had to re-read that part to get it
Posted 02-04-2016 at 12:46 PM by Varrok

Phylum's Avatar
Yeah, I'm a diagnosed user of Windows: Millennium Edition.

Seriously though I do have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) aka ME.

I've been playing Rocket League with some dudes from an Aussie gaming community every now and again, and just hanging out in IRC with them. They're alright. I mostly play Quake-family games, and know a lot of dudes through that. I actually had lunch with a guy i used to commentate Quake with, about a year ago.

And I don't turn down opportunities to go places and do stuff if there are other people involved without good reason. The opal thing was cool but not exactly a social thing.
Posted 02-04-2016 at 04:21 PM by Phylum

STM's Avatar
Man, ME fucking sucks. My missus has it pretty severely and so I get to see first hand how that shit fucks you up.

Sorry to hear you're out of touch with your friends, just gotta get out there and make the effort to get back in touch when you're feeling healthier. Just don't force it, don't try to be someone you're not, I dunno I down want to tell you how to suck eggs but I always think no matter who you are, the best bet to get someone to talk to you is just to be you. If you ever wanna hit me up let me know, I always got on with you well outside the forums and I think it's a shame we don't speak more.
Posted 02-04-2016 at 10:06 PM by STM

Varrok's Avatar
Yeah, I'm a diagnosed user of Windows: Millennium Edition.
No, no, I thought you were mentioning HIM at some point.


Do you eat healthy?
Posted 02-05-2016 at 01:07 AM by Varrok

Phylum's Avatar
Yeah man I eat a good variety of stuff, and meat only 3-4 times a week. Lots of green veg, especially lately. I've been wanting to experiment even more and go a bit seasonal with what we buy, getting it direct from local growers at farmer's markets. Everything is fresh cooked, no fast food. Even when I'm in the city my parents are happy to support me in buying fresh meals from the cheap places all the Asian uni students go to rather than McDonald's crap.

I've even upped my dairy a bit lately, which was the big thing missing from my diet for the last few months.
Posted 02-05-2016 at 04:13 AM by Phylum

STM's Avatar
Dr Varrok will see you now.
Posted 02-05-2016 at 05:07 AM by STM

Manco's Avatar
And I don't turn down opportunities to go places and do stuff if there are other people involved without good reason. The opal thing was cool but not exactly a social thing.
Yeah but even non-social stuff can be a good excuse to get out of the house for a while. Sometimes a change of scenery is what you need.
Posted 02-05-2016 at 06:58 AM by Manco

Varrok's Avatar
Dr Varrok will see you now.
Come in. Take you pants off.

Believe me, it's related to your migrene.
Posted 02-05-2016 at 07:50 AM by Varrok

STM's Avatar
But I just had my prostate exam
Posted 02-05-2016 at 08:42 AM by STM

Phylum's Avatar
I'm used to being completely interrogated about every aspect of my life by now, I don't even really think about it any more. CFS is hard for people to understand and basically everyone thinks they can fix me or that I can do something better to be better.

Anyway I got $300 in my pocket for a coding job on Saturday. I haven't even started my CompSci degree and I've already made about as much as I ever did as a musician.
Posted 02-07-2016 at 04:44 PM by Phylum

MA's Avatar
mate, you break my heart. honestly. i feel for you, especially on the loneliness front. i really have no decent advice to offer, just know we're always here, ready to chat and try to cheer you up. at least i will be. i think i'll be here until OWF goes down or i die. i'm that sad. but it's not sad, really. not when you consider how diverse we all are, yourself included. i enjoy your presence and conversing with you. much love, my friend. this place would be duller without you and i would be sadder.
Posted 02-13-2016 at 04:35 PM by MA
Updated 02-14-2016 at 04:06 PM by MA


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