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The queen of my mind.

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. Yes, it exposes my vulnerability.  I am merely human. I have bad days and good days. This letter is to the so called friend I’ve kept as consul for most of my life.

Dear Anorexia and all the other secondary mental illnesses

I always seem to put this post off. I usually come out with all these things I have  to say to you  at the wrong times. Like when I am having a bath.

Erm…inappropriate.

Okay, I sought you out. I did.

I begged you to be my friend and you eventually became the only friend I had. I didn’t want to lose everything. So, despite how I felt or how  much pain I was in when I hurt myself, I did it. We had a strong bond. Bonds are not easily broken. Not even now, when I don’t want to be friends any more.

I thought you might be a bit more understanding if you understood what you took from me and what I allowed you to take.

You took most of my   life experiences and and  made me put on a pair of  your glasses so that I could only see life through your perspective.I didn’t have strng vision to begin with so I accepted your gift and I still wear them every now and then.  I don’t know why you want me to hurt myself,

Life: everything I have ever seen and experienced has been through a filter  of your making. You have had the final decision  before I get to see anything, so I can then process it and carry on.

You encouraged me to self harm in so many other ways Drugs, cutting, taking chances, impulsive behaviour, getting into trouble. I don’t know if friends should really do that but I only had you. What did I know

You are jealous. I became your reflection..

Your reflection.

I had no life in me for many years.  I was an merely a toy- puppet of yours. Attached to strings to dance to your cacophonous melody.  Sometimes I still feel you, hear you. Pulling me up. Making me go in a direction I don’t want to go in.

Every interest I had, be it watching a movie or reading or going to a rave and dancing or talking to people to try and make fiends-  you stole that from me.

 I allowed it.  I only see now, how awesome I can be without you. Fucking cool bananas.

You told me I was peculiar , not like other people, special, different.

You did a remarkable job of making me think that no body understood the words, I spoke so I stopped talking. I let your talk for me- everyday, every living moment. Every tick of the clock. Your voice. Sounds so soft to others- barely audible- Invisible. To me   it sounds more like a constant shriek in my mind, I feel anything but invisible – I feel I take up too much space.

Figure that one out? I can’t.

I lost my family. People thought I had an ego and thought that I was up my own fucking  arse.

I only wanted  to like me.

I just wanted to feel good about myself.  I thought you could help. If I was attractive to others people would get  me and see all my awesome qualities and my true personality. You couldn’t stop at that.

You needed to coerce me into changing one small thing , then another small thing. You helped chip away everything that made me ME until I was lost and abandoned in the dark.

A vacant spot in a vast pool of darkness.A world of black and white. If people tried to talk to me you turned up the white noise. I sat there motionless.

Every person who spoke  to me or who tried to be a friend to me  -you  would whisper they were lying to us, they don’t like us.

Always

be on  your  guard.

Your motto.

You taught me that. I was and I am  still on guard.

You know what?

Fuck this ..I’m not wallowing in the past.

What I really want you to know is I don’t want you in my life at all.

I was wrong and made a mistake.

I know better now.

I have a choice – it is my choice who will be in my life. Yes, you are powerful enough to try and come between everyone I love. I won’t let you.

I won’t.

You want to be friends with my daughter.

NEVER WILL I ALLOW THAT.

I know your  true face. There is nothing behind that mask. I rip it off and before I can see the true you you dissolve right before my eyes. You need me more than I need you,mate.

 You still try to  convince me that our friendship is a blessing – that you give me strength to live.

I’m pretty convinced if I could find the cord that  links me to you, I would  be brave enough to cut it and I would finally start  breathing properly  again. I would learn how to breathe again. I would succeed.

How many times am I going to have to evict you from  my mind?

Why don’t you get it?

I’m done with trying to kill myself.

You  have taught me one thing – I am not at your mercy to live or die. You don’t get to choose because : I. won’t. let. you.

You crept back into my life last year.

So cunning, so sly……

Look at you smirking -so sure, so smug.

Like a snake, you slithered   and curled around my whole bod. I remember the familiarity of  your touch -cold. Cold means thin. Thin means I’m winning. Your charm  nearly disarmed me again.

In what seemed like mere seconds,your entire body had coiled itself  around my neck -suffocating me. I nearly lost my mind for you again. A couple more months and I could have been back in hospital.

I’m not some new friend of yours that has to be emaciated to believe I have earned your undying friendship.  Today, I live in a body and a mind I  have created.

To  try and cast you out. Of course you weren’t going anywhere. How naive I still can be after all these years.

Why would you  go some where else when you have everything you need in me.

Today,

I am healthy.

You tell me I’m fat.

I’m not fat.

I eat and you tell me to pinch my skin, you tell me to loathe it. You  yell at  me , telling me to grip at my bones.

You tell me the bones have been lost in my womanly body.

How dare I grow up?

How dare I start having periods again?

How dare I have a child?

how dare I put her first ?

How dare I empower myself……

Now,you listen to me. You can make me cry- you know you can.

You know that every living moment I know you are with me, in me.

You won’t even let me be touched and loved by my own husband to be.

I flinch when he touches me because you have convinced me that my body is wrong.

It has taken four years to get to the place I am with my husband to be. You don’t want me to enjoy being loved.

You don’t like affection.

Affection means a chance to be loved.

Your kind of love is   like boiling water and third degree burns – plastic melting and merging with my skin -never letting go ;forever  scarred and deformed.

All this to make sure you have me forever. You feed on my thoughts.

Why won’t you let me watch a fucking movie with my partner without making me aware of my body?

You are sick. Contagious. A reoccurring  infection.

I don’t want to be sick. I know I can’t just get rid of you. For a time I was able to shut you out and started living.

 Oh, what a jealous friend you have been. You plotted and planned – ready for your come back .

Always  had to be the one who has to take the lead part.

You can’t have the lead part in my life any more. My life is my stage, I am producer,editor, stage hand, actor, writer, graphics producer , costume designer, light technician . You dear friend have been made redundant.

 See ,The terms and conditions of our contract?

See this lighter in my hand? Flame jumps from container to paper – it can’t lick up the paper quick enough.

I’m the one who says what goes in the script and what doesn’t

No, I know you don’t like this. You are laughing in my face. What  was that?

I have no confidence,

I’m needy  lazy, a failure.

You are right,I’m not fucking perfect. How many times have I nearly died doing your bidding?

I want to be happy.

No, not your idea of happiness.

I  want to forget about being aware of how you want me to feel about  my body. I want  to enjoy each moment away from the knowledge that my body is just there.

 Today, I respect my body. You don’t need a mask to cover up the fact you have no idea what that word means.

I had so many things I had in my head …. to say to you…

I feel you still don’t get it.

I know I eat.

I have to eat . Don’t put the guilt trip on me if I feel hungry.

Yes,I do. I love food. There are so many more types of food  I want to try and I am still afraid to try . I am learning though.

Every book or film or conversation I have ever had was drowned out by your voice or because I couldn’t stand to hear your voice again , I drugged myself, tried to take my life

– oh so many times.

Yet, I still stand..

You won’t go because you love a challenge. you enjoy the struggle.

How boring would it be for me to just give up.

Oh don’t get me wrong, love.

I have nearly died for you and you happily  appeared to allow it. We both know  you became my friend because you knew I would fight you.

Still now, twenty odd years later  I fight you.

No – you can’t have  increasingly lower digits. I  have set the bar for what weight I can live with. I’m not going to stop eating if I go over that weight thresh hold. – I will cope.  I will get back to my safe weight.

You hate the fact I exercise to keep fit and on track-to focus -to keep me rational – I have found out the  secret you have hidden from me for so long.

I’m not going to binge or take laxatives again. It fucking hurts. 100 laxatives a day for how many years. I’m not buying into that abuse any longer.

You are having so much fun with me at this moment. Forever toying…..

The scales have gone up. I should  know I’ve only been there with  you over  50  fucking times today on that scale. Willing that 1.5 kilo of weight to go down.

I am not having fun.

I am a woman not a child.  My spirit is not  a new born. You can’t corrupt it like you did all those years ago.

I get periods. There is a lot of ‘I don’t wants’ that comes with the power to create life.

Fluid retention is one of them. You want me to think that these laws of a women’s body don’t apply to me. Your arrogance never fails to catch me off guard.

You want me to think I have lost control…….

I see all this and I hate you with every thought, every emotion, everything.

Yet, you still won’ t go away

 You may be having fun but I’m not having fun and I don’t want to play.

You have brought many foes to  my door- snuck them in. Bipolar ,a so called personality disorder, the list goes on and on. All free loaders.

Remember when I was at the height of my career?  You wouldn’t let me become more successful. It wasn’t your definition of success  so you took it from me.

Remember when I tried to better myself and go to college?

You fucked with my head then too.

Yes, I got my degree, eventually. I nearly died getting it.

I nearly died getting my daughter back too.

You like the fighters. The ones that put up a struggle. The  more I struggled the more obstacles you put in my way- one of your finest tricks was the abusive relationship act.

I finally see you are indeed a one trick pony.

Well done, a round of applause.

You are not the master of my mind any more.

You are a bully- deranged.

YOU CAN’T HAVE ME!

I’m getting married and you can’t stop that. Yes, I know I’m vulnerable because I need to fit into my wedding dress.

Guess what?

I am going to have another child and I won’t let your stop me. I am going to nourish life, nurture it like I should have done the first time.

I will be free of the medication I take to stop you from having the upper hand all the time . I don’t think you have  realised,

the fight you have with me, does not just end with me alone  any more. You continue to take me on -you are now taking me and my family on.

You are a threat to my life- no not a pathetic  one,but one full of joy and love and respect. You hate it. I don’t know why you won’t allow me to love.

Where did you come from ? and what made you so malicious?

I can’t be your therapist and provider.

Yes, we are back to fighting again;

I  don’t need tarot cards to know the ending to this.

I’m winning.

Yes, I am.

You are strong, I will give you that but I have had four years of some kind of freedom from you –

You ,dear friend let your guard down .

Thank you, because you gave me another reason to live and want to be alive.  The devil I know or the glimpses of joy I have found in living ?

 you lose,

check mate!

I will continue to  rise as the queen of my mind and your whole kingdom built on flimsy lies is going to come toppling down.

If you are going to throw a punch – don’t let your guard down.

Practice what you preach.

Dear So called friend

The beast that is nature

It’s mental health awareness week in the U.K.

This time last year I  was in a coma after trying to take my life-again. I woke up 9 days later on my mom’s birthday. I don’t  think I  have come to terms with the fact that I am still alive. These past fews days  my mental health has been deteriorating and I’m  trying my hardest to fight these sodding demons in my head.
I’ve  been feeling suicidal again. I have everything to live for.
It doesn’t  mean the thoughts go away.
I fight my battles every single day and I  reach  out even if its to get away from my head  for a few minutes.
I can’t  have a head transplant or swap my head with some one else for an hour.
Self medicating rarely works or makes me feel good so I  push myself to reconnect with life in different ways again.

It’s  mental health awareness week and maybe by being in nature , trying to get out of my head may help.
Maybe by just going through the motions even though my thoughts carry on chattering  away it doesn’t matter. The act and the intention is what matters.
For a few moments I’m  distracted by some other nature that isn’t my own…
Suicide isn’t the answer. I will carry in telling myself this until I  believe it.

My story hasn’t ended.. life has a greater purpose, I
#mentalhealth  #mentalhealthmatters  #mentalhealthawarenessmonth

Entry 2

Today, I heard the postman push through my mail. I opened one letter and my heart nearly dropped to the floor quicker than the letter did. My hands were trembling like an addict going into withdrawals.

It was the referral letter from my G.P. and mental health nurse to be assessed by the Adult eating disorder services in Leeds. When I picked up the letter to go and read it , I felt like I was drunk – the words were spread out , doubling over the next word, hazy and unreadable , hazy and clouding my vision then my judgement as I felt the tears wet my cheeks and watched then drip into the paper.

I’m unsure why I started to cry. A combination of Fear and relief?

Fear that I might be rejected from getting psychotherapy because I’m not thin enough. Since I’ve moved house -3 months ago, I’ve put on 6 kilos( nearly 1 stone).

Fear that I will get the help I want and face my Eating disorder willingly. I know it’s a headspace controlled by my eating disordered part of me. The space of the unknown. That moment in between.

That train of thought –to be ill I need to look ill.

My rational mind totally ‘gets it’. My emotions and feelings about the impending assessment took my thoughts back to the years I spent in and out of hospitals, the loneliness ( I still feel many days)felt, my dream career that I had to stop due to my health deteriorating linked in with my eating disorder, the isolation..

I still tend to isolate myself. Most days ,I struggle with getting out and socialising. Most people think I’m over confident.

These days I’m less rigid in my thinking around my eating disorder. I know it’s there. Hell, it chatters to me 24 hours a day 😂😭. I also know the amount of energy it takes keeping my weight at this level.

The thought of all the dedication and commitment to go back and actively starve myself to below 50 kgs fills me with terror because the life I’ve managed to create will have no meaning or purpose, if I let it consume my entire world , it’s a bit like,how I feel about my suicidal thoughts since my last suicide attempt in , May 2020. I remember the pain and terror of when I thought I had been abducted by aliens -when the truth is :I was in a coma for nearly 10 days.

Truth is: I was beyond terrified however, the suicidal thoughts don’t disappear completely.

I’m actively trying to get my weight down to 53-54. A weight loss of 3 -4kgs. My safe weight. Will I want to stop when I get to that weight or carry on chasing a deficit in numbers and chipping away at my character, self esteem and my personality simultaneously?

Just like an addict- adding fire to aid the beast of addiction to lash out flames of fury at me.

Many years have passed since I was last sectioned for anorexia. My life has transformed -no, I have an actual life that my imagination never ever could conceive. I was drowning in ignorance because my mental illnesses had told me things that I believed.

I’ve made goals and achieved them. Some goals were not planned until circumstances pertaining around them turned them into goals to conquer or over come.

  1. A daughter
  2. A husband
  3. My degrees in higher education
  4. Volunteering with mental health charities
  5. Eating the way I do today
  6. Conquerimg other obsessions and addictions-actively working to stay away from that behaviour
  7. Looking at getting back in to full time employment

There is the desire to be free of my eating disorder.

So much has changed in my life and what role my Eating disorder and obssesions play in my life

Conversely, not much has changed either…….. ( dot dot dot dot).

I didn’t want to write today. Small words about a big force that hangs over me.

Entry 1

Today I woke up from a pre empted nightmare-the impending doom & gloom of the end of half term and the start of the school run. Early mornings, pushing myself to get out,exit the house!

Bee is in the bath.

Ma, I need you for xyz

My thoughts of what to put down temporarily suspended. Going out. I love being out and active. I love to not have to worrry that I’m not doing enough, to keep the scales from dictating my mood, my day. I’ve come to realize I’m a lazy anorexic thinker. Ha! Fancy that.

There, I’ve admitted it. Perhaps, by making an effort to write down my general every day thoughts, feelings and emotions again, it will incite an inner part of me to be aware of my surroundings again. Pull off a decorum of intelligent self expression. Put that intelligence into a wider context in my conversations and interactions with humans.

Help improve my memory. Pull off a Brian Eno -esque diary. Try and live a more fulfilling life. I’m morose (sad) because Gee and Bee are going to be out most of the day living a productive life again. I want to do more too.

I’m sad that I have made Gee sad ( scratch that) ANGRY at me! At me- for not severing all contact with him. I’m disappointed in myself for disrespecting Gee and myself. Bee will never know. I’m disappointed in myself for disrespecting Gee, myself too. I suspect drinking too much doesn’t help with my impulsive and risk taking behaviour.

The Ego seeks out more attention. I’m lonely. I want more from friendship. I want my life and sense of worth to have more meaning outside of my family.

Today the weather is in a glorious mood. Rays beaming . The sun has a warm smile for all. A complete contrast to my own demeanour. I’m standing under that thunderous cloud waiting for the lightening to strike down more familar thunderbolts to keep me from blooming again.

I’m happy. I’m happy because I have been putting ink down again. Snippets of poetry, fragments of words that make me feel a validated member of society. I need kinship in my interests. The only person I’ve spent time with talking about our mutual interests, in my physical ( not online) world is him. He isn’t afraid to give honest feedback. Honest -sometimes constructive critique.

How sad am I? Sad enough to feel offended that the other him-that parasite who only takes money from me and happiness from my family ‘dissed’ me when I thought I wanted a distraction from my mind. Something that the reckless part of me craves. Ignored me and my ego has been hurt! That is the tragedy. ( shrugs), I know Bee is going to call me to bath her and on cue- oh hang on- she *actually* asked me to get her an empty bottle to play with. A stray from from the usual routine I’m too familiar with, I actively endorse like .. like… (I have no idea)…family life is a business that cannot be traded as a commodity no matter what price?

Spit out the PIP

My word but moving house is super stressful.
I’m happy because I’m moving to new pastures.

Life has been a mind haunting experience over the past 2months.
My anorexia nervosa reared its ugly head because I needed some form of self medicating after stopping toxic self medicating.
I lost over  2-3 stone!
I love food.. I have recently  been bingeing on food. My husband can’t stop me. After a binge,I’m verbally abusive to him, because I feel so ashamed and disgusted with myself.
I chew  the foos and spit it out.
  My weight has gone up to 8stone 10 from 8stone.

I’m  angry because I  rely on government money for my illnesses.
I’m trying to get better.
I have an assessment award review in 3weeks time and, well… I feel like I need to lose the wight I’ve gained to justify I’m  ill.

I attempted a serious suicide overdose in , May 2020.
I was in a coma for 5days on life support and a further 5 days in critical ICU care.

I’ve  done 4 serious suicide attempts   in 2 years and 2months.

I tried to jump off a well known bridge.

I had 5 people hold me down so I couldn’t  jump.

Now my gut instinct says try and kill myself.

I’m  tired of my illnesses.
I wish I could have a job that covers my bills.

My daughter who is 9 years old has never been on holiday-not even in the U.K. because I can’t afford it.

I’m bricking it. I have a lot of paperwork to prove I’m  ‘seriously* ill as my family and husband states.

I can’t move time ahead nor make the assessor re approve my  extra income.

Not having control over my world is debilitating  but i have to focus on my new life and have a plan B if I am not awarded PIP.

These voices

These voices in my head gossip it’s a constant source of bedlam.

They never stop,

They never leave.

Their constant trolling,

There incessant banter

Sparks a hell-raising fire

Until I kick out from cracking up from all of their heckling.

I imagine a dark horse rescues me so I can canter away, breathe in the ocean air.

Keep up this distraction forever.

These voices make me pull at my hair, I see I have a few grey hairs now.

Droopy disproportionate boobs.

I fear the larger breast a whole 2 cup sizes bigger needs to be stabbed, squeezed, cleansed from the infected fat.

If only this would quell these voices in my homely self made asylum.

Perhaps my patients would snap back into reality

Snap out of their various maladies.

Even when my glass house shatters

These voices know I’ll glue back each piece bit by bit in an attempt to make myself better.

These voices know they can always come back.

Rent-free

The foods on me.

Feeding on the folds of my imperfect flaws.

That emotion I can only describe as fatness.

A feeling, a thought, a moment, an eternity, a sense of a loss of control.

It comes and it goes

It takes a second glance

Catches me off guard.

I have to take pictures to believe I am not hallucinating. Pictures lie.

They do and then a second glance and they don’t.

They do and they don’t.

They do and they don’t.

They do and they don’t.

This is what these voices chant.

That fatness comes

That fatness goes with a second glance.

Another thought pulls through for me

One second glance

One more chance to be lucid.

To survive another day

To survive another day

Only for these bastard critters to gorge on my mind.

Make all their fears mine.

These voices, they scream at me.

They yell at me.

They tell me to go away.

Often when I wish to disappear I dissociate

Have a rest

Go on autopilot.

Leave the carnival of freaks to cast me out.

I want to process what I hear, what I watch, what I read, what I see without them humming their filth in my head.

I want to be present

Tune into my world

Reality.

where it truly matters.

I don’t want to miss connecting with my loved ones.

These mouthpieces…

I have nothing left to say.

Bank of sound with Fin

North Carolina born, Johnathan Wyatt, came under my radar under one of his alias names- Fin. His music is a diverse mix of instrumental hip-hop. Jonathan has released house music under the alias, Kaepora Gaebor. He has also released Vapour wave beats under the Alias, Fiji, and prompted me to find him on Instagram.

His collaboration on the track ‘Obsession Depression’ with his close friend, Skyler Nelson, (PKSkyler) a rapper based in San Diago, California on ambient Agape Records vol 1 album for U.K. based label Agape records -all proceeds went to MIND (mental health) Charity.
His dedication and maturity for his passion to create music in the past 5 years are astounding. Fin is 17 years old. He has released 3 albums, 6 EP’S and several demos and his next album –Näherin due to drop on 6th November 2020.

‘Tower’  is taken from his latest album.

 

 

When I asked Jonathan to what words came to mind when on MENTAL HEALTH & CREATIVITY) (CREATIVITY his answers were -Process, Inspiration, Expression. Frustration, Anxiety and Depression.

ON DEPRESSION OBSESSION

For Depression Obsession, the song I produced for PKSkyler on
(AGAPE Volume 1), Skyler just messaged me one day asking if I was interested in making a track for a charity compilation. We didn’t have a theme to start with, other than that it was mostly ambient music on the compilation and the person who started it was doing it as a tribute to a friend of theirs who had overdosed a few months prior. The song came together really quickly since we had a deadline to submit.

It was great to be a part of a project that feels so personal, with so many talented musicians as well. I’ve dealt with anxiety since a pretty young age, and have had some issues with depression over the past couple of years, so the links between mental health and creativity are very important to me.

I started with a sample from a song by one of my favourite bands, Azeda Booth. I laid some drums and bass down and had the rough bones of the beat. I sent a snippet of this to PK, and we both figured it should go in a more ambient direction, to fit with the other songs on the compilation. That’s when I thought of the concept of the track having two halves, with the first half being a normal rap structure for his verse and hook, and the second half being entirely beatless and ambient. I put some airy vocal chops from a Frou Frou song, some details, and the droney ambient section for the outro. I sent the instrumental to PK, he liked it, laid his vocals down, sent them back to mix, and the song was done.

pfp

FIN ON FIN

I make a lot of different kinds of music, but the sound that’s compelling to me is anything sample-based. I’ll usually buy cheap records from thrift shops and record stores, skim through them, and try to combine as many elements as I can into a cohesive piece. I do play a handful of instruments and write original music, but sampling is something I’m really, really passionate about. I think it deserves a lot of credit not just as a compositional tool, but as an art form all its own. It’s almost post-modern in a way, with the constant recontextualization of recognizable material.

BACKGROUND

When I was young, maybe around 7 or 8, I was obsessed with Micheal Jackson. I don’t even remember how I got interested in him, lol. I listened to his music religiously, had all the costumes, took a few dance classes, everything. This was before I ever considered playing an instrument, it was probably a big part of me getting deep into music later in life.
I started playing the guitar when I was 11, and about a year later I got obsessed with the idea of writing and recording my music. I got really into the idea of not needing a band or recording studio and doing everything myself. I started taking piano lessons, got a cheap bass, and took over my sister’s drumkit. I made about 3 albums worth of really crappy indie rock before getting interested in electronic music. I messed around with drum & bass, synthwave, and chiptune sounds before I got into sampling and beat-making. This was also around the time I met a few rappers and my friend Skyler (PKSkyler) on Facebook. I was super into the then growing vaporwave and cloud rap scene and was making loads of beats in that style. Those beats ended up on PKSkyler’s first album,Life of Skyler ). I would’ve been around 13 years old at this time.

fin1

 

Probably around age 14 is when I got into buying and sampling records. I was taking drum lessons, and it turned out my teacher was a huge hip-hop head and producer. He really pushed me towards where I’m at musically now. He’d bring stacks of records for me to sample, let me borrow his SP-404 sampler for a few months, and was a massive influence on my album Berkeley.
I’m 17 now, and ever since then I’ve been constantly working on and releasing new music. Over the past 2 years, I’ve released 3 albums, 6 EPs, and 4 beat tapes.

ON CREATIVITY

For the stuff I make as Fin, it was lo-fi artists like Mndsgn, Knxwledge, and of course Dilla. About halfway through the production of my first album, Berkeley, I heard DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing, and that changed my path. I was obsessed with the idea of making structured songs out of samples, instead of short beats. Even when I didn’t have the skill or knowledge to pull it off, I’d try to work in shifting structures and distinct sections in my tracks, for better or for worse.

I always try to have a theme to each big project I do, whether it’s just a palette of sounds that the tracks share, or something more focused. My EP, Substance for the Shadow was based around the idea of making something influenced by soundtracks, post-rock, and krautrock, and writing everything from scratch without sampling.

For the beats I was making for PKSkyler as Fiji, it was a lot of cloud rap and vaporwave, like Yung Lean and Blank Banshee. I was also sampling a lot of soundtracks, mostly old JRPGs and Earthbound.

ON INFLUENCES, THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

(In my hometown) the music scene basically non-existent, lol.

It’s a rural area with a pretty small population. It’s not far from Raleigh, which is a pretty big city with plenty of local bands, musicians, and venues, but obviously, I haven’t been able to go to any shows for the better part of this year. I try not to let that stop me, though, I’ve never really collaborated with anyone in person anyway, never been in a band either. I’m very much used to collaborating online, sending stuff back and forth through email, etc.

I’ve met some of my best friends through the internet, and there are so many niche artists and scenes that would’ve never found an audience through the internet. Things like vaporwave netlabels, obscure lo-fi hip hop releases, and the culture surrounding Bandcamp could’ve never existed 20 years ago.

On the other hand, there’s so much music being released right now, it can be hard to break through and find an audience. If there’s a genre you like and want to hear more of, there are hundreds of albums being released online every day in that style. It’s a blessing and a curse.

As far as finding success in music right now, it goes back to what I said before about breaking through the sheer amount of music being made right now. I’ve seen the lengths musicians go to gain listeners, it’s kinda sad.

I’m not the biggest fan of the things a lot of artists are doing right to be seen, like gaming the Spotify algorithms, hiring ad agencies to make songs go viral, etc. It doesn’t feel very genuine. Either way, commercial success isn’t really what I’m looking for in music, that’s never been my goal.

ON LATEST ALBUM AND UPCOMING PROJECTS

I have some songs I’m working on right now is a bit more of a downtempo and electronic-tinged direction. Still sample-based hip hop, but more atmospheric, with a big focus on texture and lo-fi sounds. I also produced and mixed a bunch of the songs on PKSkyler’s newest mixtape, which should be out very soon.

My new album Näherin is out now on my Bandcamp. It’s a 13 track instrumental hip-hop album touching on some elements of trip-hop, boom-bap, and downtempo. It’ll be on Spotify and Apple Music within the next week or two. I’ve also got cassettes that I did in a bootleg-y DIY style. I hand recorded each tape and printed the labels and J-cards myself, instead of going through a duplication service. I also produced 10 of the 16 tracks on PKSkyler’s newest album Lost in Darkness, which came out in April.
Thank you for listening.

Fin Bandcamp

FIN DISCOGRAPHY & RELEASES

Last night I called Samaratins

I’ve always been skeptical about accessing services such as Samaratins however since I’ve been actively trying to help myself become mentally well again, I reached out via email to find uot more about Samaratins.org and what services they can offer me – I thought I had to be suicidal to get in touch with them. 

I’m currently building up a post crisis plan and contingency plan with the Mental health team – my psychiatrist, my Psychiatrist community nurse and support worker and other services in my community to get back on track. I thought I would share my experience on my website  blog.  This is how it went.

I emailed Jo ( all volunteers are trained and called Jo) to ask for further information. Jo got back to me to ask me for a bit more background and gave me a link to the samaratins.org website.This is what I had to say. 

Hi Daisy
It sounds like you and your CPN are doing great work together.
Samaritans is a 24/7 listening service. We are currently available on the phone, email and by letter. Can I suggest for a more detailed definition of our service you visit our website www.samaritans.org.

Is there anything you would like to talk about tonight, is there anything worrying you or is there something you would like to share with us about how you are feeling?

Hi Jo

Erm… well, I have been a long time service user with lengthy inpatient and outpatient stays in the hospital for bipolar, EUPD and chronic anorexia.
I tend to go in a cycle with how I escape from my thoughts and emotions instead of regulating them.


I’m in that place where I’m highly
Motivated to get to the place I was in from 2013- 2017
I achieved more in those few years than in my entire lifetime,
Apart from my career in travel.
I have a lot I want to do with my life and pass on what I’ve found out to help others.


I’ve volunteered my heart out up until 2016 because I was studying my BA at the time. I fought social services, my family and my 9-year-old daughter’s paternal father in court for 16 months. On the 05 may 2015 I addressed the judge myself and she was and is discharged into my care with full parental responsibility & she is a phenomenal child. I can’t believe she is my child.


I was never going to get married nor have children until I hit my 30′ s. Both just seemed ” to happen”. Many traumas and bad relationships, abortion and boom! By the age of 36 married and one 6-year-old.

My eating disorder has always been a big problem for me.. I’ve been starving myself or self-medicating for most of my life.

In 2017 my body nor my mind could take on everything I set out to do. I was volunteering 5 days a week 9- 5 pm. I was asked to do my WRAP co-facilitator course to do workshops; I had completed the first year of my MA 60 credits and a post-graduate in the humanities with high merit. I had been married for a year. My gran died a horrible, drawn-out death over 3 days in March 2017. I had to decide to take my aunt off life support because my Mom didn’t know what to do. My aunt died in our arms( at hospital snowed under morphine a few months later). I had to support my mom who is ill at times and be “there” for her.


My weight was getting low and it gave me a huge buzz. It’s the best high ever. No drug compares in my opinion to feel my bones protrude or the scales getting lower or that power I feel.


Unfortunately, I started self-medicating with illicit substances and I ended up doing one of my worst suicide attempts in March 2018. I insisted on carrying on with the final year of my MA. I had split up with my husband ( we are back together), My daughter was more or less living at my mom’s place more than she was in her own home. Most of the time I didn’t want her to see me out of my head, or out of control.


I was a single mom & My mom reported me to social services in 2018 within two weeks and then went to Miami for 5 weeks for a break! I received my lowest mark to date and I decided to end it. My mom had a hunch because that night I didn’t want my daughter at home with me.


Anyway, 9 hours in ICU and my Mom ( who was once part of my daughter’s care support package that I discovered and used as to persuade the judge I could look after my daughter with the help I had my daughter to look after and I carried on self-medicating and I had to go through a core assessment with a social worker’s (alone this time and I reached out my child’s school for support stop my child from being thrown into a highly flawed social care system. Twice in that year. Mom rang them again when my daughter was at her home.

I made an appointment with the doctor and I walked to the surgery. My mom was complaining about taxi fare etc.. I was hyper however the doctor ” made” my mom ring social services again. Back to 2018

My psychiatrist said I was in psychosis and I think the only reason he didn’t section me is that… I don’t know. He has known me for 15 years! I had my child to look after… I’m still not sure why he didn’t section. I think my then C.P.N. stuck up for me and I was put onto fortnightly injections to show compliance. The side effects were terrible. My mom took me to the hospital to take another medication to counteract the side effects before leaving to go abroad.
It was a rough couple of years from March up until 2019.
I was self-medicating daily I’ve (never been on heroin, or crack or ketamine.
I was in toxic relationships.
I didn’t care about my weight then. My nose was falling apart and I was losing my daughter to my mom at a fast rate.
I still wasn’t dead!

I took a really big overdose in Feb 2020. My former care co-coordinator didn’t think my cries for help were serious. My friend kept me awake on the phone. He wanted to call the ambulance. I begged him not to because of my daughter.


I got back with my husband in early 2019.
We had to get an injunction on a guy I allowed into my life. We weren’t good for one another. I seem to attract men who need me for finances or something…
I need them to be assholes to me to make sure that I can never trust my husband. The one man who has never disrespected me in 9 years and I’ve done a lot of shitty things to him
In May 2020 I had had enough.

I had been studying suicide manuals I found on the internet and decided to follow the overdose step by step guide. I ended up in a coma for 5 days and wired to tubes for a further 5 days in ICU.

For 2 months I was on a high. I was self-medicating on my Eating Disorder again. My mom and I have always clashed I was living with her trying to get away from a home with bad energy.
It didn’t work out with my mom and my daughter and my cat and my husband living at our current home. She threw me out in front of my daughter and as an excuse, I don’t know
I became stuck in my old habits. It was that or my eating disorder. My choice. My mom threatened to take me to court over my daughter numerous times for my drug use. I lost a lot of time with her my daughter.
I lost confidence in my mom Abilities again.

I was spending crazy amounts and stopped caring again. I have reached out to every service in my area and say I’m too complicated. My issues are too ” complex”.
I asked for a new care coordinator ( June 2020) and she saw me in crisis mode for 2 months. In Sept 2020
I put on 1 kilo ( in my head or physically. I was self-medicating so I had stopped bothering about scales.
That day I did something I haven’t done since I wad 17 years old.
I’m 39 in November. I stabbed my right-hand breast repeatedly and my inner thighs. Then bought 2 scales.
I then tried to jump off a well-known bridge for suicide attempts the same night.
My psychiatrist sent two psychiatrists to assess me to under the mental health act section 2 1981. .I think.
Earlier that day,
I walked out of his office screaming at my psychiatrist to discharge me from the enhanced team for people with severe Mental health input.
What was the point in taking prescribed tablets alone when I have been knocking on every door for DBT and therapy?


I spoke frankly with the assessment team and I wasn’t detained
I had a massive blow out 6weeks ago..


My mom had taken my girl away 1 day after we had discussed a plan and strategy and the boundaries and goalposts were moved according to my mom’s mood and demands. I decided f *** it. I was in a bad way and then I fought my mom for my daughter. I got her CPN involved, school. I told her secrets to my family. I betrayed her because I wanted my baby girl back.


She’s been home with me for just over 2 weeks &our bond is good. She is back into a good routine. I’m loving our bond, her age, her interests and her love.
I’ve thrown me into various therapy apps to get better, recovery apps, happy apps, registered to do volunteering again. I’m writing on my website again.


I’ve added a music blog to my website -it focuses on music artists I find and interview them on their career, creativity and thoughts on Mental health and their own experiences. My next feature is ready to publish by early Nov.
I’ve signed up to do loads of volunteering skill courses – peers mentoring etc…
I’m redoing my WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan
Learning DBT on my own.
. I haven’t used illicit substances for 8 weeks and I am higher than I have ever felt.
I’m starving myself again. I don’t like it, hunger, the dedication it takes. I do like the highs and my BMI is down to 17.1. I was living at a 19 – 20 BMI from 2018 until now…
. I’m happy because I’m investing my time in my family and buying us things. It feels good.

I’m mindful of how much I drink because of calories and I can’t drink like I did when I was using. I become ill. I have a protein shake usually 2times a day.
. A few microwaved mushrooms, cucumber( not microwaved) and microwaved onions. And celery and herbal tea to snack on.
I’m very active. I love to keep busy.
Mentally and psychically.

That’s a bit about me.
I don’t know what else to say.
I’ve managed to find a charity who let me have 10 zoom conference counselling sessions for survivors of rape, trauma and sexual abuse. My last session ends next Tues I have rescheduled 3 times!
I don’t feel suicidal and haven’t in 3 weeks.

I don’t have time to ruminate or think about self-medicating in an illegal way. People don’t leave me alone for too long and at this point, I don’t feel suicidal. I feel insanely high on my Eating disorder I’m on a high because I am making positive changes & I have had to cut out my family to be the mother that she deserves and I deserve to be.

Best Wishes
Daisy

I received a lengthy reply with positive feedback  back at 3 a.m. this morning.  It was an email that served as a soundboard to affirm what has happened and what I am doing with my life. I found it a positive experience I would urge people to use this service even if  they don’t feel suicidal . 

Feature: Staghorns on music, Mental health & creativity

Staghorns a part of  the metropolitan  sound of  music  subculture in Tel aviv talking about Mental health , creative outlets, life and his music ventures.

I’ve been sitting on Staghorns for a couple of months – another great Soundcloud discovery. I connected body, mind and soul with Tel Aviv native-born Staghorns -Shlomi’s track -Outfluence.
The track’s title is the opposite of influence listening to this track conjures colours, soft textures, a breezy summer house tune. It is playful. ‘Outfluence’ and a couple of his other tracks ‘Uneasy Dave’ and another track yet to be released take you on a journey into the very heart of Tel Aviv’s thriving electronic dance music culture.

Staghorns music is inviting the world to enjoy the sounds of Tel Aviv’s music subculture: the message seems to be about Freedom. His sound is infectious without the unwanted side effects of living in a COVID 19 World. Staghorns other tracks are typically optimistic, he experiments with ambient sounds and swings right over the sensual acid synth sounds of electronic dance music.

I love the track Outfluence – it has so much energy and bounces.

Hello Staghorns! Thank you so much for doing this Feature. Firstly I want to say I love the new video for your track ‘Outfluence’. Can you tell me more about how it came about?

 

A page   LoDisco makes videos for hobbies and wanted to make a video and I appreciate it very much.

(LoDisco  promotes upcoming artists in the LoFi disco and LoFi House scene  -Join channel on LoDisco

How did the name Staghorns come about?

Okay, my family name is Zvi (pronounced Tzvi) which is a stand for Stag and a Staghorn is a very interesting plant.

(Okay I’m going to have to look that one up. I am such a geek haha! )

Me too -lol

What if anything inspired your track and your music?

My interest comes from my own trying to make sense of life and living, through the game of parallel sound channels, learning through a playful process.

When/What made you start playing music?

When I was young, I had a Yamaha PSR e413, which is an entry-level keyboard, it had some cool sounds on it and I learned how to record songs into it.

What genres of music do you like to perform in?

House music

What kind of people connect with you and your music?

Most of the people I know feel open with me, and they also feel open with my music, even though some of them are not familiar with electronic music.

What quote/sentence would you say best describes you and your music?

Looping the loops

Going back to ‘OutFluence’ I was drawn to the Alan Watts-esque sample 

Actually in Outfluence I sampled a Psychiatric from YouTube who talks about how to handle with anxiety. but maybe he cited Alan Watt? I don’t know. 

Who are your influences in music? And why?

Tiga, Four Tet, Booka Shade – They came through my mind when I thought “wow I want to make something like this!” while listening to them.

When you think/see the two words Creativity & mental health what 3 words come to mind for each one.

Creativity – Art, Sex, Ideas
Mental Health – Anxiety, Depression, Addiction

How does being creative help you?

Being creative helps me express myself.

What are your experiences or views with on mental health issues and the music & entertainment industry?

Music can be something to lean on, especially if you create it yourself…mmm I’ve been struggling with anxiety all my life, 10 months ago I decided to take care of it seriously.

Have you had negative experiences in your life that drew you to a creative outlet like music? And if so how did exploring your creativity help you?

Sometimes when I have bad dreams it affects the mood of my next creation.

(I think I can relate. When a person’s Mental Health becomes unwell -for myself it feels like I’m under the Influence of my Illnesses. Your track ‘OutFluence’ is the opposite of how I would describe the symptoms of Mental Health -isolation, fear, etc.)

Is there a bigger message you are trying to send out and what is your message?

The bigger message is an oldie but a goodie…
Telling my story as a legitimate one and hoping the effect is contagious…

It is a crazy world we live in. What is life like for people living in Tel-Aviv with COVID?

It’s hard to see the city shut down during lockdown, especially after you experience how vivid Tel Aviv is.

Are you trying to do something or create awareness with your music career or hobby?

it’s a work in progress.
I’m figuring out what is in the core of my creative process.
Basically, I’m trying to make myself feel more “at home” in the world.

What is the weirdest job you have had?

I was an Escape Room operator

(Haha! Funny & cool too. That is ironic in the sense that Anxiety is about escaping form what we are trying to feel as opposed to embrace our fears and conquer our goals.

Your new track ‘ Uneasy Dave’ (Big Momma’s House Records) has a great acid sound to it. It’s an intriguing title.

Uneasy Dave is a pun
It’s like Uneasy Day

but Uneasy Dave stands for a character who feels uneasy and shy. if you hear the first 2 seconds of the track, you’ll hear a “heh…” a sound of discomfort

(The first words that came to my mind when I heard the track is that is creative, innovative, sensual – the title seems to tie in with the anxiety and mental health issues yourself and many other people can find deliberating to live with at times…)  

 

 

Are you trying to do something or create awareness with your music career or hobby?

 

it’s a work in progress.

I’m figuring out what is in the core of my creative process. 

Basically, I’m trying to make myself feel more “at home” in the world.

(I think I can relate.In my opinion when my Mental Health becomes unwell – it feels like I’m under the Influence of my Illnesses. Your track ‘Outfluence’ is the opposite of how I would describe the symptoms of Mental Health-isolation, fear & other symptoms people can find debilitating to live with at times)

(It has been fun and pleasure collaborating with you and finding out something about Israel’s electronic house scene and I appreciate you opening up about your own Mental health issues and how creativity has helped you embrace and improve your Mental Wellbeing).

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