I'm Selling Tickets To My Downfall.

February 27, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Disclaimer: I was going to write a 'year in review' blog for the end of 2020 but it got so dark I stopped writing it. Then it became a mental health piece in January but again stopped writing it because I didn't think anyone would care. I knew Rare Disease Day was tomorrow but still I managed to not even write about that. It doesn't matter how many times I rewrite this it goes from 0-Overshare fast. I'm going to start with the light stuff...then once you've past the photos you can just feel free to stop reading. This is mostly a mental health piece. As I write below, people love to judge you for daring to be depressed but nobody stops to ask why you might be. Just consider this a warning if you'd like to not read anything that might make you uncomfortable. What I don't see as particularly dark, because I know how dark my thoughts can get, others do.

PHOTOGRAPHY

I'd seen others reflect on the photoshoots they did in 2020 so I thought I'd do the same but for science. One of the silver linings of chronic pain is brain fog where you magically forget just how bad things are until you look back and realise no, it was all pretty shit actually. I have a calendar that I write notes on if I manage to remember. Calendars are easier than diaries because you can see the whole month on one page and it's easier to see a pattern straight away compared to flicking through pages, so when I have a week where I'm thinking I haven't had any bad days in a while, I'll look at it and realise I couldn't be more wrong. Like just yesterday I was thinking about how last year wasn't too bad and then I re-read what I'd already written for this blog and realise nope...wrong again..but even if it was less bad that's also because covid kept me indoors a lot and I got Ubers every time I left the house to avoid buses. I can't afford that anymore so we'll see how the next few months go. I still haven't had my first pain management session - they want to try injections into my spine but it's a 6-12 month wait. I've been waiting since July so anytime between now and June. I asked the support group I'm in if they've tried them, so it's unanimous that it really fucking hurts but most were lucky if they got a day or day or pain relief. Seems like a lot of effort for nothing. I really hate needles so I'll try it once. I think the idea is this isn't a permanent pain fix but just enough to get you moving to try and get you back into exercise.

On the photography side of things I amazingly did worse than 2019 and that was already pretty crap for photo adventures. I honestly didn't think covid would affect much other than attending some concerts. Actually that's probably the difference. I went to one concert last January.

2019 I used my camera 20 times.

2020 I used my camera 14 times and some of those times I'm not really sure they count as photo shoots, it's just that I used my DSLR.

URBEX - 1

UrbexJuly (25 of 70)UrbexJuly (25 of 70) I love urban exploring and really wish I could do it more often. This particular day we were checking an abandoned place in Fremantle. We were there maybe 20 minutes max. There were 3 buildings in total but the traffic was pretty heavy and neither of us wanted to risk having the cops called on us. There wasn't much to look at overall. Every unit had an identical trashed bathroom, one had someone squatting (they weren't there) and one building was completely locked up except for one unit. After that we headed to Freo Prison to do one of their tours. The tour was only an hour of walking around and I was dying. I'm not sure how I would have gone had I not had my backpack with me but by the end I was lagging behind and leaning on walls because standing was hurting but trying to look totally casual about it. That day ended with me leaving my camera bag in my friends car. That's saying it all when I'm not taking my prized possession home. I just couldn't carry it anymore. 

PENNY PURR - 1

PennyPurrvideo (66 of 142)PennyPurrvideo (66 of 142) Yes, Penny Purr gets her own category. She was filming her latest video clip at her home so I caught an Uber to gatecrash and take some behind the scenes photos and ended up being the official rose petal thrower. Doesn't sound hard right? I just had to throw the petals at the top half of her body while Sam was filming. I was kneeling on the side of the bed, basket of petals in one hand and the other arm throwing petals in the air. Repetitive raised arm motions are a bitch. It honestly feels so pathetic to say throwing rose petals triggered back pain. ROSE PETALS. One neurologist tried explaining why pain happens when I raise my arms (I'd explained that hanging laundry had me in tears 99% of the time) but I don't know how to word it properly. Something about how when you raise your arms your spine/muscles move with the action but because my spine is curved more its straining to do it. 

What's worse is once the video clip was all finished you don't even see the damn flying rose petals!! What the fuck..

PORTRAITS - 6

First up, everything this year was TFP. I'm not in a place where I'm comfortable to book client work because I don't know how I'll be each week and sometimes I barely last through the photoshoot. If it's TFP I don't feel so bad about being a flake or needing to stop early and take a million breaks - not that I do, but I should.

Shoot 1 - Valentines Day

Olivia Valentine 7Olivia Valentine 7 This was done in my bedroom and you'd think I would have learned from my previous valentine's shoot in my bedroom but I didn't because I'm a moron. Shooting from home doesn't actually make life easier. I always think it will be because I'm at home so there's no time constraints to hurry things along and I don't have as far to go to lie down and die afterwards but it never happens. I'm always more concerned about wasting the other persons time so once my brain enters photo mode I forget that I can take things slow or that I can actually take a break if I need too and once anxiety kicks in I forget the most basic of things like how to speak words. My previous valentine's shoot we were both dying of heat stroke, this time was about the same only I was getting up and down a ladder constantly. I was in pain for hours afterwards and the bullshit part is when medical professionals ask you if you're using a heat pack during flares and I'm like dude it's already in the 40's, just how hot do I need to be!? It's also occurred to me while writing this I never even shared this set of photos on here.


Shoot 2 - Coffin Babes

Coffin-39Coffin-39 The next day was my coffin shoot. The worst thing I could have done was two shoots in two days. We had the studio booked for 4 hours so it should have been a cruisey day but I didn't get far with it all. I get frustrated really quickly and then I just rage quit. I did 3 looks and then had to give up. I did some of Olivia, I think I took 12 whole photos of Chantelle, then Olivia and Frank. Paul took photos in between of both of them. Olivia had another outfit she wanted to shoot in but I knew if I pushed it further my spine was going to lock up and asked Paul to do it instead. I sat on the table behind them and tried not to move. I try not to bitch about pain because nobody cares to hear about it but Paul turned around while shooting and asked me if I was ok because I was suddenly really pale.The last time someone asked me if I was ok because I went pale I was at the dentist. He suddenly stopped what he was doing to see if I was still conscious. So this shoot ended with everyone helping get my stuff downstairs which only makes me feel guilty that I can't carry my own camera bag and a light bag of props. 

Shoot 3 - Killstar

Killstar-24Killstar-24Killstar photoshoot with Perth models Olivia Simpson, Claire Lara and Mickey Montella Next shoot was Killstar themed. Figured it's been a while since I've done anything fashion-like. Olivia planned it all and it should have been fairly simple but it wasn't. I figured at some point I'd get asked about when to shoot and the day before get told they wanted to start at 1-2pm and I said the sun will suck and shooting from 3pm would be better. I never shoot at midday if I don't have too. My triggers had suddenly stopped working the week before it so I didn't want to be in a situation where I couldn't use my lighting gear as fill light. I get picked up and we go back to her house because for some reason they started getting ready at 3pm instead of being ready to go. I'm not even sure why I had to go to her house. She lived 15-20 minutes away and the shoot location was only 5 minutes from my place so it would have been easier to get me on the way to the location instead of wasting all this time driving back and forth. So the first hour of the shoot was me sitting waiting. In my mind we should have had a 2 hour window to do all the photos before sundown, plenty of time, only we didn't even get to the location til almost 4:30. One of the other models had her boyfriend along so he helped me out with my light stand to stop it blowing over. By the time we finished there I was over it. We had one more location to do and I didn't say anything but just sitting against a car seat was uncomfortable. I was in a heap of pain but it seemed tolerable. The next day not so much because I was in pain all day.

Shoot 4 - Bathory attempt 1

This shoot was in a hotel. Another colossal fuck up because I checked what time to expect them and that we had the hotel from 2pm. Get told they'll be here at 1pm. 2:30pm she finally arrives. No explanation or anything and I was pretty pissed off by then. I honestly came close to just cancelling the hotel booking the week before and I wish I had. I talk about this further down but literally nothing about that day/night went well. I was in a huge amount of pain just trying to set up and the events of that day/night affected my mental health really badly. I refuse to share the photos. It didn't go how I expected it too. I edited them and sent them to the model and that was it. I don't talk to the model anymore since that night but it was cool seeing her share a photo from it crediting her boyfriend for the edit. I've had fallings out with models etc before for one reason or another but we still respect each other that when we share a photo from our collaborations we credit each other. In this case I think I'm ok without the credit, it's like when bands put a shitty filter over your photo. I don't want to be associated with it. If people are worried about their roots showing, touch them up. I'm also not sure why anyone would remove an armpit line though. 

Shoot 5 - Bathory attempt 2

Bathory (190 of 107)Bathory (190 of 107) I redid the shoot with Penny Purr. I had a paddle pool and decided we'd just do it on my balcony. Also kindof another fuck up of a day. I went into the city to get some vampire teeth for it and got back to Joondalup just after the makeup artist did. Penny Purr picked us up and we went to mine. We got to mine around 5:30pm and I left them in the kitchen while I attempted to set up the pool. Figured by the time I'm ready the makeup should be done because it wasn't that involved. Normally makeup is an hour at the most. For some reason makeup wasn't finished until 10:30pm. There was one break inbetween where I needed to go to the shops (literally 3 minutes down the road) for more food colouring because I screwed up the colour in the water but that was a 10 minute trip at best. Having to empty a pool was torture. Back and forth with a bucket so I can empty it just to refill it. I just lay on my couch before I started again. Makeup took ages and it started getting cold outside and lightly raining that I tried boiling water to make the pool a bit warmer. Didn't work out at all. My gas bill was huge the following month for how long the stove was running while I waited for them to be ready. The one downfall of this shoot was it definitely needed more water but the pain levels that followed I couldn't empty the pool. I spent about 2 weeks pouring water into pot plants and as it was the backdrop fell on the edge of the pool the following day and leaked over the balcony. Oops..I love the photos though. The red really pops!

Shoot 6 - Halloween

Halloween-8Halloween-8 Bec owns some cool pumpkin masks and I wanted to try an elegant gothic couples shoot. Kelly had told me previously if I need help with the shoot she was happy to help so I took her up on it so I could buy pumpkins. I actually didn't think hollow Halloween pumpkins would be so heavy and here I was buying 5-6 of them. It was so hot that day too - I mean it was supposedly 28 degrees but it was more like 38. My face was turning red quickly and Kelly was asking me if I'm ok. Bec turns up and let me sit in her air conditioned car for 10 minutes. We went to the blue boat shed as well for a couple shots and I was definitely done for the day. The pain levels weren't as bad as other shoots and I think the lift and extra pair of hands definitely helped me out. I've since joked I need an intern because interns are unpaid assistants. 


PHOTO WALK - 1

xmaslights-71xmaslights-71
December means City Christmas Light trail and I stupidly decided to have a casual photowalk and take some photos. I wanted to muck around with my DIY filters and flash for some long exposure. It didn't work out that way. The lights were spaced out so far apart I just couldn't manage walking anymore to see any others and I wondered how little kids managed doing this trek between their little legs and boredom. It's a lot of walking to see one light. I was honestly surprised at how many people were in the city on a Monday night too. The tunnel was my favourite spot but it was filled with people so I didn't experiment as much as I would have liked. I was surprised at how little my filters did though. At a gig I can get wicked lens flare from the backlighting and it just wasn't happening despite how many 100's of lights were behind them. All up, I think we gave it a go for about 3 hours and called it quits. I was amazed I lasted that long carrying my backpack. 

 

 

GIG LIFE - 6

January - Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes
This was the ONLY concert I saw before covid hit and suddenly concerts everywhere were cancelled. It was fairly uneventful as far as my body failing me. I actually got through the whole show and had no after effects. An actual miracle! Totally bizarre given most shows I can't even stand the whole time. 

September - Breaking Punk Covers Night
This is the first gig EVER I haven't finished. My back was hurting before the night even started all because I washed my hair. There were 5 bands in total and during the 3rd one I was in a huge amount of pain. It didn't help that some idiot in the mosh pit hit my back as I tried to cross the side of the room. Thankfully some people are observant and can tell I'm in pain without me even saying anything. Band 4 I was going to half ass it until I realised it was Jimmy and in my excitement to see Jimmy doing Green Day again I put more effort in. I'm glad because I really like how the photos turned out. HOWEVER as I walked towards Leigh to tell him I can't do anymore I tripped over literally nothing and the pain shot straight up my spine, so if I wasn't definitely at the point of no return I was now. I just wanted to cry and the pain carried over into the next day. Just really bad shoulder and neck pain which triggers a killer headache too. It's days like that where decapitation seems like a cool idea.

September - Desert Dogs
I hit the boys up if they wanted any photos done. I guess it's because it had been so long shooting bands I just wanted to make the most of that month. I tried to be super chill and just take the odd photo rather than holding my camera most of the night. I thought treating a local show like a larger show with the 3-song rule might help and it seemed to work to a degree.

October - Ohm Rune
Nothing thrills me more than having to prove I'm over 18 to get into a gig. This was another night of trying to be casual taking photos but back pain was full force. I have zero idea why there's no consistency here. Doctors don't even understand why themselves. The pain levels from this gig didn't start to subside until about 6am. It was still around all of the next day though, I couldn't even manage vacuuming a rug. 

October - Punktoberfest
This is a weird one that I actually brought up with my psychologist. The first pain management I saw 100% insisted I don't have pain I have depression/trauma. That trauma is responsible for my suddenly inability to walk in 2017. Literally nothing happened that month after asking a friend to give it a rest because hearing the same thing on repeat was affecting my own mental health. So here I am at this gig, anxiety/depression through the roof about being in the same room as a particular person and all I had was a bit of neck pain. So I told my psychologist that the theory that depression causes my pain is clearly bullshit because I survived that gig just fine...and then she let me know I was wrong. She explained that high anxiety levels means I was in Fight Or Flight response and your body blocks the pain receivers until it decides you're 'safe' and THEN the pain hits you. So that was shit. 

November - Breaking Punk in Bunbury
This was one of those poor life choices moments but I like Bunbury gigs and insisted I was coming along. I can't manage a 20 minute car ride or steps but here I was going on a 2 hour road trip to Bunbury where there's like a million stairs to get to your room. I decided this was a bad idea by the time I got to the train station. My bag was 8 kilos because I packed my laptop and I may as well have been dragging a dead body behind me. The car ride went ok but during the gig I started sitting on the floor because I'd already been up and down the staircase a couple times. I couldn't even carry my bag up there (though to be fair I can't carry most things up stairs) and I pretty much begged Robbie to carry it for me. I just died in my room later and ignored everyone. I didn't even feel bad. I just wanted to be left alone. Pain was so bad though I pretty much didn't sleep. I just couldn't get comfortable. The trip home wasn't much better and the two days that followed were severe neck pain.

 

MGKMGK

Me summing up 2020 in a txt message..

2020 - REAL TALK

2020 was a mix of the usual body failing but also my mental health is just one huge mess which seems to be triggered from a psychologist session back before the covid outbreak first hit Perth in March. Therapy is meant to help you, not make you worse. She decided we should humour the first pain management idiot I saw who was convinced I had childhood trauma or some kind of child abuse in my past and asked me for my earliest childhood memory. I sat there for ages and could only think of a fragment from when I was around 9. She sits there and tells me "well there's your trauma" and how I should remember things from before then. I don't even remember any feelings about this memory, it's like a scene from a movie. That made me do some homework before the next session which brought up things I hadn't thought about in decades but also brought attention to another matter. I knew I'd blocked out most of my childhood but I didn't realise how specific it was until these sessions. Like it's creepy specific. People have commented that they don't remember their childhoods as if it's no big deal,  but most do remember things before the age of 10. Even if you did draw a blank when put on the spot, looking at photographs or mementos would trigger memories attached to them. My mum took so many photos and not one of mine triggered a memory. I could be looking at photos of a total stranger. When I started redoing the family photo albums with my mum (I'd learned about how to preserve photos better at TAFE so everything was changed to Acid-Free) she printed a whole heap of photos out and I asked her who the man was in a bunch of photos. It was her boyfriend we lived with until I was 10. My stepdad made her throw out every photo of him even if I was in it. Somehow I'd completely forgotten what this man looked like even though we lived with him for 5 years. They separated officially the day after my 10th birthday and we moved. This whole revelation just really messed me up because I remember events within weeks of my 10th birthday and literally nothing before it. These were events that are hard enough to process on their own without wondering what happened before then that your own brain felt the need to block everything. As for my psychologist, there was no advice on how to process my feelings or how to deal with this information in between sessions, all she noted was my sudden anger I had over the following weeks. It just felt negligent. I couldn't even talk to friends because they can't relate and one literally brushed me off with how someone else had it worse which is a shit thing to say to anyone trying to explain that they don't know what happened to them. I just stopped talking to people after that because I didn't need to feel more let down than I was. 

In May I had my first contact with my new pain management and there I was again, being asked if I was abused as a child or had I ever been diagnosed with PTSD. My spine scans show activity but it's apparently not bad enough for the pain levels I'm describing and apparently when trauma builds up it can manifest as physical pain. I don't know how I feel about all that. Like why now? I recently talked to a guy on Twitter comparing war stories and he told me how out of nowhere he suddenly remembered things from his childhood and it shook him. Nothing seemed to trigger it, it just hit him one day. It was stuff he knew about, he just didn't remember. Told pain management my psychologist won't even say I have depression let alone much else. My final session with her I brought this up and how he asked about PTSD and she shot me down saying there's no way I have PTSD because she's had it. Cool story but we've barely scratched the surface of my life. Several things in the 2 years became comparisons to her and I was done with it and stopped going to therapy. Fast forward to July and an event triggered a downward spiral where I suddenly wasn't eating for weeks at a time (something I haven't done in almost 10 years) and my only coping mechanism was this one video clip I watched on loop. Not even an interesting clip but it kept me from derailing any further. Then round 2 was in August after this shoot where my anxiety was already high, it was information overload coming from different directions and finding out multiple people lied to me about things and next thing I'm making poor life choices and crying/hyperventilating for the next 2 hours. Round 3 came a month later but that one was my own fault. This person's I know kept popping up on Tinder - we're talking like 6 times in an hour (I use it when I'm bored because the profiles are joke worthy at best) so I swiped right because curiosity got the better of me. I knew I shouldn't have and that it would end badly and yet I did it anyway. Then I'm DMing him asking him wtf his problem is the next morning..again I don't know why. I guess I needed more drama in my life. I told someone and they asked me why I make bad life choices and told me I need to be sprayed like a cat whenever I go to do something stupid on my phone. I mean, they aren't wrong. I probably need a shock collar at this point.

I found myself a new psychologist thanks to a friends recommendation. The clinic is all psychologists but they all had their own specialty areas. Until then I didn't realise that psychologists weren't all one and the same. So I picked the one whose specialties fit best with what I needed to deal with and got a referral. I'd honestly recommend this to anyone seeking help. I've had to be proactive about my health over the last few years anyway between reading latest research studies, googling the long words on scan reports that nobody explained or what kind of doctors I should see based off this information, but if you can research yourself a psychologist you think can help you it could work out better than whoever your GP decides to refer you too. I've only been seeing my new one since August and during the first appointment she said my test scores show I have severe depression, severe anxiety and severe stress and she'll work out the rest as we go. What followed is an entirely different blog topic but I warned her that my sense of humour is really dark now and people generally don't know if they should laugh or be concerned. Thankfully she laughs at the crap that leaves my mouth. I do spend probably too much time talking about memes though. I told her about a suicide meme I related too about being suicidal but also being a procrastinator. The last psychologist would have told me off for that. Life is already pretty dark, let me find humour wherever I can. It's literally my only coping mechanism.

So despite the year in general, the hardest part of 2020 is when people ask you what's new. I don't know what to say at the best of times because nobody wants to hear your health dramas. Most don't even stick around to hear you even say "fine". It's like some obligatory thing you say to people to be seen as nice, but what do you say when you've been locked inside for months hoping to avoid covid? I'm in the moderate risk category for serious covid complications if I catch it. Telling people I bought too many plants and I'm trying not to kill them isn't particularly interesting. Not sure anyone would care I repainted a garden gnome. So I told people about the dead guy downstairs. It's literally my only interesting story. This became another joke with my new psychologist because my first visit to her started with 6 cops in my drive way asking us if we'd seen any random cars/people and telling us there's nothing to worry about but the driveway is a forensic zone, then I get home and suddenly there's a dead body in the unit downstairs and they've arrested the guy in the stolen car they were looking for. No clue who this dead guy is since he doesn't live here or how he's connected to any of this. We don't know if he was murdered or had a drug overdose which considering the psycho that lives there, I feel either option could be possible but she hasn't even been here since February. So my next psych session was me telling her what happened and that the good news was I was dealing with this all really well. Can't cope with bullshit lies but I can cope with some random dead dude! That happened in August and we still don't know what happened. The local news will write a story on some guy who died in his unit of natural causes but some random man found dead in a unit he doesn't live in never made the news. Not even the stolen car did. Maybe someone can make a Netflix documentary and fill me in. 

2020 as a whole was a shitfest. I thought you couldn't get lower than feeling suicidal and it turns out I'm wrong. I started second guessing myself on if I should share so much about myself. Will people see if as attention seeking? Which in itself is ridiculous because 4 years later I still have people unaware I have spine issues. Will people even care? I know I get decent readership on here but when it comes to real life interactions the answer to that question is no. People would prefer you don't talk about these things unless it's to share a virtue-signalling meme on social media. It's cool to look like you care. I think it's important that people realise anyone can have depression, anxiety or any other health issue and it doesn't make them a failure of a human being. We're not here wanting to play victim or needing sympathy, we just want to know someone cares we're alive. We are worthy of talking too, but I find most would rather avoid you entirely. It's amazing how many friends will drop you the second you don't want to be alive anymore - and nothing lets a person know they're appreciated or cared about like total abandonment. Not everyone with depression is hiding behind smiles and jokes either. I can't be fucked faking it anymore just because others get uncomfortable. Nobody cares that I'm uncomfortable pretending everything is great in every social situation. It's draining not being able to talk about your life as it is because it's not exciting enough for others to want to listen to. Sometimes we just need to vent and that's why I have a blog. Unlike Facebook, this is my space and I can do what I want with it, without someone complaining about what I post about. Everyone has their own story, some are good and some aren't. This shouldn't change our value as a person simply because we had a harder life than others. Not all depression cases are just a chemical imbalance, life made us this way. For myself, I like it when people I follow open up about their own issues because it helps me connect with them and realise I'm not alone. A blog by pinup model Cherry Dollface really hit home. As I read Real Life Is Admitting When Things Suck this paragraph was 100% relatable. Not even a pandemic made anyone reach out. I shouldn't have been surprised really and yet I was. 

Cherry Dollface blogCherry Dollface blog When covid really started affecting life I saw people writing about self-isolation and how social media/Zoom meant they were communicating with people more than ever. I couldn't relate. Self isolation itself wasn't a big deal, thats everyday life for me but I actually heard from people even less which was amazing because I barely hear from people as it is. You start to resent having to initiate every conversation/hang out and if you don't you cease to exist. This is why I hate that line "you're so strong" because it's bullshit. It's a cop out line for people who don't want to offer to help someone who probably needs it. My choices are get on with it or end it all. Not swallowing the cookie jar of pills in the kitchen doesn't make me strong. It just means I haven't given up (again) just yet.

As soon as businesses were closing, hospitals weren't taking appointments, Ubers weren't as active, Woolworths/Coles stopped grocery deliveries, idiots hoarded medication I needed to actually live on - I didn't even hear from my own family to see if I needed help with anything. I got a 4-word txt at Easter and I saw my cousin in August during my 2nd meltdown. I wouldn't have called her at all but I had no one else that I knew would be awake, sober or near the city at 3am to help me. I probably could have afford an Uber home but I didn't want to go back to that hotel alone. For a couple of months I had to keep asking a friend to help me with shopping and I hated having to keep bothering her but it was the first time I'd been dependent on a person in 15 years. Prior to that if I needed something I could order online or sort out a day to limit Uber usage for errands but now I had to wait until someone was free to help me do something basic like get groceries. 

All of this came up in my latest psych session. There was an incident in October at a gig where someone asked me "Kim, do you like being alive?". She pointed out "see someone cares!" and I'm like no, because he got up and walked off straight after asking. He doesn't care, he's just letting me know I'm a buzzkill. Then the lack of anything all year then the Christmas period comes along which is always hard for me. It was my mum's favourite holiday and she died mid-November 2006 so pretty much from then on I end up in a funk. I had hit my friends up around late-October about getting together for a xmas dinner catch up, which was all cool until December came along and the excuses started flowing. Then one of them lets us know he has a night free but the other friend ignores us all week - he read our messages, just didn't reply. So that didn't happen either because there was apparently no point in just me coming over. That changed when a week later I'm being invited over for dinner with "can you bring your camera and take some family pics?" Nice. That didn't happen either. The night before I was bailed on again. I saw one friend in December, she invited me out to the movies and to help me do some errands a couple days before Christmas. Then all of my plants died. Some freak mealybug attack that came out of nowhere destroyed 95% of my plants. Plants I bought because I keep getting told meditation is so great and thought they'd be a great way of mindfulness. So that depressed me further and I wished I'd spent all that money on something more meaningful like a Chucky doll. Christmas Day I amazingly heard from a relative. I was stunned to say the least. They came up for a visit where for an hour I sat there wondering if at any point they would ask me how MY year had been while they just kept talking about themselves. It never happened. Then there was some not-so-subtle homophobia thrown in and I was so dumbstruck by what I just heard I suddenly became aware I was ranting about how people treat those who are asexual and how excited I was to find an Asexual Awareness week that year. But nothing makes you feel more loved than finding out your cousin told your aunt about your episode in August and not even hearing I had a meltdown made anyone want to pick up a phone and ask how I was. Honestly, what the fuck did I do in my past life to deserve this? 

Then January came along and it was Fringe Festival season. There was only one show I wanted to see and I told a friend about it, she was the only person I knew who would probably be into it. I'm not saying I have prudes for friends, but I do like the weird/dark/burlesquey stuff. Five minutes later there's a competition for it so I let her know I entered and tagged her in the post. Two weeks later I won a double pass. It was the first thing I'd been excited about in months. The show was the following night. Then it all went to shit. I wake up to a message early that morning that she forgot she had other plans but was trying to change them - with 2 weeks notice of this show I was pissy that is was today she remembered. I replied asking if there's any update since then because it's too late to find someone else. Nothing. Actually found someone interested but 15 minutes later they can't do it either. I wasn't mad at them because it was all short notice anyway, it was the situation because this happens ALL THE TIME. You make plans with someone and either they forget, totally ignore you rather than say they aren't coming (which also happened last year - we rearranged plans to suit this person who then completely ignored us on the day rather than just say sorry I can't come now), or at the very last minute remember they had other plans but never once consider rescheduling with you. You feel completely disposable. One person came up with the greatest analogy for this: we're the "Two Minute Noodle Friends". Most people don't hate Two Minute Noodles, many keep them around but tend to completely forget the Two Minute Noodles are there until there's nothing else around to have. Decided if I have to be invisible then I will be and deactivated everything. The next two weeks were the heaviest I've slept since my mum died. Since then I've deleted Facebook entirely but as I told my psychologist, you can't be constantly let down by people if you don't have any one around. She told me I need new friends. I tried meeting new people and that kickstarted 2020's meltdowns. I really don't think new people are the answer to my problems. 

The worst part is a random person that follows me on Twitter reached out to me. She said my posts read that I'm barely hanging on by a thread so she felt terrible that people I actually know ignore the clear signs for help. Which sums up social media in general. On Facebook one person would like/comment or check in to see how I'm doing regularly. Another who I barely know even came up to my place for a picnic about my first meltdown. We don't even know each other that well but they showed more interest than those I saw as close friends. I like twitter because only 2 people I actually know follow me and I can just post my brainfarts and continue with my day. Twitter isn't for chatting or anything else. It's just for sharing thoughts on literally anything and there's no judgement. 

The cherry on top of all of this is being signed up to a Disability Job Provider. Last year I was told I couldn't hand in any more medical certificates so as of the end of November I was signed to an agency. I had my appointment where the guy tells me they know I have a "spine condition" and asthma. I commented that info must be from my failed Disability attempt because that was all they recognised. He tells me no it's from my job capacity assessment earlier that year. I didn't have one. Every fortnight I would get bombarded with double txts - one from them, one from some other number - and I had to have a phone call to check in on my health where he clearly couldn't give a fuck because the first call I was trying not to cry from that week's pain levels and he couldn't get off the phone fast enough. The next call didn't happen and I didn't want my pay cut because they didn't call me so I called him, he tells me he's in a different office and someone at Joondalup should have rung me. By the next call my pain levels were so bad I was taking my pain killers - I try to avoid them if I can because they mess with my eyesight but I just didn't have any choice - while I explain this to him his tone became total disappointment while he asked me if I'll be handing in a medical certificate. Like I'm super sorry I ruined your day, but I can't even read anything within arms length. The next call he went from mumbling to total excitement when I brought up that I was catching up on my jobsearch (now that I could read again) and asked me what jobs I was looking for..I was applying for anything because there wasn't a single job I could say I could physically do. Even receptionist jobs want you to be a cleaner as well. One wanted you to set up and pack down events as well as reception, accounting and cleaning. As soon as I started talking about the issues with jobsearch he lost interest again and ended the call. Like this is literally his job to help here and he wasn't. Then I get a 6am txt that I haven't met my mutual obligations and really who doesn't want an anxiety attack early in the morning? I couldn't call Centrelink til 8:30am and I wouldn't be able to call the JSP until 9am. I spent 2 hours on the phone with Centrelink between JobSeeker and Disability and both people told me to reapply. I got told the worst case is it's denied again because I'm waiting on pain management but it the spine guy writes the report to say there's literally no cure for me and he's referred me to pain management because that's all I have now it should work. This is the hard part about applying for disability. The Liberals have made the whole process incredibly difficult so they can reject your claim on anything. The forms ask for treatment you've had, treatment you'll be trying...but on that note they can reject your application because you're waiting to try something. It takes years (as my blogs have proven) to see specialists/hospitals and they expect you to sit on Jobseeker and do what everyone else does in the meantime, even if you can't. As it stands Centrelink don't have to ask you how your disability/illness affects you. They make their own decision out of thin air - so according to them I can work 15 hours a week. The fact I can randomly have a numb arm, not able to stand/walk or have neck pain so bad I can't see straight is irrelevant. I'm not sure how Centrelink thinks they know more than specialists, when even specialists don't know everything about it. 90% of doctors haven't even heard of Scheuermann's Disease.  I emailed the JSP while on the phone with Centrelink and he eventually replied with he was away for 2 days and it's fixed. No sorry for the unnecessary anxiety because he didn't do his job or anything. For a provider that specialises in mental health issues they really have no concern for making things worse. The next phone call I get asked "so no change then?". Like what disability is magically gone within 2 weeks? It's a disability, not the flu! I told him from the start that I didn't have psych until late February and Pain Management was a 6-12 month wait so anytime between now and June it should happen. I can't make specialists and hospitals move faster. Then again I have the 6am txt to tell me I haven't met my obligations when I have. 3 days later I have a txt to tell me my pay has been suspended. I contact him again asking WTF and he shifts the blame to me because he didn't read his emails all week and lodge that I've done my part. I've changed providers now but even that switch over didn't go well. I switched on Wednesday afternoon, Friday morning I have a missed call and by 11am I have the "your pay has been suspended" txt - I'm not even with a provider yet and somehow I'm being dobbed in. I rang back and I get asked if I knew I had an appointment that morning, I literally changed not 40 hours ago so no? On the upside, he fixed it all right away, apologised and offered to do phone calls so I don't have to come into the office. He even sent me an email rather than have me come in to sign something. It's good to know not all disability job providers are wankers. See if it lasts though. I did tell him I'm reapplying for disability but it's going to take a couple months because I have to wait on appointments.

During all of this crap this year (and it's only Feb!) I started having issues with my pulse. It felt like a blood vessel might burst in my throat so while I'm seeing the GP about it I asked if the psychologist had sent a report in. She had. It lists that I have 'extremely severe' depression with 'severe' stress and anxiety. Kind of lol'd because this was before I even started with the job network...and look at me now. My appointment on Friday I had to redo the psych tests and my score is about 10 points higher than normal. I joked I have a new High Score. My doctor does my blood pressure while trying to read my pulse. Then makes me stand up to do it again. Then justs his fingers to read my pulse. Apparently it was going nuts - 120 when it should be 80. He asked me if I was stressed and I just laughed. When aren't I? A week and a half later I'm having a similar situation at the hospital only the nurse is asking me if I did any drugs before coming in. They checked again about 2 hours later and it was at 115. My mum had a stroke when she was 44 and said the way I stressed she said she wouldn't be shocked if I had one. 2021 could be my year! My biggest gripe was the JSP's website stated how working can give you a sense of purpose. A person's worth should never be based on if they have a job or not. A job does not define you - look at rich people. They profit of the labour of others and they're all money-hungry assholes. I know people who have multiple jobs and just scrape by paying rent/bills/food - what sense of purpose does that bring if you're working to barely survive and have no time to rest or even work on your own hobbies? My purpose in life (nor anyone else's) shouldn't be to benefit someone else's life - to work 40 hours a week in a job I don't even enjoy just so I have enough money to rent a roof to go over my head, renting which also benefits someone else doing better than you. In Time is an underrated film, but it sums up life pretty well. We're all expected to be robots. With no job and health issues I decided to try fundraising for homeless charities for a while, I didn't want any praise for it, but after losing my job I realised how easy it is to become homeless. Some are a bit luckier than others because they can couch surf here and there with friends but that still makes them homeless. I saw this as my way of giving back, paying it forward or whatever. Working for a large retail company didn't give me a sense of purpose it just meant more money to pay bills, doing something that actually helps others did. Being able to create art gives me purpose. We'd all be able to do live out our life dreams if the world wasn't run by people who only see profit margins. Look at Perth - the city centre has empty shops and buildings and their logic is to build MORE shop spaces. Think of all the small business owners and artists who could rent those spaces that are just sitting empty for years if rent was actually reasonable. For some reason it's better to make no money than not enough money. 

Despite all this I know not everyone I know is crap. One friend bought me a ticket to the Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes show even though he was getting me a photo pass. Another took me to see Gyroscope for my birthday. Another took me to the movies for xmas. It's just that there's more negativity than positivity in my life so when that one friend who always invites me out, invites me out, I start to wonder if it's just out of pity because she knows nobody else is. A toxic thought, but that's what my brain is good at.

I have no idea what I'm doing with my life anymore, other than writing long blogs complaining about life. I've started a notebook called "PEOPLE I'VE MET AND HOW THEY'VE PROCEEDED TO BE ASSHOLES" to help me in therapy, my psychologist thought it was funny and she said maybe I should write a book. She's not the first to tell me that. Someone said it only 2 weeks ago and I said maybe I can write a blog called the A to Z of Assholes, each person is assigned a letter. No names, they're just referred to by the letter. My psych thought it wasn't a bad idea. I don't know. I guess it would be interesting as a social experiment to see if there are others who can relate. I can't be the only person with constant bad luck. Mostly I just want to point out that people judge you for being depressed, nobody cares why you're depressed. They'll all be the first to talk about how missed you'll be if you suddenly die though - virtue signalling is cool. This is the first time for Rare Disease Day I'm not even talking about my spine, because there's nothing new to tell. I'm on hold waiting for something to happen. 

While I take a break from humans, I'm attempting to focus on what I can do creatively to stop me from becoming one with my bed. I just have no interest in life anymore. I'm thinking of trying still life. I bought some flowers from Aldi last week and just my luck, they died before they even opened. Sickest looking things I've ever seen. I really want a realistic looking human skull though, mine are all plastic and it shows. Depending on how this works out to my next idea. I may rebrand and start over. I've always thought about putting photos onto products so I may do another shop concept later in the year. I guess we'll see what happens. Right now is about brainstorming and thinking about what I can do rather than what I can't. 


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