So here’s a weird post. It’s kind of about music, it’s kind of about stress and anxiety and trying to find a bit of a marriage between the two through various guises of one song. I think. You might take something else from this, feel free to let me know if you do.
I recently got a beautiful 7″ single of J. Mascis covering Mazzy Star’s ‘Fade Into You’. It’s one of my favourite songs ever and I love Mazzy Star. Have a listen, you might well know this one, it’s a pretty famous song. It’s also a very sad sounding song but it doesn’t make me feel sad, quite the opposite. Around the same time Mazzy Star started posting various different cover versions of ‘Fade Into You’ through her Facebook page. Type the song title into Soundcloud and there’s literally dozens of different covers of this. It’s amazing how many different ways people have interpreted this song and been inspired to do their own thing with it.
It’s a year since I stopped working due to struggles with stress and anxiety. As mentioned before on this blog, i used the time off to work pretty hard at getting better and I did a good job of it. I went back to work temporarily for a few months last year and it was great. My temporary employers (Republic of Media) knew my situation and absolutely trusted me to come in and help them out with the complete understanding that if I struggled it wouldn’t be a problem. I never struggled, not once.
In January I had a few potential recruitment things happening. One company interviewed me 3 times (that’s over 3 hours worth of interviews) only to decide I was over qualified. Hmmm. They said if I wanted more feedback I was to call them so I did. Twice. Left voicemails. Sent them and email. I’ve still never heard back. I was disappointed I didn’t get the job but now I think I’ve dodged a bullet.
Another company approached me and asked if i’d like to work for them. Very nice people too, I’ve known them a long time. It’s a job that would pretty much put me right back in amongst the same environment where I had my recent struggles. My rational brain knows that would be fine. I’m popular (i think!) with the people in that environment. I could probably do the job without any huge difficulty (I know I was really good at my old job but confidence in my ability becomes a problem). Then the irrational brain takes over and the anxiety starts to build. I can’t do anything but worry about whether to take this job or not for a week or so. It’s horrible.
I do calm down eventually and go for a few days without really thinking much about it (or so i thought). Then last week I’m at the shops in town and I feel tears coming. For a good hour I can tell I’m going to start crying and I try and try to stop it but it’s impossible. The same thing happens the following day. Again, I’m in town with my family. I guess some people get angry when they’re anxious, others get tired, some get sick, some just close down. I cry. I absolutely HATE it when it happens. It’s mortifying standing in public with tears rolling down your face but it seems physically impossible to do anything to stop it.
I then decided to politely decline the job and immediately felt better. It’s weird. You might think I should just get involved, face it head on etc. etc. It didn’t feel right though and I’m convinced I made the right decision. I’ll keep applying for other jobs, something will come up and I’ll feel good about it in the same way as I felt good about the 3 interview job I was rejected for.
This wee two day episode of tears was the first time this has happened in about a year. That’s fine, it’s ok to feel bad sometimes and generally speaking I’m 99% a happy, laid back person. What I’m getting at is that there’s different versions of everybody. If this kind of thing is going to affect me from time to time I can accept that and I know that nobody in my life looks down on me because of it. Nobody should ever look down on anybody because of any mental issues. I read on twitter this morning that asking someone what they’re depressed about is like asking someone what they’re diabetic about. I’d obviously prefer it never to happen again because it feels horrific but if it does I know I’ll be able to deal with it and quickly get back to ‘normal’.
So back to Mazzy Star. All this completely different music stems from the one place. Everyone will have their own preference, a style they identify with, a lyric that means something to them, a memory the song might trigger, a bit that makes them laugh or cry. It’s the same with people, we all have different versions of ourselves, some we no doubt prefer to others but it’s extremely important not to get down on yourself too often. Trust yourself to do the right thing.When I feel bad I get annoyed with myself too easily and put myself down when it’s not at all necessary. It’s not got anything to do with Mazzy Star really, it could be anything, but it’s a good example for me.
For the record, the Cookie Monster version below probably isn’t my favourite but it’ll make you smile.