It seems a contradictory statement, well it is really, it’s like having a conservative liberal (though the UK had such a collation government not so long ago). However, I find it the best way to describe myself.
Let me explain. Back in the days of my misbegotten youth, I discovered rock music thanks to a documentary on the metal band Cradle of Filth. When I saw the moshpits, the leather and make-up clad metalheads, and heard the screaming vocals of Dani Filth over the vicious, pounding guitars and drums it was a eureka moment; I had found what I didn’t know I was looking for.
The next day I went to the local rock clothing market and brought leather trousers, a white frilly shirt, knee-high buckled boots and long flowing black leather coat. Once dressed, makeup applied, I finally felt whole.
Walking to college, through the hundreds of school kids, wind in my face blowing my coat back like a cape, I felt amazing. I loved the attention. Loved the gawking, name calling, double-taking reaction of the ‘trendies’ as we called the non-rockers in my circles.
I had no fear. No shame. I was happy, content, confident. Life was good. I made new friends, new loves, new experience and I was high on life.
But life has a way of coming along and kicking you right in the face when you think everything is perfect.
Boy, did life kick me hard.
Something happened, which I am still not ready to talk about yet, that led me trying to end my life. It seemed the only way I could get control over my life again. It wasn’t the last time I experienced that beautiful calm that falls over you when you make the decision to take your own life.
I failed (obviously), waking up in hospital wrists bandaged and disappointed.
I became a recluse. Locking myself away from the world, family and friends. Vodka my only company.
This slump lasted decades, well it never really goes away. I always say depression is a virus; a self-aware, sentient creature that acts like a friend, telling you, you don’t need anything or anyone because you don’t deserve it. You’re worthless.
I tried five more times since then. The last time a couple years back.
I am on medication and getting therapy. It helps. Writing helps me more though. It’s the escape I need, the outlet for my damaged psyche.
Despite the darkness that clouds me always I can still feel that goth kid inside me screaming to break out, to grab the spotlight and scream “LOOK AT ME!” – especially when I’m deep in the vodka.
Bizarrely the inspiration for this blog post came from watching Bohemian Rhapsody (great movie by the way). Seeing Queen on stage at the Live Aid festival, thousands of people chanting for them, seeing the late great Freddie Mercury strutting about loving every minute, brought me to tears. I could feel regret burning inside me; a longing to be seen again.
I would love to ‘goth up’ once more, and probably will, but for now, I live through my writing. I let my characters take centre stage. Hopefully, when I get published, people will appreciate my words and by extension, me.