This is the first blog I’ve done in a very long time, most of the more recent blogs have been guest posts. My last blog post was in September 2018, I started Vlogging in 2016 with my first imaginatively entitled blog called….
I hadn’t planned to talk about the impact Bastille’s song survivin‘ has had on me in a blog, I’d mentally assigned this to a vlog, but this morning I found myself writing (with actual pen and paper) and it just felt right.
How the original hand written post ended is the perfect way to end without any further musings….
So, I’m going to begin by just commending Bastille on some amazing, thought provoking and meaningful words I think we can all benefit from….
I’m not gonna lie, say I’ve been alright
Cos it feels like I’ve been living life upside down
What can I say? I’m survivin’
Crawling out these sheets to see another day
What can I say? I’m survivin’
And I’m gonna be fine, I’m gonna be fine, I think I’ll be fine…
As I said “amazing, thought provoking and meaningful words I think we can all benefit from”.
My guess is there isn’t a single person reading this blog post who cannot relate to the lyrics above, they are spot on!!!!
So let’s get to what I found myself writing without planning to….
Bastille – survivin’ first line….
Had a great seven year white knuckle ride
Music can be a very important, positive tool in my battle against my mental illness and my demons. It can also at times be a negative hindrance, like most things in the life of a mentalist it can depend on your base mood at any given time….
Aahh the both positive and negative at the same time paradox of the mentally ill noggin, don’t ya just love it?…
Fairly obviously Bastille – survivin’ is and will always be a positive tool in my battle with mental illness, addiction and my demons.
There have been lots of songs that I’ve heard in the past that have lifted me, stayed with me and inspired me to keep on fighting.
This might sound a bit weird, but let’s be honest I am weird, but I’ve often thought…
“I wonder what would be in the soundtrack to my life, what would be my backing track?”
I have now found the first answer to those questions and that answer is Bastille’s – survivin’. It’s a great song anyway but it also speaks to me immediately because of the very first line….
“Had a great seven year white knuckle ride”
This line speaks to me immediately and it speaks to me on a number of levels….
“…. seven year….”
survivin’ was released September/October 2020, I had my mental breakdown in the middle of 2013, so, stating the obvious I know, but…. Seven years ago….
“….white knuckle ride.”
These words again speak to me on a couple of levels….
Firstly…. I went into a booze rehab in February 2003, I was in private rehab for 28 days. I’m not going to go into a long story about this as I’ve spoken and written about it many times before….
Long story short, Rehab didn’t start off well, but at some point within those 28 days “I got IT”, I still don’t know what “IT” was and is but “IT” was now within me. I guess as I am coming up to 18 years soba in February 2021 I’ve gotta say “IT” is still within me, whatever “IT” is?
Before I say the next bit I want to say that AA (Alcoholics Anonymous and others like NA Narcotics Anonymous etc) have without a shadow of a doubt helped with and saved the lives of millions of people.
Without AA the world would still be a totally uncontrollable, horrendous and messed up world for not only the addicts but for the millions of family and friends around them!!!!
That said…. I don’t like AA for many reasons. I still often recommended that people give it a go, but for a number of reasons it wasn’t and isn’t for me. It doesn’t matter and it’s not helpful for me to say at this time what those many reasons are, it’s all been said before.
Because I didn’t like AA I heard the phrase, often aimed at me….
“You’re white knuckling it….”
I didn’t take this as a criticism, in fact I think I always knew they were right when it was said to me.
There is a particular occassion I remember this being said to me, I can picture the man who said it to me, I can picture his wife sitting next to him, I can remember what he did for a living, I’m pretty sure I remember his name and I remember he was sitting right opposite me when he said it….
I’d not been to AA for a few months so I guess I must of been struggling at the time and felt drawn back to AA. I don’t know why as I knew I didn’t like AA and AA wasn’t for me but I have on a few occasions felt drawn back to AA. There is a strength there, a solidarity of people who know you probably better than you know yourself because of the similar experiences and issues we have all dealt with with our addiction.
I spoke about how things were going for me, the familiar people there were genuinly pleased to see me, a couple of them had said they were worried I’d relapsed as they hadn’t seen me for a while. Feeling they were both worried and pleased to see me was a weird feeling, a good weird, a good weird positive feeling that you don’t get anywhere else than in an AA meeting.
After I spoke this man said directly to me….
“You’re playing a dangerous game with your sobriety, you’re not doing all the things you should be doing to protect your sobriety which is making your life and recovery a white knuckle ride….”
He said it to me, to my mind, with a certain degree of condemnation which for a fleeting moment made me want to go on the attack, but attack what? He was right and I knew it….
Secondly…. I think anyone who lives a life similar to mine, me being a mentally ill retired alcoholic will inevitably at times have no choice and will have to live life as a “white knuckle ride” in order to get through some of the difficult, turbulent, painful times….
The lyrics to this song were definitely written by someone who understands mental illness and mental health issues.
I’m wondering if anyone is thinking….
“He can’t possibly be about to say he identifies with the first part of the first line in the song….”
“Had a great….”
Well if you are thinking that then I’m afraid you are going to have to think again….
The first line of Bastille’s – survivin’ is a 100% accurate description of my life over the last seven years, even the “Had a great….” bit. Over the last seven years I have….
“Had a great seven year white knuckle ride.”
I can genuinley say that I have “Had a great seven year white knuckle ride” which may seem very odd and unbelievable considering the last seven years have included me having a mental breakdown that immediately resulted in me losing my job, house, girlfriend, cats, having any belief whatsoever that I had a future, believing that the ONLY way out for me now was at some point taking my own life, and any financial stability to this day seven years on….
Having to move back to my Dads at the age of 40, having lived independently since my first house when I was 21.
Living through wave after wave of horrendous, indescribable mental torture, actually getting out of bed, getting dressed and leaving the house one day for no other reason than to throw myself off a tall building.
Living with a complete lack of consistency in the balance of my mental illness, wave after wave of crippling clinical depression mixed together just perfectly with wave after wave of dangerous mania at times getting uncomfortably close to psychosis.
Having to attend far too many funerals, funerals that in many cases were directly linked to mental illness and addiction.
Fighting against my demons telling me again and again that….
“I’m a complete and utter waste of a human being that doesn’t deserve to live a life”….
That because of me, my illness and my demons….
“I make the lives of those around me difficult”
Demons telling me again and again….
“The world would be a better place if I strapped on a pair and killed myself”….
I think by now you will of got what I’m trying to purvey by now, so to sum up….
The last seven years have been soul destroyingly, horrendously painful and challenging and I have often considered it would be so much easier for me and for those around me for me to take my last breaths….
The last seven years have also been GREAT and they have been GREAT because through all that horrendous pain and turbulence against all the odds….
I SURVIVED AND SO DID YOU AND I KNOW 100% WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT WE WILL KEEP ON SURVIVIN’….
Keep on survivin’….
Thank you Bastille for your amazing song survivin’
“enjoy the good and ride out the bad”
Keep going 😉