It will not have escaped the notice of either of my readers that I have been somewhat absent of late. Absent in more than one sense, as I have been fighting off a rather vicious episode of depression caused mainly by a somewhat abrupt switch of anti-depression medication. Recovery has been slow and steady, and I’d like to thank the many people who’ve contacted me with messages of support. As one of the Men In White Coats told me (note: not all the MIWCs are men, and none of them wears a white coat. Another illusion shattered, what?) I am an overachiever who’s been overachieving; I don’t need to forever feel I have to prove myself; I should take on fewer activities; learn to relax etcetera and so on and so forth in like fashion. After all, Oh L, I have just turned fifty and can now join Austin among the ranks of the golden oldies.
One area of my life, however, seems to have gone on regardless of mental state, and that’s music – which seems to occupy a different part of my brain. In January – just as the clouds were gathering – I joined a rip-snortingly good classic rock covers band called Stealer.
Even when I was at my most drug addled, paranoid, featherbedded by valium as I weaned myself off citalopram, tried and failed to cope with mirtazapine, before going through the whole thing again with sertraline, I went to the Secret Location where Stealer rehearses, week in, week out, toting my keyboard rig, and learning the many complex and serpentine riffs that characterise the music of Deep Purple, among other things. Even in the dark depths of
Mordor whatever it was, when I was doing little more than being asleep, those rehearsals gave a much-needed structure to my life.
All that hard work is coming to the apotheosis of its zenith, however, as Stealer is about to start playing live, in front of actual people. Our first outing is a small local music festival on Saturday, after which we gig furiously and very loudly on our own account. Do come and see us.