I’m a fan of the Glasgow band Gun. They’re celebrating the 25th Anniversary of their first album ‘taking on the world’ this year with some special concerts in November playing each of their first three albums night after night.
I’ve owned ‘Taking on the World’ on cassette, CD and as a digital download.
Ten Tracks, forty odd minutes stayed with me from 1989 as a seventeen year old to now.
Can’t Get Any Lower has meaningful lyrics for me.
Life I dont see the meaning now
Love I’ve lost all the feeling for
Time won’t wait to work out why
I’m losing this fight in a private war
Empty life is a warning sign
Locked away where the sun don’t shine
Can’t get any lower
Cos I’ve been down before
And this time no one told me
I can’t get any lower
This connects with me as I’ve been as low as I could twice in my life with mental health conditions.
In 2002, I was in a strange place, I had moved away from my home town for work.
I was struggling after a string of flawed and failed relationships, I had also previously taken a revolving credit type bank account (a combined current account/loan/debt arrangement) and was deeply in debt.
My work was pressured, it was as high as I really got in my career. A lot of good enjoyable work, travelling across the UK and dealing with different contractors as well as negotiating things myself.
Things took their toll, I slid, I got down, I struggled. I had been coping badly with heavy weekend drinking as my main crutch.
But my work suffered and at the start of 2002, I did something wrong, my boss picked up on it and made my life living hell afterwards.
It was something important it was a mistake I just shouldn’t have made.
I then struggled with anxiety driving to work, I couldn’t sleep I struggled on day after day. The demands got worse and worse, sparing the details, I stopped wanting to live.
It was one night about 12 years ago.
I needed Medication, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Counselling. I was fortunate I had someone in my life at that point who caught me.
My life stopped. I slept, I ate little, I did little.
I couldn’t comprehend being clinically depressed. I wasn’t that person, I didn’t know or understand what I had did to myself and exactly how I had been reduced to that.
I slowly got better but was also hounded into calling my boss every Sunday on my work mobile. He didn’t accept that I was ill.
I went back to work. I’d lost a bit of weight in the period I was off and I shambled a bit as I was very nervous about returning and very scared of being sacked.
People were concerned for me and I got a nice reaction to coming back from my workmates, but not my bosses.
I wasn’t harshly treated day to day, but wasn’t exactly favoured either as I got better and more able to cope again. I left on decent terms but at my leaving interview that boss regarded it as some kind of contest or battle of wills between us. (For me it never was, I just wanted him to understand me)
Effectively, I was never given a pay rise at any annual pay review as my work wasn’t good enough for him, even after I returned to work.
He had read up on eye contact and believed my lack of eye contact with him at all those confrontative meetings meant I was a liar.
I’ve learned in the last few years that I avoid eye contact as I’m a good bit further along the autistic spectrum than most other people, I’ve never been any good at it. I can have conversations easily without looking directly at people. I frustrate those that care about me.
I’m due a medical appointment for to be assessed for adult autism in the coming weeks. Many of my issues and problems come from how I communicate with others and how intake things in and express them outwards too
The last verse of the song is more hopeful.
Can’t take any more
Get ready, get ready (get ready for the heartbreak)
Get ready, get ready (gonna pick my pride up off the floor)
Get ready, get ready (there’s only one way to go)
Get ready, get ready (can’t get any lower, can’t get any lower)
I’ve been that low. I’ve self managed a condition most of my life, I’m not always able to manage correctly socially or otherwise.
I’m conditioned enough to get myself through the day and mostly be ok, I can’t always get it right with people, so I give up or don’t try.
I can write and express myself online in a way I can’t through speaking.
I’m not obviously disabled, I look a grumpy big guy.
I keep going I don’t want to let anyone down. I fight on, it’s a fight against myself.
But I don’t let myself get low, I’ve been as low as it gets and I fight on, I have to and I will.
If you suffer from depression get help. There is a way back up, it may not be easy, but you can do it.
If you know someone that is, or seems depressed, talk with them. A kind word or two minutes of your time can help a great deal.
Mental Health is serious and important and deserves proper funding.
Autism is important and needs understanding and funding.