Posts tagged ‘Mental Health’

June 1, 2016

Antonio Vivaldi: Aria “Sol da te mio dolce amore” from the opera “Orlando furioso” RV 728

by ada

I’m thinking about picking up my flute again a lot lately – is there a chance that it would make me as happy as it did before I made music to my profession and it made me seriously ill? I really can’t tell.

Of course music wasn’t the cause of the outbreak of my clinical depression. But right then, as it was happening to me, it really felt that way.

I haven’t played in four and a half years. That’s a long time. This piece would be a good place to start over.

September 17, 2014

Piran – Sonata for flauto traverso and continuo in G major by Giuseppe Tartini

by ada

I was planning to do a Travel Series ever since I visited Burano island, the birthplace of Baldassare Galuppi, father of the musical genre opera buffa, uhm, well, one and a half years ago. My original plan was to complete my poor, abandoned Salzburg Series which, I’m afraid, will remain unfinished (just like some other great works of music history, like Schubert’s Unvollendete Symphonie, haha) and start other new, shiny series (I am bursting with ideas. Jewish Baroque liturgical music! Female Baroque composers! The Devil in music! La Folia! The seasons! Death! Love! Animals!). Oh well. I’m slowly losing all my illusions regarding My Own Self lately and it is time to acknowledge the – rather obvious – fact that I do not have that perseverative, ambitious personality that leads to quick (or rather, any) success. And that I need more time than other, healthy people to accomplish less than other, healthy people. But it’s the will that matters, isn’t it?

So let’s make at least one of my ideas happen and start the Travel Series with Giuseppe Tartini. He was born in 1692 in Piran as the son of the director of the still existing Piran salt mines. He, like most of the musicians of his time, was a man with a thorough education. Besides music he also studied humanities and law. Because he was quite the rebel, he defied the will of his parents who wanted him to become a priest and got married at the age of 18. After this he was forced to flee to Assisi without his wife for three years. That’s where he began to play the violin in an autodidact way and where that memorable encounter with the Devil happened, which resulted in his most famous work, the sonata Il trillo del diavolo (The Devil’s Trill). After years of travelling, he settled in Padua where he spent his life teaching the violin, composing and writing his main and heavily criticised theoretical work, Trattato di Musica, based on (mostly erroneous) mathematical calculations. One of his ideas (or rather observations) proved to be right though and so he discovered the existence of the “terzo suono”, the “third tone”. These are the additional tones that you can hear when an interval of two tones are played at the same time. They are also called combination tones (sum tones or difference tones, depending on if it’s the summation or the difference of the frequencies of the original two tones). This is the basic phenomenon behind the medical examination used to evaluate the hearing capacities of newborn babies and to diagnose tinnitus. So after 300 years, Tartini’s discovery has found a practical use other than tuning the violin. Oh well. A late recognition is better than no recognition at all.

The Piran people are rather proud of the “maestro della nazioni”, as Tartini was lovingly called by his contemporaries for his extraordinary teaching skills (you can read his educational letter to his pupil, Maddalena Lombardini, translated to English by one of my favourite people, the travelling music historian of the 18th century, Charles Burney, here), so they named Piran’s main square after him:

Piran Tartinijev trg

Here is he conducting the Piran roofs, tourists and pigeons in eternity:

Piran Tartini sculpture 1

There is a small exhibition in the house Tartini was born, but it is not allowed to take pictures, so here is the photo of my (rather worn) sandals on the stairs that lead to the exhibition room. Just to prove I was in fact there, haha. (Okay, so these could be any stairs anywhere but believe me. They are real Piranian Tartini stairs. Even if they are neither old nor historical enough to be original.)

Tartini house Piran 1

I was tempted to post a recording of the The Devil’s Trill, because it is a piece of music everybody has heard of, and also because although it is a piece of music everybody has heard of, it is also a melody nobody can actually recall; but mainly because I have a lot to say about the Devil and His deeds. Unfortunately I am a very picky audience and am also very hard to please. Of all the recordings YouTube has to offer I only found one that makes my standards and it abruptly ends a few tacts into the third movement. The other recordings are mostly that middle 20th century kind of crap with overused vibrato and symphonic settings I get nightmares from (while I am an honest admirer of both David Oistrakh and Itzakh Perlman when playing Romantic repertoire, I refuse to listen to them playing Baroque. It hurts so much). So I took comfort in being (or rather having been, once upon a time? Depression really sucks) a traverso player and picked the flute sonata performed by Jed Wentz whom I was Facebook friends with during my carefree, pre-depression times (okay, so during the times I was slowly, painfully slipping into depression over the period of long, long years). It is a nice sonata even if it’s nothing spectacular. Tartini was a great teacher but, obviously, not a very exciting composer.

August 3, 2014

hail, proud July

by ada

This is my 1000th post and it is just too appropriate for it to be about books. Or shall I say ironical? Because that’s what remained of my intellectual life: a monthly photo of (more or less) crappy books. But! I’m on my way to a change. It’s about time; depression took almost three years of my brain this time. It seems that every time it hits it takes me more time to recover than it previously did. Quite depressing, isn’t it? But let’s not talk depression, let’s talk travel!

Although I totally love playing with quotes (like, reading Victorian poetry for the purpose of finding fitting blog titles, haha), I hate “inspirational”  quotes on blogs (or, anywhere). The kind I hate the most are the motivational ones, usually from an “unknown” source*, that seem to rule tumblr nowadays, and that command people to do things, like “Get up early!** Watch the sun rising with a cup of tea in your hands! Take a walk! Enjoy your life! You only live once! Love yourself (kiddo)!”

So I decided to post an uninspirational quote to balance all the inspirational ones on the internet out. And because I’m so hip meta tumblr-worthy unoriginal that I read books on travelling while actually travelling, it’s a quote from the short story Big Trip to Europe by Jack Kerouac, from the collection Lonesome Traveler. It isn’t featured on the photo because I haven’t finished it yet.***

* I suspect these Unknown Sources to be the bloggers themselves, usually not a day older than twenty, that would like to pass as wise pioneers from the woods

** I never got behind the mystic of getting up early. If we believe the Unknown Sources, it helps you become a Better You. Unfortunately, while I get up fairly early almost every day (because I have to), all I noticed is that it makes me grumpy. And a Grumpy Me is definitely not a Better Me. I would sell my soul for a life without shift work where I can sleep as long as my circadian rhythm desires

*** spontaneous prose may be extremely quick and easy to write, but it’s also extremely exhausting to read

So after all the footnotes and stars let’s have the honest opinion on travelling of the greatest traveller of the twentieth century literature:

“Of course world travel isnt as good as it seems, it’s only after you’ve come back from all the heat and horror that you forget to get bugged and remember the weird scenes you saw.”

You’re welcome.

July readings 1

January 29, 2014

winter is icummen in, lhude sing Goddamm

by ada

Last year’s everlasting winter (it was still snowing in April!) made me experience seasonal affective disorder at its worst, which was a major setback on my way of recovery. I happily made my peace with this year’s weather forecast of having no winter at all. While everybody was complaining about the lack of snow, I was rejoicing. Those four days I spent in frosty Moravia before Christmas were more than enough winter wonders for me.

Well, I never was a very lucky person, that’s clear. So hello, snow, here are you again. I really, really do hope you won’t stay till April this time.

snow 2

winter 3

snowy berries

snow

car mirror

winter 1

winter

April 30, 2013

April is the cruellest month

by ada

Another two-books-month, it seems it’s my new standard; but this time I have some really good excuses:

  1. I watched movies instead: all the ten seasons of Friends (don’t judge me. 7 seasons just happened somehow while I was down with 38°C fever five days long) and the six episodes of Sherlock. Maybe it’s a sign that I finally became “normal”: instead of reading music treatises written in the 16th century and enjoying it as I used to do before the depression*, I’m watching TV series and enjoying it like “normal people” do. (I don’t even miss reading music treatises. I’m losing my brain. I need help. Help!) 
  2. I worked a lot
  3. I visited my family two times (those 6 hours long train rides are made for reading books watching movies)
  4. I became unemployed and homeless (again)**

As you see, I was sort of busy in April, haha.

* my life is now divided into two parts: there were the times Before Depression (let’s call it BD) and now here are the times After Depression (AD). The two parts of my life have nothing to do with each other. They don’t even resemble each other. I will end up with split personality, I’m quite sure.

** actually, I didn’t remained unemployed as long as I hoped for***: I accepted an offer today and will start on a metabolic ward soon

*** my secret dream was spending months doing nothing

April books

March 31, 2013

March is the month of expectations…

by ada

… that never come true, haha. I thought my intellectual life couldn’t go worse, but well, it did. In March, I managed to finish exactly two books or, well, actually only one and a half, because one of them I started reading already in February. And no, I haven’t been watching movies either. Not a single one. What I actually did in my spare time, I don’t even remember. I was sleeping it through, I guess. I wonder if I will ever be “me” again or I’ll remain this strange creature of compromises and indifference who I became through the depression, forever.

Another depression post for the most joyful day of the year, yep.

March readings

March 31, 2013

music for Easter Sunday – Der Himmel lacht, die Erde jubilieret, BWV 31 by Johann Sebastian Bach

by ada

Today’s music is the first choir, Der Himmel lacht, die Erde jubilieret from the cantata of the same title, written by Johann Sebastian Bach for the Easter Sunday of the year 1715, during his Weimar years. I wish I could identify myself with its jubilant atmosphere but well, neither the Heaven laughs nor does the Earth exult, because it actually snows again and I’m already so sick of this winter, it really feels like giving up, lying down and dying. Not exactly that brassy resurrexit-feeling one would like to have on Easter Sunday.

P.S.: Last year’s post was something Hungarian: Surrexit Christus hodie by Esterházy Pál. You can listen to it  here.

March 26, 2013

music for Holy Tuesday – Georg Philipp Telemann: Brockes Passion TWV 5:1

by ada

I have to admit, to pick out only one piece a day from all the beauty that was composed for the Holy Week  is very difficult indeed, even if I restrict myself to those approximately 60 years we call “high Baroque”. I was never good at making decisions and it rapidly got worse with the depression – it’s a pain every time, actually. Mostly I just let things pass and I go with what remains, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. So after a day of hesitation I gave in and chose another famous composer. This time it’s Georg Philipp Telemann, a musician whom I really admire. I wrote about him earlier, so I don’t do it now – writing about music makes me nervous right now, and it’s nothing I was really prepared for. Hope this mood will pass till tomorrow, because Holy Wednesday is French Lamentation Day, and I would  regret if I missed it because of some stupid depression issues.

So for today is an excerpt from Telemann’s Brockes Passion, named after the librettist Barthold Heinrich Brockes. It’s the virtuoso recorder part that made me post it.

P.S.: You can find last year’s music for Holy Tuesday, Stabat Mater from Giovanni Felice Sances, here.

March 25, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

by ada

I was nominated for some awesome blog awards by some awesome bloggers lately and since I have four free days in a row to spend in pyjamas and writing blog posts (yes, more photos of Venice are to come!) (besides the daily Holy Week Music History Series, of course, which nobody ever reads) (yes, that’s exactly what it sounds, an accusation), I decided to slowly start answering all those complicated questions that seem to come with blog awards.

The Liebster Blog (an award clearly of German descent) comes from lovely Federica, a fellow sufferer from the famous Dutch weather.  She honoured me with it some, well, nine months ago. Ehem. That tells everything that needs to be told about my social abilities.

The rules are:

  • post 11 facts about yourself
  • answer the 11 questions the blogger who nominated you has given you
  • nominate 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers and tell them about it
  • make 11 questions for the people you are nominating

My facts:

1. I kept a strictly vegetarian diet for four years. It wasn’t a decision – I just stopped eating meat after my dog died of spinal cord cancer. During those four years I never missed meat. And then, on a random day I felt like okay, let’s try it, and since then, I’m back on the carnivore trail.

2. I sleep on my stomach. Always. It’s the only position I ever fall asleep.

3. I’m one of those terrible fresh air fanatics that get nervous if they have all windows closed around them. I sleep with open windows through almost the whole year.

4. I sleep in socks. Well, with the windows open it’s usually rather necessary.

5. At the age of three I was bitten by a pine marten at the zoo of Veszprém. It could have been a tiger!

6. I was born to be a natural shaman – I have more bones than the most of you. I’m still figuring out what to make out of it. The possibilities for modern shamans are endless.

7. At the age of 18 I seriously wanted to be a Franciscan nun. Maybe I did become one in a parallel universe.

8. I have butterfly stickers on my walls.

9. I don’t shampoo my hair since two years. What I use are baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Recently I was trying out some Rhassoul powder, and it’s amazing, but, well, baking soda is cheaper. There were also times when I didn’t wash my hair at all (the same times when I visited McDonald’s wearing my pyjamas) (oh, those precious depression months, they made me learn to appreciate small successes. I managed to go out, even if I didn’t manage to get properly dressed).

10. I also don’t use soap (or any artificial cleanser) on my face. I’m doing the oil cleansing method since almost two years. Best decision ever.

11. I’m gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free. Well, on most days. Just don’t take notice of my ice-cream photos.

Now you all have a pretty clear picture about my digestion, sleeping habits and beauty routine. And my depression, of course. Don’t forget my depression.

Federica’s questions were:

1. Do you believe in Destiny? – Actually, no. Some things in life just doesn’t make sense and we should accept that.

2. Would you ever like to get married? – It depends. At this moment, no. But, well, I’m not in love right now.

3. Cats or dogs? – Cats and dogs.

4. If you had to bring back a famous person from the past, who would you choose? – I feel that I should mention Bach or Mozart here but whom I really would like to meet once more is my grandmother who died when I was thirteen.

5. What do you think will happen December 21st, 2012? – Well, what did actually happen on December 21st, 2012? I was shopping for Christmas and wrote blog posts about the shadowy side of being Hungarian.

6. Do you drink coffee? – Yes. I definitely do.

7. What’s your favorite cake? – I have no favorite cake. Unbelievable but true.

8. Why did you start blogging? – I started writing my Hungarian blog in my first year in The Hague because I felt lonely. This blog I started to host my project 365.

9. What was/is your favorite high-school subject? – I was in a class specialised in biology and mathematics and I hated high-school with my very heart. Most of the time I didn’t even visit school, so let us just forget this question very quickly, please.

10. What’s the last country you visited?  – Italy.

11. How often do you check out my blog? – I follow your blog on WordPress so I get every new post per mail.

My 5 nominees: 

For this award I’ve chosen bloggers whose theme is (mostly) Hungary. I don’t bother myself with finding out the amount of followers they have – mostly it’s not public anyway. I nominate bloggers whose work I like for one reason or another. My nomination is not obligatory, so if one of you doesn’t like to participate, answer my questions or share things about himself/herself, please feel free to ignore me. Of course I’m happier if you don’t ignore me, haha.

1. Andrei Stavilă’s photoblog.

2. Linnea from A year in Budapest.

3. Leopold and his friends from hold the camera.

4. István from Konceptofon.

5. William Lower from Three Years on Mars.

My questions: 

1. How (or why) did you end up living in Budapest?

2. Do you have a pet?

3. How often did you move during your life?

4. In how many countries have you lived yet? I mean lived, not travelled.

5. In which ones?

6. What was your first word as a baby?

7. Your favourite Hungarian food?

8. What’s the colour of the socks you’re wearing right now? (Sorry, I’m running out of questions that make sense.)

9. How many siblings do you have?

10. Where do you plan to travel next?

11. Why exactly there?

As we say it here in Salzburg, viel Spaß!

March 24, 2013

music for Palm Sunday – Johann Sebastian Bach: Himmelskönig, sei willkommen (Cantata BWV 182)

by ada

During the Holy Week I will do a music post every day just like I did last year; let’s call it tradition. I will stay strictly Baroque, because that’s where I feel comfortable even if I didn’t touch my instruments since the outbreak of my depression, and that means already one and a half years without playing. I sometimes wonder if I ever will get back to my real life of libraries and awesome music. It seems so far away now.

For Palm Sunday let’s have the king of everything Baroque, Johann Sebastian Bach. He wrote this Cantata almost exactly 300 years ago and it is still more beautiful than most of the music others managed to create during those past 300 years.

March 1, 2013

February. Get ink, shed tears.

by ada

Before the outbreak of my depression I used to be a more-than-hundred-books-a-year kind of girl. In 2010 my reading list contained exactly 118 items. In 2011 they were 155. I used to read in four different languages and about all existing genres, like music treatises written in gothic German from 1553 or the physiology of mood disorders, not to mention Real Literature (whatever it actually is) and countless mystery books. When I got sick I lost track of my readings, so I have no list and don’t know the exact number of books I read in 2012 but, well, I lost so many other things due to my depression (like my real life, just to name one) that such minor inconveniences just doesn’t matter anymore to me. I don’t fuss around about small things. I’m doing it big. If I lose, I lose everything. That’s my motto. Haha.

Since I started working those famous 13-hours shifts of ours in last April, I don’t read anymore. I just have no energy and no interest. All I want to do on my free days is to sleep or (if I can pull myself together to put on clothes instead of hanging out in pyjamas all day) to get out and see the daylight. My reading list of February therefore contains exactly three books: an Agatha Christie, an Andrea Camilleri and a Joseph Roth. I did also watch two whole seasons of old Friends episodes and three and a half of the Miss Marple films. That’s all intellectual effort I am able to take in this recent phase of my life.

(And yes, I’m aware of the fact that something’s gone wrong with my camera. It doesn’t focus anymore. I’m taking it back to the store today).

February readings

February 20, 2013

a silence deep and white

by ada

The view from my garden door at 3 am. I don’t sleep very well lately since I’m off 5-HTP again. The first thing that goes wrong is always sleep. The second thing that vanishes rapidly about two days after taking the last pill is my ability to tolerate other people. Considering the fact that I’m being paid for getting up early and tolerating people, it’s quite an unfortunate situation.

SNOW (2)

November 28, 2012

365/333

by ada

If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.

 

November 24, 2012

365/328

by ada

I had some official things to do today, so I managed to see the daylight on a working day. Don’t think I’m exaggerating: I leave for work in total darkness in the morning, spend the day inside and get home after thirteen hours also in total darkness. Quite deprimating, would I say, if I haven’t already fighting some depression issues, haha. May peace (and sunshine) prevail on Earth.

October 10, 2012

P.S. to 284

by ada

Hey, I didn’t realise before posting that it’s World Mental Health Day today, dedicated to the theme of depression. Life is full of funny coincidences.

I met so many trolls and idiots during the past year who all claimed that clinical depression doesn’t exist or is only an imaginative excuse for people who want to live their life easier and without taking any responsibility, and we, who suffer from it just simply have a weak personality without any willpower (or, better, we are all egoists who don’t want to get better) (because we feel good being depressed) that I’m extremely thankful seeing that, outside in the big world, still do such people exist who own some common sense.

Thank you, WHO.

October 10, 2012

365/284

by ada

I should look for a new workplace very soon. I’m aware of the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect workplace but it’s just not what I want, that’s quite clear. Too much pointless frustration to endure without any reward and too much unnecessary competition based on compensating inferiority complexes. I’m definitely not happy here.*

* well, it’s still my Depression Year, so it would be sort of strange to feel good, haha**

** I’m pausing with 5-HTP right now because I just forgot to order it for a long time and then got curious how long does it take to feel myself miserable again. I don’t know if it’s this, or the weather***, or the fact that my life goes in a direction I don’t really like (or I’m just unconsciously celebrating the one-year-anniversary of the outbreak of the depression that ruined my life), but I actually feel like shit lately.

*** I love autumn but it’s really dangerous for me. My brain gets foggy every year, parallel to the weather, haha

July 20, 2012

365/198

by ada

 

Another work day that ended with me sitting by the Salzach and feeling frustrated. I’m really thankful that I could come out of the depression, that I didn’t end up at the closed ward of a psychiatric clinic, and I’m over all imaginations happy that I have the opportunity to live in Salzburg, but I want my real life back so very badly right now.

 

July 14, 2012

365/196

by ada

On days like today, when it rains so hopelessly and desperately that I feel like it’s last summer again, I need a double dose of 5-HTP to stay sane, haha. These are my vitamins, minerals and fish oil capsules that keep me off of SSRI-s, à la Michael Ellsberg. Together with a low carb paleo-style diet they work quite decently. I wish people would stop speaking about soul and lack of willpower and weak personality where clinical depression is concerned. I wish people were just a bit more educated and a bit less stupid. Dealing with clinical depression is hard enough, there is really no need for treating us badly just because we are unlucky enough to have it.

June 26, 2012

365/178

by ada

There are renovations going on at my workplace right now. Today they picked up the floor in front of the nurses’ room, so we couldn’t use the door for two hours and had to climb through the balcony up to the roofs to be able to contact the patients. Every day new adventures. Life is generous to me lately.

As a bonus a depression link, because I started taking 5-HTP a week ago and some results, like having fantastic reality dreams every night, are already showing. During my most terrible times I didn’t dream at all. Since I also couldn’t sleep at all for months despite of being totally exhausted, the lack of dreams was only secondary problem, haha.

Adventures in Depression

June 18, 2012

365/170

by ada

Meet my new phone. I switched my old one off in October last year, when depression moved in into my life, and lived almost nine months without having one. And it was good. I didn’t miss being connected to the people I was connected to before. I lived outside of time and society. I wasn’t happy, because if you are dealing with clinical depression, you are rarely happy (I’m putting it nicely. Actually, if you are dealing with clinical depression, you feel like a tiny bit of sh*t. Later on you don’t feel anything anymore. It’s even worse). But I learnt a lot through being depressed, even if it isn’t worth it. Feeling bad and watching helplessly as your life is being wrecked, is never worth it. But, well, at least I can proudly call myself The Person Who Lived Without A Phone For Nine Months. I’m quite unique with it, I guess, at least here in Europe. Even my mother has one :o)

I also didn’t open my real life email account since October. I still need some more time to be able to do it and face all the people and problems I left back or the ones that are still to come. Let’s hope next Christmas won’t pass without me reading my mails, haha.

June 12, 2012

365/164

by ada

It’s raining again since days (actually since weeks, with eventual breaks). I spent the last summer in Holland and it was raining all the time. In June I thought, we still have the whole summer ahead of us. In July I got nervous, but thought, we didn’t lose the battle yet, August is the hottest month of summer in Europe, there is still some hope. In August I was furious, in September apathetic and in October I became depressed. And while I clearly cannot blame my clinical depression on the weather, it is a scientific fact that sunshine does count, where mental illness (at least depression) is concerned.

Now I’m in Austria and it rains uninterruptedly. I start to believe that I’m die Frau mit den Regenhänden (the woman with rainy hands). Wherever I go I take my heavy clouds with me.

So for today is a photo of some strawberries and a cup of hot chocolate, made with coconut milk and without sugar (because, despite of the overwhelming amount of photos of tiramisus, chocolates and coffee cups on this blog, I’m still on my gluten-free, dairy-free, low carb antidepressant diet); wich I will drink in bed while reading Perry Mason. My new goal is to get through of all the existing Perry Mason-stories. I became somewhat oversatiated with musicology and health care literature lately.

April 19, 2012

thou art not lovelier than lilacs

by ada

Lilacs are about to bloom right now, so I’m desperately photographing them every time I get out. In my sister’s opinion, this blog is sort of overcrowded with blossom pictures lately and it starts to get boring. I guess she is right; but in my opinion, looking at nice pictures of colourful flowers is definitely more cheerful than reading long posts about the present state of psychiatric care in Hungary, written in my weird English. So if you are bored with spring blossom photos, just imagine how bored you would be with the detailed story of my depression*, and feel relieved.

* I even managed to mention it in a blossom post. I am talented.

April 18, 2012

365/109

by ada

My days are so full of frustrating events lately, that my only joy in life is drinking coffee and eating tons of sweet carbohydrates. Gluten and carbs make me even more depressed, so it’s sort of devil’s circle.

April 2, 2012

365/93

by ada

The dome of the Parliament goes blue for World Autism Awareness Day.

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