I really overdid things in June and pushed myself harder than I could really handle; I was just so overwhelmed and drained and exhausted so, in July, I tried to take things more gently, to varying degrees of success. Having said that, I did have some completely one-off opportunities booked that I couldn’t – and didn’t want to – miss. It’s hard, relearning to balance doing things with recharging and building my stamina. There are still so many things I want to do, especially see my friends and schedule more sessions with my favourite cowriters but I just really struggle to make things fit, and make things fit without absolutely crashing and burning, something that has happened repeatedly since I started taking the Phenelzine – and therefore doing things – again.

The week in this post started on Monday 3rd July 2023 and ended on Sunday 9th June 2023.


I woke up before nine and worked through some of my morning habits, like drinking water and my Duolingo practice, before getting up and getting in the shower. Then I settled in the living room and got to work on my current blog post, alternating with closing some of the many tabs I have open and trying to tidy my laptop up a bit. My Mum had gone in to town to get her laptop fixed and she’d asked about mine and it’s new habit of randomly turning off at any given moment. They said that, when it was made in 2015 (I got it later, refurbished), running it was like asking it to function at 100% but now, eight years later, running it is like asking it to run at 200%, which is obviously problematic. And given my propensity to work on about seven different things at once (with so many tabs open), I’m honestly surprised that it’s survived this long. They basically said that it’s not going to last much longer and I’m going to need to get a new one soon: the dreaded words with the Taylor Swift ticket sales coming up. Even though I’ve been saving for these concerts and have savings for moments like these (when something necessary, like a laptop, needs to be bought), the money anxiety was sitting in my stomach like a slimy, writhing creature.

Early afternoon, one of my friends came over to visit. She’s probably my oldest friend; we met when we were thirteen and we’ve been really close ever since, even though we don’t see each other as much now, living in different cities and working and so on. But our friendship has been one of the great pillars of my life; we always pick up right where we left off and there’s never any awkwardness. It was so, so lovely to see her, to hang out with her even though it wasn’t as long as we’d hoped for, but we got to catch up properly and we had a good laugh. I miss her more now that she’s further away, further away than she ever has during our friendship; it’s so much harder to see each other. But it’s comforting to know that our friendship has never really changed, even if it has evolved since we were at school and saw each other every day.

When she left, I made sure to take some rest time. Mum and I were both hanging out in the living room; she was working on her laptop and I spent a couple of hours continuing the work of cleaning up my laptop. We’ve been half watching House at times like this and we finally finished it, watching the ‘making of’ at the end. For the most part, it was fun and interesting but there was one part that really got under my skin: one woman was talking about the creation of the character of Gregory House and how the original idea was that House was in a wheelchair but that that was ‘too difficult’ so they changed it. I’m sure she meant it from a filming and set perspective and they eventually got to the idea of him using a cane, which I do think was a better choice for storytelling given the character, but the way she talked about it just felt really ableist and insensitive. I know I get triggered by that ‘too difficult’ and ‘too complicated’ talk but it just felt really uncomfortable and, at the very least, borderline offensive to wheelchair users.

My Mum and I had an early dinner together and finished His Dark Materials while we ate. It was the first time Mum had seen the end and my second. God, the end just wrecks me; it’s so heartbreaking. Dafne Keen and Amir Wilson’s performances (and, of course, Ruth Wilson’s – I love her) are just incredible. I think series three is my least favourite, just because there’s so much happening that needs to be shown in order for the end to make sense but, when any of those three are onscreen (plus the scenes between Ruth Wilson and James McAvoy), it’s breathtaking.

I was freaking exhausted but I made myself go and do my hydrotherapy anyway. I tried – I really, really tried – but my back still hurt and I was so exhausted that I didn’t manage as much as I usually do. I was so tired that I felt like, if I’d rolled over and floated face down, my body would have been too tired to care and I would’ve just drowned. But going was better than not going and I had a nice time with two of my parents swimming too.

Back home afterwards, I put on Doctor Who, too tired to think any harder about what to watch, and kept working on my laptop. It was a struggle though because I kept getting distracted by the cats playing with their new donut toys, plus I kept falling asleep sitting up; I was that tired.

I dragged myself to bed, utterly exhausted, but then I was still awake at three for some reason. That was deeply frustrating; I was so tired but I just couldn’t sleep.


I struggled to wake up, finally managing to drag myself out of bed around twelve; I was just so tired and the lack of decent sleep made me feel heavy and groggy. I don’t know whether it was connected or not but for the next few hours, I had some really miserable stomach problems that meant I couldn’t do much more than lie on the sofa. I felt hot and faint and nauseous and sweat was all but dripping off me. It wasn’t fun but eventually it did recede a bit and I was able to haul myself up and into the shower.

Back in the living room, I spent the next several hours working on blog posts, hanging out with the cats, and dreading therapy. I was just feeling so tired and raw that putting my feelings under a magnifying glass was the last thing I felt like doing. But I went and it wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined it would be: I’d recommended The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green to her because I related to so many of the feelings and philosophies that Green had written about (my copy, full of highlighted passages and comments scribbled in the margins, is an incredibly revealing insight into my brain, into my emotions and experience of the world) and she’d just finished it so we decided to go through some of the things that had really resonated with me, especially in the context of my mental health. It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t as hard as it could’ve been. I do think our discussion made it clearer than ever that my depression is still hanging around, dark and heavy and cloying.

Back home, I spent the evening working on blog posts and trying to reduce the amount of open tabs on my laptop. For a while, there was some amazing heavy rain and that really helped to lift my mood; I’ve always found it so calming but also really invigorating. If I recall correctly, rain releases a wave of negative ions which apparently relieve stress and alleviate depression as well as boosting energy. I don’t know how much research is behind those findings but heavy rain and thunderstorms always have that effect on me.

I wrote in my diary for a bit and then started to go to bed early but got distracted by the piano. A little fiddle turned into a couple of hours as I started playing old and half finished songs; my early night became a distance memory when I got sucked into writing a bridge for a song I’ve always loved but never managed to finish.

When I eventually got to bed, I quickly planned out my route into London for the next day and then went to sleep around two in the morning.


I struggled up early but kept falling asleep again, which resulted in me running around like a headless chicken as I tried to get ready to leave. I just managed to catch my train and spent the journey catching up with various family members, working on various blog posts, and listening to Maisie Peters’ album, The Good Witch. I’m obsessed with it.

It seemed to take ages to get to Richard (one of my best friends, my most trusted cowriter, and my producer) but I did eventually arrive, exhausted, out of breath, and hot. We hung out for a bit as I gathered myself, catching up and chilling. We were both tired but eventually we got going, settling into his studio to work on some music. We didn’t have a specific plan and ended up writing a new song together, based on an idea that I’d been turning over in my head. It was hard to start with, like we’d both forgotten how to write together after going so long without doing it – it did get easier but I think that, if we can get back to writing together more often, we’ll find our groove again (no pun intended). By the time we had to stop, we’d written a delicate little song based on The Nettle Dress, an art piece with an accompanying documentary.

That done and running late, we raced across town (my joints were deeply unimpressed – although admittedly I shouldn’t have tried to be a hero and just gotten the lift out of the tube station instead of trying to manage all of the stairs) to the O2 Forum Kentish Town for the Maren Morris show. We both love her and we always go to see her together whenever she tours here. My Mum met us there: I had a disabled ticket and she had the accompanying companion ticket since I find these environments so hard (concert accessibility is unbelievably terrible) and she knows best how to help me through them. The O2 Forum Kentish Town doesn’t have an accessible section (which, again, just blows my mind – how can they be a functioning concert venue that hosts acts as big as Maren Morris without accessible seating?!) but they offered me early access so that I could, in theory, get a suitable seat. That was very stressful but fortunately we did get in quickly enough to get a seat that wouldn’t leave me in excruciating pain the next day. The few in total that I could’ve used only fanned my frustration with them as a venue.

Sam Palladio was the support act and he was good but his musical style wasn’t really my taste; for the most part, I couldn’t stop thinking about him as Stoke in Episodes, which was pretty distracting. Ah well. I’m happy to simply enjoy the support slot; becoming a fan of the person filling that slot is a bonus considering they’re not the person you’re there to see.

Maren Morris was incredible, as always, and she played so many of my favourites, including ‘Circles Around This Town,’ ’80s Mercedes,’ ‘The Middle,’ ‘RSVP,’ ‘Nervous,’ ‘Once,’ ‘Second Wind,’ ‘Rich,’ ‘The Bones,’ and ‘My Church.’ Her voice was in top form and she’s such a great performer; it’s always such an amazing experience to see her live. I love how much London means to her, how she never fails to acknowledge how much she loves it. And to honour that this time, she played a brand new song called ‘Get the Hell Out of Here.’ That was really special.

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It was a really, really awesome show. She’s such an amazing performer. My only regret was that she didn’t play ‘Humble Quest’ since I love it so much, but then it seems that we got a lot more songs than the rest of the tour did – plus a new song – so I really can’t complain. It is surprising to me though, since it is the title track of her most recent album. (The show had also meant I missed the Song Suffragettes show – and, as it turned out, the last one – which I was sad about because I love or am desperate to see most of the girls playing and see my friends who work the event but it couldn’t be helped. It’s Maren Morris!)

Richard and I hugged goodbye, repeatedly and effusively, before going our separate ways. A short bus ride later and I was on the train home. I was exhausted but I used the time to make sure my Ticketmaster and AXS accounts were linked up and organised, all the information stored clearly and carefully to hopefully make any ticket buying as straightforward as possible. It was a cold train on a cold night and even though I’d sat for most of the show, my joints were so sore (probably from the slightly panicked journey to the venue); I was hobbling by the time I got off the train.

I was very pleased to get home and into my bed but I needed some time to decompress before I could sleep. I was scrolling through BBC iPlayer, looking for something that would soothe the still surging adrenaline. I spotted Wallace & Gromit, consistent figures in my childhood, and ended up falling asleep as those stories played out.


My alarm went off at the usual time but I ended up going to back to sleep. It was a very slow start to the day but I was just so tired and sore from the night before. I also had a throbbing headache so I figured I was dehydrated, having probably not drunk enough at the concert. I’ve been trying to drink more water (my hEDS comes with Dysautonomia so I’m quickly and easily dehydrated) but the habit hasn’t become ingrained yet and I’d been distracted by the trip to London.

I lay in bed for a while, looking through my photos from the night before. There weren’t many good ones. I would love to get a new camera – mine is probably ten years old now, if not more, and I’m finding myself increasingly unhappy with the quality of the photos – but between the cost of Taylor Swift tickets (fingers crossed that I can get them) and the looming expense of a new laptop (mine is dying a slow, painful death), I can’t afford it, at least not for a while. Hopefully I’ll be able to get one before hopefully seeing Taylor Swift next year.

It turned out to be a hard day. I did manage to get my budget clearly worked out for seeing Taylor (I’d had a rough idea, having been saving since The reputation Tour ended, but it needed to be hammered out, which I’ve now done) but I spent most of the day in tears, stressed and overwhelmed and exhausted; it’s never been clearer that I need a day off, that I’ve been doing too much and need to slow down a bit. The boost Phenelzine gave me seems to have worn off, at least to some degree, and now I’m left with more plans than I have the energy or emotional capacity for. Between the busy weekend ahead, my stress around money, and the fear that I won’t get to see The Eras Tour next year: I’d received a presale code but there was no information about disabled access and when we rang them to ask how to handle the ticket sale, the information was different from last time. It’s different every time. The whole thing is just getting more and more distressing; it’s just another aspect of the world telling me that, because I’m disabled, I don’t matter as much as the rest of the population.

So it wasn’t the best day and I struggled to get much done. I did some writing and posted on my cat Instagram – a throwback to when my lovely Lucy was a kitten – but that was about it, having lost so my of the day to panic and distress…

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I had a quiet evening, watching New Tricks with Mum and working on a couple of different blog posts before going to bed.


I could not sleep, no matter what I tried; I think three hours is probably a generous estimate if I totalled up the sleep I did manage to get. It was frustrating and boring but the timing could’ve been worse as it meant I was awake to listen to Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) when it came out. Given that her album releases are always at five am for me, I don’t get to join in the countdown with everyone online. So that was a bonus of sorts.

I always loved Speak Now – it was the album that had me absolutely invested in Taylor’s music – and I think this is the best rerecording of the three so far, in terms of how closely she’s managed to replicate the sound. The vault comes close to being my favourite, just after the vault on Red (Taylor’s Version): I love ‘Electric Touch (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),’ ‘I Can See You (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),’ ‘Timeless (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),’ and ‘Castles Crumbling (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)’ is fast becoming one of my favourite songs on the whole album. And the prologue is beautiful but heartbreaking; I’m tempted to call it one of the best non-musical things she’s written. Speak Now has always been about using her music to express her feelings and tell her side of so many different stories but this new prologue exposes a new side of that: that she was ashamed of not speaking up in the moment (something that she now tries hard to do) and that writing these songs was her way of coping with it, like she needed to prove to herself – and everyone else – that she could speak up. That undertone of shame is also present when you look at the songs she didn’t include at the time, in the context of the prologue: there are powerful emotions and experiences – the insecurity in ‘When Emma Falls in Love (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),’ exploring her sexuality in ‘I Can See You (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),’ and the pressures and fears that you can hear in ‘Castles Crumbling (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),’ for example – that it seems she didn’t feel able to share and thus an album about being honest wasn’t as honest as she’d intended. I have so many thoughts about this album already but I think I’ll save them for my albums post.

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