Top 25 Metallica Songs:

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Hey guys! So, total coincidence that I was wearing this shirt today but it was fitting. So, I’ve got this friend on here called Rob, and he asked if I’d like to be part of what he was planning on doing. Considering it was a post about Metallica, I jumped at the chance. You can find his blog here, where his post is. I can’t say enough nice things about this guy, he’s been very helpful and supportive in his comments on blog posts. 🙂

So, Metallica have been my favourite band for about the last 5 years. I don’t have parents into this kind of music. My uncle however is, and he’s a fantastic man. Not that my parents aren’t great people either, just to clarify. In terms of personality I’m probably most like my uncle out of most members in my family. There are times that my mum will look at me and go “You are looking like your Uncle Graham again.” or “You are JUST like your Uncle Graham.” not that that’s a bad thing. However I’m yet to sit in a bathtub of bleach in a pair of jeans to customise them. But anyhow, I digress.

The first Metallica song I heard and loved was “I Disappear.” and I was about 15 at the time. And I was pretty much hooked since that point. For about 3 years I had an insanely huge poster of them on my bedroom wall until it finally fell down and there was no saving it. I’m also a big fan of their St Anger album which for some reason most Metallica fans are like … no. I’ve never seen them live, probably would be one of the greatest days of my life if I were to have though. Would probably stick out like a sore thumb, but hey! I usually do anyhow.

So, without further a-do, here’s my top 25 – possibly more if I can’t limit myself to 25.

  1. Until It Sleeps
  2. I Disappear
  3. Ride The Lightning
  4. Unforgiven II
  5. Whiskey in the Jar (Originally by Thin Lizzy, I think?)
  6. Master of Puppets
  7. For Whom The Bell Tolls
  8. Nothing Else Matters
  9. One
  10. All Nightmare Long
  11. Cyanide
  12. Fuel
  13. …And Justice For All
  14. Enter Sandman
  15. St. Anger
  16. The Day That Never Comes
  17. Sad But True
  18. The Unforgiven
  19. Hit The Lights
  20. Creeping Death
  21. The Call of Ktulu
  22. Memory Remains
  23. Frantic
  24. Seek and Destroy
  25. Fade To Black

Okay, I’m going to be good and limit myself to 25. I could be here all night if I don’t stop there!

Discovering my love of Metallica and the multiple genres that they can be classed as was a real turning point in discovering who I was and am. Learning that liking this music and whatever else I’m now into is perfectly okay. Being different is something to be embraced and if someone doesn’t like that then screw them. It might seem a bit daft but that’s fine. It doesn’t need to make sense to anyone else but me. 🙂

“So close no matter how far. Couldn’t be much more from the heart. Forever trusting who we are. No nothing else matters.”

“Nothing Else Matters” – Metallica

My Problem With Crushes:

I’m not about to divulge any secrets as to who I may or may not have a crush on in this post. So, I’m sorry. The first issue I have is that I hate the word ‘crush’. If someone has a better word for it, please let me know so I can stop feeling like a kid in high school. All you need know is he is a guy, he’s between the ages of 18 and 30 and he is a Christian. He’s also highly unobtainable. And that’s as specific as I’m getting. 

Anyhow. Back to the main point of this post, which is the issue I have with crushes, or at least the issue I have when I have a crush. The first thing is how drilled into us that men need to make the first move and how I’m completely unable to put myself out of my comfort zone and be like “Hey, I kinda like you. If you don’t feel the same that’s cool. We can forget this whole awkward conversation.” Maybe one day. 

Second thing – and bear in mind this is entirely personal, better adjusted people may not have these issues at all – is that being unable to tell a person that I like them, I write them off. Unintentionally ‘friend-zoning’ myself as was once said to me. It might actually have been him that said that to me, but it’s a good description so I’ll use it anyway. And in friend-zoning myself, I start to develop ‘spaghetti head’ as my friend Ruth once told me. That’s another description I absolutely love. 

If Ruth’s reading this, I’ll expect a text relatively soon asking if this is still an issue. Because, yes, it is. It’s at the stage where I’ve been praying for it to go away for 2 months now. I’m nothing if not persistent. God has a brilliant sense of humour though as the more I pray for it to go, the more said person shows up in my facebook newsfeed, or comments on something, or texts me, or is mentioned in conversation. 

I’m getting more personal than I intended to, but I’m going to continue on this vein for a short while longer. The select few people that know all tell me very different things and getting my head to think straight is really difficult, especially when I’m going through a depression dip. This depression dip is also why I’ve been praying for God to take this ‘crush’ away from me because it’s a contributing factor. Feeling like you’re 15 when you’re soon to turn 20 isn’t my favourite feeling in the world. 

ANYHOW, moving on. The third issue I have is the way I start to second guess myself. Even after I’ve convinced myself I couldn’t possibly bring myself to tell him, after I’ve friendzoned myself, after I’ve decided that I’m just not going to like him anymore I’ll find myself checking the mirror more frequently. Changing my outfit 2 or 3 times if there’s a slight chance I’ll see him. I think I must find ways to bring him into conversation constantly (sorry ladies). 

I’m hoping in blogging this, and getting all my thoughts coherently down that it’ll start to not be an issue anymore. Spaghetti head is not so bad when you make yourself think things through. When it comes to this kind of thing, I’m not worried. I’m young, I’ve got a lot to do before I could think about ‘settling down’, there’s a plan out there for me. It’s all fine. This is in no way a “Woe is me for a guy does not return my affection” post. It’s a “Let’s spill my thoughts to strangers on the internet” type post. Though I’m not sure that’s much better. 

It Came In The Night…

Rock Bottom arrived in the cover of darkness and made a nest at the foot of my bed as I slept. As my alarm went off for church I immediately knew something was different. I had no energy, there was a very heavy atmosphere in the room and I just did not feel good. And so came the excuse of “I had a bad night.”

Rock Bottom sat on my chest until I had no option but to give in and sleep again. However it was in no way a restful sleep. It was a sleep of necessity because being awake was too painful.

3.15pm rolls round and more excuses are made to friends asking why I’d not been at church this morning. My body reminds me – even though my brain may have temporarily forgotten – that I am actually alive and need to eat something. Rock Bottom is sat on my shoulder whispering into my ear that I’m worthless and that I shouldn’t eat because I’m such a waste of space that I might as well just never eat again.

5.00pm arrives and Rock Bottom presents me with another gift. This one is of intense paranoia. “They haven’t texted you back, they hate you.” “That indirect facebook status from someone you barely know is definitely about you.” “Haha, you were going to text a ‘friend’ to try and talk this out? Who cares about you?” And so I do nothing but watch mind numbing TV shows in bed because there’s really not much point in doing anything.

7.00pm shows up and Rock Bottom presents me with his favourite gift, unexplained, uncontrollable crying. Crying that leaves your body physically sore because it takes so much effort.

Rock Bottom’s pièce de résistance however shows up at 7.30pm in the form of self-inflicted injuries. They are ugly and they are painful. And they are entirely my fault. Rock Bottom sits on my shoulder and this time whispers into my ear “They are a representation of how you come across to the entire world and everyone in it. Ugly and a pain.”

However, this time something changed. Rock Bottom has only visited a couple of times, and trust me, he’s still here. Only this time I figured out what was happening because I noticed the signs. I possibly noticed them a little too late, but I did notice them. Rock Bottom is still on my back. He is still making me feel all these intense, ugly, awful feelings. But this time it’s different.

He came uninvited in under the cover of night. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t know that this time I’m prepared to fight.

Rock Music v Religion

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(Clearly this is a picture of the awful impact rock music can have on someone’s life… ACTUALLY no, it’s a picture of my friend and I being far too into Black Veil Brides and loving it and not caring because we felt awesome.)

 

So, a little background before I get into this topic. Like I mentioned in my first blog, I am a Christian. What I didn’t mention is that my dad is a minister (pastor, reverend, whatever you want to call it) and I’ve been obviously brought up in a Christian household my entire life, even though my dad hasn’t been a minister my entire life. So I’ve been around a lot of people and opinions and that’s probably why I’m as highly opinionated as I am.

Let’s also take the term “rock music” to cover the genres of rock, metal, punk, alternative, nu-metal and any other sub-genre you’d like to add to that list.

So I’ve been around for a little under two decades. Pretty normal kid, thought the band Steps were literally the best thing ever in the world. I didn’t get into the kind of “alternative” scene until I was maybe about 14 or 15. Also something that I didn’t mention is that I am a depression sufferer, but it has been on and off since I was around 12. Whether or not that influenced my music choices, who knows.

But the first band I really got into was Metallica, and I’m still very much a huge fan just now. I got excited with the music and I just enjoyed it. My music is probably more punk-influenced now, as with my fashion when I can be bothered, however Metallica were just, I thought they were brilliant at 14. It prompted countless comments of “You’re just like your Uncle Graham” from my mother, however I don’t think that to be a bad thing at all.

When I was 15 I dyed my hair black (it was supposed to be purple but kids make mistakes) and whilst this would get a lot of attention in general, I got a lot more attention than I ever intended. My favourite comment was from a member of my dad’s church at the time shaking their head and saying “I suppose God still loves you.” before walking off. So I was really kind of put out and that’s when I started to question the divide between who I was and who the church thought I should be.

Rock music for some reason within the church (not everyone thinks this, I feel like I should cover my bases and say I’m in no way talking about my experience NOW) is seen to be almost ‘satanic’ and basically just wrong and rots kids brains and somehow infects them and makes them bad people. I’ve known some Christians to even completely despise Christian rocks bands because that kind of thing isn’t ‘right’.

However, in talking about my experience now, I did wear a Metallica shirt to Fireworks Night at the church I’m currently at and the comment was made to my mum that “oh, maybe we’ll fix her once she’s been here a while.” which just irks me no end. I’m an anomaly , I’m always the first one to say that. Doesn’t mean I need ‘fixed’ though. I feel like I’m here to cause a bit of controversy and if I can make people change their opinions on things to be more accepting and open minded and – wait for it guys – more loving then I’m doing okay.

Music to me is a bit of a lifeline. I joke that some people should think themselves lucky that I’ve got my ipod to plug into or they’d not have such a nice pleasant person to deal with. And whether that be christian music, secular music whatever. I just like music. And I like most music. When I’m really mad, the only thing that helps bring me down from being hulk-like is Verdi’s Dies Irae Requiem. Which quite fittingly translates to “Day of Wrath”.

Even people my age within the Christian community have an issue with me liking the music that I do, and that doesn’t make any sense to me. I am constantly getting the response of “You should read your Bible and pray, not listen to Black Veil Brides.” Like, how are the two even, what? I lose all ability to be coherent at times like those.

The other argument put towards me is that how could I possibly enjoy something created by a group of atheists? Which again, is another stupid argument. Sorry to be so blunt, but it is.  Popular to contrary belief, I am capable of independent thought and whilst they might not believe in a Higher Authority, that doesn’t change the fact that I do. It’s like suggesting you can’t enjoy ‘Treasure Island’ because Robert Louis Stevenson was an atheist. Also, it’s a rather ignorant position to hold if you’re suggesting every single artist in the rock scene is an atheist.

Also maybe it’s time we listened to these guys (and girls) who are very vocal about their issues with the church through their music, because that’s how we come across to people sometimes. That means we’re not doing our job right.

Maybe I’m overthinking this, as it’s a very, very common occurrence with me, but I can’t help but wonder if those who are questioning me on this or just the topic in general are as secure in their faith as I am in mine. It does come across as “How can you be so sure in your faith if you’re doing things so differently to me?” And my answer to that would be that Jesus Christ lives in me and is my first port of call when it comes to anything. Is he yours?

And just to finish, (I started a sentence with ‘and’, there’s a reason I got a C in higher English) here are possibly my favourite lyrics by a non-Christian band:

“We hide from the mirrors, they might show our scars. Then there is the person we want to be and the people we are. So confront your reflection. Smash what you see and let’s restart because mirrors can’t see our hearts.”

“Broken Mirrors” – Rise Against

You’re Always Smiling, How Can You Be Depressed?

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This is a question I get on a regular basis, and after recent events it’s something I want to talk about somewhat in length. But, I shouldn’t need to explain that considering blogs exist for this purpose. 

I have a mixture of helpful people and extremely unhelpful people in my life. In regards to my mental health, unfortunately members of my own family fall into the latter category. Mental health is a rather “taboo” subject in our society. You’re classed as an ‘attention seeker’ or a ‘mental case’. Some have even suggested I should be locked up as to not cause myself or anyone else harm. 

Let’s clarify here that I’m talking about having clinical depression, not being overly sad about a particular thing. So it’s a mental illness. Unfortunately, the symptoms are mood related and not “physical”. Because there are no outward signs of depression, many do not understand that it is an illness and it’s not something that can be overcome with having a “more positive outlook” on life. I think my favourite comment on my depression has been “Have you tried not being depressed?” as if I choose to feel the way I do on a daily basis. 

I have a bit of a secret to let you in on. Depressed people rarely talk about being depressed or show that they are depressed because of the stigma that is attached with it. It’s in no way anyone’s fault if they suffer from a mental illness. Just like it’s no-one’s fault if they suffer from asthma. I’m a bit of an anomaly when it comes to this because I decided a while ago to stop hiding something that’s not my fault. 

My old counselor once asked me if I could describe up my depression in one sentence. My response was “I would not wish this hell on anyone.” Because that’s the thing, it’s utterly indescribable. But right now, I’ll try. Depression is like having an inner voice (although voice is the wrong word, it’s not an audible voice usually) telling you every single awful thing anyone’s ever said about you on repeat. But then it changes it and makes it worse. And it continuously makes it worse until you think “What’s the point?”. You start out feeling rather down. You become more and more tired even though you’re sleeping more than you probably ever have. You start to get weepy about ridiculous things. Then, you feel numb. Your body goes into some form of defense mode and you start to combat it and do things to feel something. Of course that never works and you end up in some kind of vicious cycle. Unfortunately in my case that became self harm. Which is something you can’t begin to understand unless you’ve done it, so I won’t start to explain it now. But I got addicted to hurting myself, which made me slip further and further into that abyss that we call depression. 

If you have someone with depression in your life, you need to treat them with so much care. But not in a condescending way. Things like “chin up”, “it get’s better”, “think, there are people way worse off than you” and “you’ll be fine” are all things that in my experience make a depression sufferer want to scream at the top of their voice “You. Don’t. Understand.” Saying things like “I don’t understand, but I’m here.” or “Help me understand” or “I’m not promising I’ll have answers, but I can listen” are much more helpful things to say. 

Forcing people with depression to do things that they’ve said they don’t want to do is also another thing that is not advisable. I have a deal with my friends. Sometimes about a certain event or situation I’ll go “I might tell you in 2 days that I don’t want to do this, but I need to do it. So don’t take no for an answer.” because I do need a nudge (or a shove) in the right direction sometimes. However, if I’ve not said that about something and I decide that actually, it doesn’t seem like a good idea given my current state, they know not to push the matter.

The last thing I want to say is actually the very reason I wrote this blog post. Don’t ever take advantage of someone with depression because in my experience – which is the only experience I can talk about obviously – we can be easy targets. Personally, I have found myself taken advantage of in friendships and my feelings toyed with in relationships. I ended up in hospital after one particularly nasty experience because I was extremely unstable after finding out I had been played.

So, why am I always smiling? Well, first I’m not a robot, I’m still able to express emotion and can enjoy myself when I’m not at rock bottom. And second, do you see how long this blog post is? It’s easier to smile than to recite this essay whenever I’m asked about my depression.

“So why am I depressed? That’s the million-dollar question, baby, the Tootsie Roll question; not even the owl knows the answer to that one. I don’t know either. All I know is the chronology.” 

                – Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story

Freedom of Religion

For anyone reading this that doesn’t know, I’m a Christian. 

I watch a lot of youtube videos. I’m not gonna lie. I spend a good chunk of my time watching youtube videos, learning new things, trying to see how I could improve my own content and sometimes when you’re doing that you end up finding yourself in the ‘weird’ part of youtube. This just happened to me. I came across a video entitled “Just Say No To Birth Control”. 

I won’t mention the username, but if you’re interested in the video you could search the title and find it pretty fast. 

She’s a young American model, I’m not sure how old she is. But she’s involved in nude photo shoots, amongst other things. She’s a Conservative and was very pro-Romney in the last election. 

She uses this video to basically tell her rather large following that she believes that birth control should be made illegal. Although she says something like “I wouldn’t actually say that because it’s a little extreme.” However she says that she pays taxes and her taxes should not be wasted on ‘lazy’ and ‘stupid’ girls who don’t want to pay for birth control and that there are ‘plenty’ of organisations set up to help girls in that situation. She says something along the lines of “I’m Catholic, and you’re starting to encroach on my freedom of religion by saying this. I am an American. I have my rights.” She also wants to use the word ‘slut’ to describe someone, but dances around it.

Did you hear that sound? It was my head hitting against the wall. Repeatedly.

She also uses the phrase ‘feminazi’ to describe anyone who doesn’t believe birth control should be illegal. 

So basically, she’s using her freedom to try and take away someone else’s. 

And unfortunately, that’s the way the world seems to view Christianity, when that’s not the case at all. In the first world, we ARE blessed with freedom of religion. We are able to express what we believe without fear of the government killing us. We can say “I don’t agree with that” and not be arrested. But it doesn’t just apply only to you. Freedom of religion, free speech, any freedom you have is a freedom shared by any other member of your country. Or at least, that’s how it should be. 

Also, she mentions “This is against my religion.” It’s not. It’s against your beliefs. There’s a difference. There are plenty of Christians in the world who believe that birth control should be widely available, especially to girls who are in desperate need of it. Along with other things like same-sex marriage, abortion, even tattoos. But that’s not for this post.

People fail to realise that there are girls who are secretly on birth control because of their abusive partners. Their partners may be so controlling that they ban them from using it, they may be raped. In those situations, a girl (or any XX chromosomed individual) may need access to birth control fast. And, especially in the US, something like the Morning-After pill is extortionate. And imagine if birth control did get banned and some poor person ended up pregnant because of a rape, they couldn’t do anything about it because if you’re also against abortion. 

She also says that middle-aged male politicians do actually understand the plights of young women because they must have wives and daughters. I love my dad, but I doubt he’d have more insight as to being a (almost) 20 year old female as I do, you know, kind of being one.

The issue is yes, you have freedom of religion. That does not mean that you can try and stop something that you feel goes against your religion. Because a) that’s your interpretation of the religion and b) not everyone has the same beliefs. 

Saying “I’m offended” doesn’t automatically make you in the right. I wish more people understood that.