My Year of Living Precariously

I made a New Year’s resolution on holidays that this would be a year worth living! After years of living cautiously, I decided living precariously was going to serve me better over the next twelve months. It’s time to take risks! I was standing near the bar at Sportsman’s Hotel in Brisbane on their Rocky Horror-themed New Year’s Eve when I came face to face with the fact that time had passed me by. Rewriting the years was not an option for me. Where did they go? What the bloody hell did I want to do next? I was older and more content yet I felt like crap?

In the velvet darkness of the blackest night, burning bright…

To be honest, contentment has always panicked me. I had not yet tossed in the towel but I wasn’t searching out new experiences either! I was in a dilemma I couldn’t get out of. I ordered another skinny bitch (in a tall glass) and shuffled down to the stage area to watch the show. I’m just a sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania. Hearing the songs from Rocky Horror Picture Show made me smile! Content and alone, listening to Sweet Transvestite was my reality. Of course, it was my decision to be by myself on New Year’s Eve in Brisvegas (as I affectionately call Brisbane). For years in Melbourne, I’ve suffered from seasonal depression. It usually lasts around 10 days, often starting on Christmas Day. This year I decided to fly to Brisbane and spend Christmas with my family. I also booked a hotel room in the CBD for New Year’s Eve. I would spend New Year’s Eve alone. I wanted to break the link between Christmas and Melbourne that triggers my seasonal depression and has done so for over a decade.

There’s a guiding star, no matter what or who, you are…

There was a moment at my hotel when I started to doubt I’d made the right decision. I felt anxious checking in and started to slide into a negative spin. But all seemed to pass when I opened a Pure Blonde I’d brought at a bottle shop around the corner. If you suffer from seasonal depression you’ll know you are often battling demons inside, and those demons have one job, to sabotage any enjoyment. New Year often triggers feelings of worthlessness and abandonment for me. But this year will be different, right? I will win this battle!

So what is seasonal depression? It is a mood disorder characterised by depression that occurs at the same time every year.

I opened another beer and sat on the edge of the bed. I tried to switch off the part of my brain that ordered me to ‘isolate myself’ and not go out. Who needs New Year’s Eve anyway? It argued. It’s just another dumb fucking day, right? Stay isolated and alone. No one cares if you live or die! I didn’t stay inside. I managed to escape. But it wasn’t easy leaving the safety of my hotel. Outside Brisbane town hall, I popped my earbuds in. Tina Arena sang to me, begging me to reset all. I put Tina on repeat and made my way to the early fireworks over Brisbane River. When they were over I walked up the hill to the Sportsman Hotel. Any negative thoughts I simply wished away. Demons are not welcome, I chanted. The demons stayed away.

There’s a light, light in the darkness of everybody’s life.

At the Sportsman, I sang out of tune to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. At midnight I went downstairs to dance. It wasn’t the best night of my life but it wasn’t a bad night either. Did I make the right decision to spend New Year alone? I probably did! Back in Melbourne, I thought about my battle with seasonal depression. In the future over the festive season, I plan to sing ‘There’s A Light Over At The Frankenstein Place’ when I feel a depressive episode coming on. Singing songs from Rock Horror I discovered in Brisbane makes me feel happy.

In the velvet darkness of the blackest night
Burning bright, there’s a guiding star
No matter what or who, who you are.

There’s a light (Over at the Frankenstein Place)
There’s a light (Burning in the fireplace)
There’s a light, light in the darkness of everybody’s life

About the author – Noel Anderson is putting the finishing touches on his feature film script Sammy & Dave and recently adapted Henry James’s classic ‘The Turn of the Screw’ into a gothic play, simply called ‘Ghost Story‘. Noel has directed over 50 theatrical productions.

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