This Woman's Work - Kate Bush

I know people may think I chose this song from a feminist angle, and while it fits that theme, I chose it for the lines “I know you have a little life in you yet, I know you have a lot of strength left,” and “darling make it go away, just make it go away.”

So more from an angle of mental illness, and personally, from when I was suicidal

I’d had psychosis, been hospitalised twice, and I took an overdose of medication

For me, it sounds stupid and superficial, but It was because I was self conscious about how I looked. After a decade of my life being based around my appearance, and intrinsically linked to it - my identity disorder, it was hard to let go

From an objective perspective, I used to look much better. It’s just a fact. I’d never have gone so far as to call myself beautiful, but I was pretty back then. Slimmer-too. That was the Baby effect, she controlled what I ate, wore, how I did my make up and hair. Nothing was time saving, or convenient, or comfortable. It was mini skirts, curled hair, hoops and boots.

I don’t miss her at all. At the same time, we spend a decade together. It has left a hole in my heart, shaped exactly like her.

It’s very hard to explain what happened, how it happened, and how it worked. I prefer choosing a song and rambling on about different parts and aspects of my mental health journey.

Anyway, I was hospitalised for the third time for depression, and I spent about six weeks in hospital that time. It was different. I spent a lot of time at home, because I was voluntary and had much more leave and privileges than when I was sectioned. I was put on antidepressants.

I take two forms of medication, antipsychotics in a once monthly depot injection and ant depressants every morning.

The girl that walked through those hospital doors would never have believed you if you told her all the things she was going to go on to do. She’d release her books, her music, a blog, a podcast. I’m even doing The Princes Trust soon, and in the past would not have believed myself capable - even just socially

There’s so much more for you beyond the point where you think that’s it. It’s the end, and you have nothing left to give. You just have to, and can, and will, push through that momentary, temporary, feeling.

Rainer Maria Rilke said “no feeling is final” and I agree, it will change. Tomorrow will be better, or the day after, or the day after that. There’s always a light, and dawn after darkness and all that.

I am going to go down the feminist route with this blog entry, because of the song choice. The title after all is This woman’s work. Not this mans.

To be clear - to me, a woman is anyone living their life as a woman

From a female perspective, in a woman’s shoes, with all the weight and burdens that come with it

And I’m not saying being male doesn’t have its own unique burdens, it does. Suicide rates are higher for example, custody of children is harder to gain, men are more likely to be attacked

But women also have to look over their shoulders constantly, afraid of what they’ve been warned about since they were a little girl. A threat they face because of their gender, mostly, and despite our best efforts we never feel fully safe.

On top of that we have the weight of the male gaze, invisible yet insurmountable. Heavy and constant. An unspoken rule we are all aware of.

Sex is power. Women have advantages, and disadvantages, in that regard, we spend our youth hoping to turn heads, and convince men who don’t want us, or don’t want to commit to us, that they do in fact, want to marry us.

We therefore try to be pretty and desirable, and maintain an appearance they will desire. How do we feel when we’re not desired? I can only speak for me. But I felt lost. Lonely. Heartbroken. And confused. It was what I knew from the age of twelve. Turn heads. Everything will be fine, if you’re pretty.

Basically, as women, we spent a lot of time running around. Trying to keep up in our career, birth and raise children. Maintain our appearance. Battle our mental illness. Achieve world domination, then chase after men or women who don’t love us. It’s relentless. Which is why self-care, feminism and sisterhood are so crucial

To conclude, In the worlds of Kate Bush - This woman’s work is never done.

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