A dear friend called and offered me a ticket to see Mamma Mia at the dear old 'Maj'. I knew that laughter would be the best possible medicine for me to lift my mood scales. I just had to get there. Amazing how once dressed and in the car the energy seemed to return like magic. As the torrential rain subsided and the sun made its presence felt I knew that the day would work out for the best, as I had successfully donned 'my outside world' face. This is the look that says, self-confident, don't f with me, and ready to take on anything. It brings sparkling eyes, fast repartee and an attitude of 'bring it on'. (all very +3) Very similar to manic-phase but only a temporary phenomenon with a major cost to pay on the down afterwards. (-2)
How challenging to enter the Maj after so long. I couldn't even remember the last time (I hate to think that it may have been 42nd Street, oh so long ago... but then maybe it was). I have been that disconnected geographically and economically from the Melbourne Theatre scene. What was once to painful to contemplate, buying a ticket and revisiting the scenes of my early hopes and dreams, was yesterday okay. I allowed the nostalgia to flow but not become debillitating or maudlin.
I knew I would be sitting in an audience watching a generation of performers (predominantly) that were strangers to me. That distance and strangeness, was at first disconcerting until I saw the caricatures in the bar! So many faces from the old days. Actual people I used to be on speaking terms with, and now I am a forgotten member of the (then) in crowd.
I always knew that live theatre is the playground of the affluent middle classes but that was certainly brought home with a vengeance yesterday. All those mothers who were able to afford children's tickets at nearly $100 per head for 3 hours entertainment! These were the Sorrento/Blairgowrie tourist-folk at play in town. The ones I avoid down here on holidays. How far I have become removed from the old lifestyle (and expenditure). Not necessarily a bad thing but quite a shock to the manic side of my personality. Oh for those shoes, clothes and regular city outings! Glad I wasn't in mania as I had checked out the hotel deals in town ($150 at Windsor would you believe?), and managed (dutifully) to pay my bills instead. I AM GETTING WELL... or at least able to approximate sensible thinking occasionally.
Loved the show despite its obvious limitations. Would have adored it more at night when only the grown ups were out to play. Mothers dancing in aisles with ten year olds just didn't drag me to my feet... Other fifties who had lived the seventies and the lycra.. now that's a different story. I was one of the first on my feet at Priscilla!
I miss the theatre so much, especially with the Comedy festival on and knowing that many of my old friends and acquaintances have the benefit of the 'pink dollar' and can just go beserk. It was so much a part of who I was.
On the downward drop this morning, it is more depressing that everything which could ensure my personal mental wellbeing has a dollar value attached, and that it is threatened by returning solely to disability pension. Private Health Insurance must stay, but so too must roof over head costs and car payments. Food less of an issue nowadays ;-). How great it would be to not have to think twice about planning for and budgeting for Fernwood, Yoga, Day Spa, Massage, even 'art therapy, my style... galleries and theatres, let alone social dinners out? Ah days gone by now sadly.
I am beginning to feel caged again. Caged inside my house unable to get out to the world. Sure I can walk down the shop 1 kilometre each way and splurge on a coffee but it is not same alone. I can no longer sit and read the daily broadsheet as I feel self-conscious that I am on my own and taking up table space (and 'wasting time').
I guess over the coming weeks and months there will be a lot of time to 'waste' as I am unable to work in a normal manner. My supervisor just tugged on my electronic (email) strings pointing out that I had been off the radar for six weeks (well yeah... that's the minimum hospitalisation time for breakdowns). I am now expected to just jump back up on the PhD horse and 'pull my proverbial finger out'... as if it were that easy... If only...