I have tentatively started to listen to music again.
It's hard to describe here just how silent my world has been, how cocooned I have become and how my extreme reaction to very overwhelming symptoms in the early stages of my illness has, in all possiblity, outlived or at least exacerbated the symptoms themselves.
I lost two stone in nine days at what could be described as a very sudden onset, and spent much of the next 18 months in very serious trouble with both my mental and physical health.
And even after all this time it's fair to say that all my senses are still affected, but as a former (well okay not former but 'resting') musician and lover of music the way my hearing has been damaged is especially difficult.
Noise sensitivity has been tackled for the duration with earplugs, a noise reducer and, um, general shrinking from noise.
But some noise is healing and I have been encouraged to very carefully seek out healing sounds.
To rediscover Bjork (Vespertine) and Moby (Play) has been especially beautiful.
My son has been playing me some Razorlight. I like it, in small doses. I knew America was his favourite, but had never been able to listen to it all the way through, until today. In the Morning is a good'un too. I remember how we used to leap about to McFly and Busted. Air Hostess. Five Colours...happy, pop-filled days with a bouncing boy of four.
When he was five, I started to notice that music didn't sound so good anymore. The depression hit first.
When he was six, my health was blown apart over a single summer. Two weeks in August. A lingering virus, a violent medication reaction, and that was that.
Years have passed, years of other people's music coming from passing cars, other houses, other rooms. TV and radio for me have been largely no-go zones.
It's time to get reconnected.
I have just blown a very silly amount of money for a woman in financial disarray on some new CDs on Amazon.
Bring on Tori Amos, Kate Bush (there's an awful lot of old vinyl lying in a flat in London somewhere...I have had to replace nearly all of it), and some random purchases which include Mika (?) Rufus Wainwright (??), Jack Johnson (???) and, er, Abba. It was late, I should have been in bed.
I will also be looking in on last.fm to see what else I can discover. But for now, it's a bit like the first few dates with an old flame. Awkward, exciting, sometimes 'yes!' sometimes 'no!', exhausting, exhilarating. I will be taking things very, very slowly.
It's all very well ordering oodles of CDs, but my ears will take a while to catch up.
I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful reacquaintance.
I can't live in silence forever.
And my son wants and needs some semblance of his mother back.