A few years ago when I was still struggling to get out of bed, I decided that once I recovered from CFS I would become a comedian. I was experiencing constant misery and wanted to create as much joy in the future as I could. I had no idea how I was going to do stand-up comedy when I was having trouble just standing up, but it gave me a goal to work towards that would hopefully improve my health but wasn’t illness-related.
I realised that social isolation was compounding my anxiety and possibly perpetuating my illness, so I looked around for some kind of course I could do that would get me out of the house and connect me to other creative people who weren’t physically ill. I did a stand-up comedy course a couple of years ago but it only lasted a few weeks so it didn’t do much for my social isolation. I wasn’t well enough at the time to do regular comedy gigs which are normally in the evening, so I looked for something else to focus on.
Having started learning to play guitar about 8 years ago, I thought going to college to study music performance would help me overcome stage-fright and meet a bunch of other creative people. Just having the structure of going to college every day was likely to reduce my anxiety and since the course was only 2 1/2 days a week, I figured it wouldn’t be overdoing it. Music and comedy also work well together with some of my favourite comedians like Flight Of The Conchords, Tim Minchin, Rich Hall and ArJ Barker featuring music in their acts.
This is probably the best decision I’ve made in ages. I’m slowly getting better and better each day, and feeling more and more capable at college. After a couple of college performances and a few open mic nights I decided it was time to do my first solo show, which I did at the recent 2017 Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival.
One of my earliest songs was co-written with a fellow sufferer I met through this blog but I haven’t published it since it’s pretty dreadful. It might be funny to play on stage one day but at the moment I just don’t find CFS particularly funny. However there is an oblique reference to it in my first single Everything Is Fucked that I play in the show. I hope you enjoy it and find it inspiring: