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Last Night I Went To See Take That And Olly Murs: A Mental Health Account: Part One.

The Invisible Side Of My PTSD That People Don't See.

By Carol TownendPublished about a month ago 6 min read
Last Night I Went To See Take That And Olly Murs: A Mental Health Account: Part One.
Photo by John Matychuk on Unsplash

I have wanted to see Take That since they first formed in 1990.

I had put it off because of my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for so long.

I have had a variety of mental health problems since I was young, but this is the hardest one to battle out of all of them.

I started attending concerts a few years ago, because I love music and I have missed out on the joy of being able to see my favorite bands live because the PTSD causes difficulties that I find embarrassing, frightening, and extremely difficult to deal with.

This story is going to be told in several parts, so that I can take you through the songs that affected me, how they affected me, and how I coped slowly because I become tired and anxious easily when I talk about past events.

Walking into the Arena

This was a very difficult thing for me to do, since I have a fear of crowds. The arena was very crowded, and there was very little space for me to move. My thoughts distorted for a while, and I was certain that I was going to get hurt as I made my way through the crowd.

My vision blurred for a while, due to panic, and I had to try and slow my walking because I found myself speeding through the crowd without being able to think straight.

It is difficult to think straight when your mind percieves a threat that isn't happening in the moment. All I could see was the crowd that surrounded me, and I lost my sense of direction in that moment, forgetting where I was going.

While all this was going on, I was caring for another person with disabilities, namely my husband. This gave me something to focus on, because I was responsible for ensuring that he could walk safely.

I stopped for a little while and tried to gain some grounding. I breathed, and focused on why I was there.

With determination, and remembering that Take That and Olly Murs were on stage, I was able to get us both safely seated with help from an assistant who was kind enough to help us find our seats.


I am triggered into a flashback when something happens that reminds me of a traumatic past event such as being attacked, seeing fire, smelling a fragrance such as burning or a fragrance that reminds me of the trauma and other triggers.

The songs that were sung at the concert hold significant memories for me, not just happy ones, but painful ones too.

The idea behind me attending this concert was to support a band and a singer who had followed me through what was a painful journey, but also along my healing journey, to where I am now; so that I could see the progress I have made into my future life worth living.

Here are two songs that I found difficult to manage, but also opened a new door to healing.

Video courtesy of youtube: (Accessed by Author, 16/05/2024).

This song brings back a mixture of memories.

I first heard this song on the day I lost my children because of my mental health problems, after the authority who were supposed to be supporting me stigmatized me for being a parent with mental illness.

I loved all my children, and I still love them today even though most of them have grown up.

The song takes me back to the tears which have never stopped falling since that day. It reminds me of what happened after I spoke up about the violence I had endured, and the extremely hard times I had going through the trauma which two of my children had witnessed, and I never forget the times I and my children were left in difficulty, being moved from safe place to safe place most of our lives to escape the violence we had been going through.

It wasn't just domestic violence that affected us; we also affected and hurt by violence from within the community in which we lived, by both men and women alike.

I want to make it clear that I love this song, despite the negative reminders. I love it because it takes me back, but it also helps me to remember how strong I and my children are today.

It reminds me that we have overcome a lot of horror in our lives, but we continue to rebuild our relationships, and every day we push to become stronger.

When Take That started singing this song, my hands started shaking. I looked around the concert room several times, anxiously watching the large crowd.

The day my children were taken, played in my head like a horror movie, mixed in with the scenes of the past violent incidents we had endured.

I could see where we lived, see the people that hurt us, feel the pain from the blows I had endured.

Tears streamed down my face as I tried to enjoy hearing th song, and watching Take That perform on the stage in front of me.

Half way through the song, my hands started shaking even more, and my knees felt like they did not belong to me. I very nearly left my seat and ran for the door, but I decided to try and go with my feelings so that I could see the rest of the show.

In the past, I have done DBT therapy to help me cope with moments like these.

However, while Take That were performing this song, I started to feel sick, numb, and my heart started racing.

I could barely control my breathing.

I became desperate to feel safe, so I reached out for my husbands hand in an attempt to self-soothe and calm my racing thoughts, and my feelings.

I managed to stay sat down, but not without fidgetting, so I stood up and danced with the crowd near my seat.

When I finally sat down, I was crying. I held my face down because I felt ashamed of the tears that were falling down my face, and I didn't want the crowd or staff at Utilitia to see me crying.

I didn't want Take That to see me in tears. I felt guilty for the tears, and I felt that if they had seen it on the big screen, then I would have brought attention to myself, and ruined it for everyone.

When the song ended, I was still tearful but I was proud of myself for staying in the hall and listening to it.

Hearing the song took me on a terrible journey through my past, and the heartbreak I felt when Take That had split up.

A time when I was saddened by Robbie William's departure, because I loved Robbie, and he gave me the strength I needed to move forward through my past.

Though I was glad to see Robbie was still singing in his solo career.

Robbie was not a part of the show, but hearing The Flood, though it brought on many flashbacks was also very comforting, because Robbie did sing a part in the song with Take That, and

Robbie is still my hero when it comes to my continued journey through trauma, and I still thank my husband for providing me with the opportunity to speak to him and become friends with him.

I haven't heard from my friend for a long time, and although I did have difficulty believing it was him I was talking to because of the scammers who plagued my life for a while;

when my husband who had met Robbie at the time of speaking confirmed it for me, it was a dream come true.

This first part of my true story only focuses on one song, because that was the most significant song of the night for me, and was a major trigger.

In my next article which I will be writing shortly; I will be talking about another song by Take That, and a song by my other heartfelt favourite singer, Olly Murs who still plays a huge part in my recovery process.


About the Creator

Carol Townend

Fiction, Horror, Sex, Love, Mental Health, Children's fiction and more. You'll find many stories in my profile. I don't believe in sticking with one Niche! I write, but I also read a lot too.

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    Carol TownendWritten by Carol Townend

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