Too many people are suffering from stress, anxiety or its like. Many do so in silence without speaking about it. I will do my little part to change that – while encouraging all of you to find your own cure. I might just have found mine, in the shape of Fyr og Flamme, who represented Denmark at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest.
My name is Charlotte. I have recently been diagnosed with stress. At time of writing this, I have been sick for four months.
I have been working with Eurovision for the past many years, writing about it since 2001, going as press to the Eurovision Song Contest every year from 2003 to 2018, and online press since then. In between that, I can add quite some national finals. I used to have quite an extensive knowledge about the contest, and I used to enjoy watching and writing about Melodi Grand Prix, Melodifestivalen and other national finals. But most of all, I used to really look forward to two weeks of Eurovision Song Contest, the rehearsals and press conferences. Well, this year, all of that is in the past.
Due to my stress, I can’t do what I used to do. In fact, I can’t even tell you who is my personal favourite this year. I have heard less than half of the songs, and the ones I did hear, I have forgotten about. Whether it’s due to the song or my stress, I don’t know, but I am also completely unable to sing one single line from the Danish entry, my own country. A year ago, I would gladly sing along to Fyr Og Flamme’s Øve Os På Hinanden. Two years ago, I could also sing parts of Say Yes, though to be honest, I didn’t like that song.
Fyr Og Flamme concerts as stress-relief
It’s tough when the many things that actually used to bring me joy as well as a purpose in life, basically become meaningless. In the past four months, one thing only brought me joy and a moment of happiness, a Fyr Og Flamme concert in Aalborg a week ago. I was really nervous before the concert. Would I be able to make it through, or would the many people around me be too much? I wasn’t sure I would make it, but determined to give it my best effort. I went in very good time, to make first row, and hopefully focus less on other people around me. Well, I had no reason to be nervous, it turned out.
As soon as Laurits and Jesper took the stage, I forgot all about my stress. I could feel myself again, and I loved it. For the first time in months, that night, I managed to get a decent good sleep without waking up every half hour. The next day, I actually had energy to do things. It was like life had returned. The effect wore off though. After two days, my stress came back. I tried to convince my boyfriend that this meant, we would have to go to Fyr Og Flamme concerts every second or third day. Sadly, he did not buy into that 😉
I love pop and rock music of the 1970’s and 1980’s. When working from home, I would often put on music. I don’t do that anymore. Genealogy is another hobby of mine (I was so happy when I discovered that I am actually related to triple Eurovision participant Kirsten Siggaard), which has also come to a stand still.
The only thing lately that worked for me was the Fyr Og Flamme concert. The warm, sweet and gentle Laurits who is a bit quirky too, and the extremely charming and yet vulnerable Jesper with a hint of a badboy, that was the trick that did the magic… Though it only lasted two days, it brought me a glimpse of hope for a recovery. Thank you guys, you know I love you.
Now, waiting for second album to be released, it should be just around the corner, and hopefully more concerts. That will be good for my health. Their first album is the only album I have been able to listen to in the past four months.
A leadsingsinger in another Danish band recently explained in a documentary that of course they are available whenever their fans need them, as after all, their fans are their employers… While some artists could learn from that philosophy, it doesn’t count for Fyr Og Flamme. The way they are available to talk to all the fans after each single concert (and sometimes before too), I am in full of admiration for. At the concert a week ago, I was surprised to see that not only did they remember me, but also my name. To remember the name of someone who interviewed you a year ago, that’s not common, that’s dedication and caring.
At time of writing, I am thinking about whether or not I will be able to go to Copenhagen for a Fyr Og Flamme concert at the end of May. I really do want to go, but it’s a long travel and there will be a larger audience to take into consideration. If it won’t be sold out, it’s likely that I might just end up deciding a few days before. A friend living closer to Copenhagen, who does not like their music, even offered to meet me there to go the concert together. It’s nice to have friends like that, although I would hope that a concert with them would change her mind about the music too 😀
How my stress is affecting me
There’s still a lot of taboo when it comes to stress. I have friends who have suffered too – in silence. In the beginning, I tried that too, but I don’t want to do that. I now speak openly about how it affects me, and people are coming forward recognising my sympoms in themselves. It’s different how stress affects us, but I am here focusing on what it does to me. If you too recognise yourself in this, or otherwise have a feeling you might be stressed, I advise you to take an online stress test first, they are easy to find. If it shows you might be stressed, contact your doctor. He or she can help you with treatment. For some it’s a long road to recovery, for others it’s shorter. I am hoping I belong to the latter. Hopefully, I caught the symptoms just in time. I am starting official treatment very soon. Until then, Fyr og Flamme seems to be my only form of relief.
Below you find my list of stress sympoms:
- I have no energy, am totally drained and every little thing I do is a big accomplishment.
- I can only focus on one small thing at a time and I need to know how long it will take. If I can’t see an end to it, I can’t do it.
- I need to write everything down otherwise I forget it half an hour later.
- I need a clear plan for appointments the next couple of weeks. Loose plans cannot exists in my world at the moment.
- I can’t cope with changing of plans. It can cause a panicattack with me.
- I am unable to read more than a few pages in a book per week. I used to read a lot.
- I sleep badly. It takes forever to fall asleep, and when I finally do, I wake up soon after.
- I can’t feel myself, or my emotions. Things that used to make me happy, have become distant and meaningless. Small gestures or messages from people I barely know, can make me cry.
A few weeks ago, Fyr og Flamme released a new single titled Hvem Tror Du Egentlig Du Er (Who do you actually think you are). Listen to the single in the video below: