Exploring Depression and Anxiety Through Music

For the past week I have been so excited, so happy and so into Chastity Belt’s new album I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone. It’s not officially released until this Friday, June 2nd, but NPR so graciously put it up to stream.

This album is no doubt about depression, anxiety and those occasional moments when it all goes away and you’re “feeling like a real champ” (but for how long). And for once I feel like I am listening to an album that has no gender identity based around the identity of the band members. It is instead stripping these issues that can sometimes seem “female” or “male”, down to the core of just human. This album wraps the experience of being human into one.

I appreciate all of this so much from musicians, and it’s something I hope I achieve through my own songwriting. Music gives us the ability to communicate through a collective consciousness and help each other figure shit out, even if we don’t know each other!

I could cite half the lyrics on this album and talk about how they resonate so hard with me, but I recommend just going right into it (and the band’s previous works). If for nothing else, it’s because you’re intrigued by their name.

Thank you Chastity Belt.

If the Buddha Dated

A friend of mine shared a book with me to help in some changes I am making regarding my romantic relationship. It is called “If the Buddha Dated: Finding Love On A Spiritual Path”. There are lots of questions asked and many prompts to sit down with a pencil and paper to answer them. Truthfully. In doing so I realized I have never really thought much about what I want in a partner. One of the exercises has you make a mock personals ad based around what you want, and another has you make one based around negative things you think about yourself. So, for perspective, I will be sharing both of them below. I used to think this kind of stuff was silly, and this doesn’t mean I’m joining Tinder, but I’ve learned a lot about myself by being honest with myself (no matter how silly). I recommend it!

Regular Personals Ad:

30 year old woman with a great sense of humor and adventurous spirit seeks partner to laugh and have fun with! Preferably dark and handsome with a humble spirit and conciousness about the world and issues. A lovely partner, lover and friend all around 🙂

Negative Personals Ad:

Fearful 30 year old woman unsure of what to do with herself or life. Anxious, somewhat annoying, very stubborn and quite aggressive in her opinions. Sad and fed up with being ill, but unable to move forward because of it. Sees that as an excuse.

You Are Alone

You are alone

In this world

Despite living

With many others

You tiptoe around

Each other

Waiting your turn

To emerge

From the bedroom

You are alone

In this world

Despite being together

You tiptoe around

Each other

Barely embracing

You are alone

In this world

Despite traveling

With a million others

You close your eyes

Tight 

Enough to be

Transported 

You are alone 

In that world

As well

Hiding

As I continue on my journey of life I feel like I am starting to come out of hiding. Maybe this is what real “growing up” feels like. Maybe being 30 is the shit.

As a child I adopted this hiding thing when I didn’t want to feel my own emotions or those of my family. I would go into my room, lock the door and listen to the positive tunes of Hanson. Sometimes I would write my own music, always starting with lyrics, probably as a way to process the words I was hearing from myself and others. Looking back at these early works, hiding and not feeling heard was a theme.

At other times I would hide in the corner of my closet, carefully hidden behind clothes, hoping for someone to come find me even though I made sure I was so well hidden. I wanted to be alone so I could process my emotions, but I wanted to be found because I wanted to be heard. It was a double edged sword.

As I started entering “adulthood” I believe I got trapped in metaphorical closets of the mind. I was simultaneously starting to experience the serious pain of Endometriosis. I wanted more than ever to be seen and heard, because I didn’t want to be in pain.

There were quite a few closets in my mind. But I told myself I would only be stuck in them temporarily. I was working on that music career while I nannyed for the kid with the crazy mom. I was just surviving. Waiting for someone to listen to me; to come find me. I did that for about a decade.

But all along that person who I needed to listen, who I needed to look for me, has had to be me. I have to open those closet doors. I have to walk out alone.

I Am Waiting

I’ve spent a lot of my life waiting

To see if the pain will stop

To see if I’ll feel better

Waiting

For them to love me

For them to come home

For them to let me go

Waiting

For a true purpose

For the wind to stop blowing

And the weather to get warmer

Waiting

For a parcel in the post

For an epiphany to solidify I am human

And not a ghost

Waiting

For my plane to arrive

And waiting to take off

I’ve spent a lot of my life waiting

For things to begin

And end

 

Endo-ME-triosis

It has been one week since I saw Dr Seckin in New York City and my belief that I have Endometriosis was more or less confirmed (technically speaking Endo can only be confirmed when the tissue removed during surgery is analyzed – but the symptoms make it very obvious).

During this past week I have felt several different things, in stages, such as experiencing grief.

I have been trying to understand where the me comes into this disease. How has this disease shaped me in the course of 15 years (or perhaps my entire lifetime)?

Endo is a mysterious disease that hasn’t really been figured out yet. Where does it come from? Who knows. Is there a cure? Not yet. Is is common? YES. 176 million women worldwide and 1 in 10 in the United States have it.

There is this idea that if I am “cleaned out” I will be better. I will be rid of the disease. I would have to have deep excision surgery for this to be so, but it is expensive (out-of-pocket $25,000!!!) and no Endo surgery guarantees that the pain will go away or that the disease won’t come back.

How do I manage and live with it is what I keep coming back to. Even if I have surgery, will I still technically have the disease in my body for the rest of my life? How does that define me?