1 in 4 people suffer from a form of mental illness. So statistically speaking, if you don’t live with it yourself, you probably know someone who does. For those who don’t suffer, I am now the one you know and for those who do, well, I understand.
I have thought long and hard about what may be beneficial for those who may find these words on their screen and have concluded that sharing my experiences dealing with mental illness would be my best bet. I hope to share the dark, the raw and ,hopefully, the light side of the everyday fight with this thing they call a brain. I think the perfect place to start is the thing that has inspired me to move forward since I was a small child; Music
In every season of my life I have always had a soundtrack to keep me marching forward and to allow me to release the sadness and frustration that built up inside. I chose Music because the majority of people on Earth can relate to it. I have yet to meet a human who doesn’t appreciate it at some level. There are songs, albums and artists who just seem to “get” us. We can find ourselves lost in melodies that seem to have been written directly to you. When you spend the majority of your conscious life convincing yourself that it is worth taking your next breath, these moments have great impact on your life. In a world that consists of an often overwhelming swirl of thoughts, fears and confusion, a song that can stop it all for even a moment is a blessing that is impossible to describe.
I play guitar. I have been for 20 years now. I have always been decent at it, but have always shied away from sharing it. Sure, I played in bands and loved it, but playing by myself for people has always been terrifying. I have tried to understand why I react in this way and I think I may have a little insight. My songs portray thoughts and emotions that I find difficult to express, so singing them for people puts me in a vulnerable state where people can either accept and applaud or condemn and invalidate me. It isn’t just my song being judged, but me as a person. When I can’t seem to put oxygen in my lungs I know there is a song out there that understands.
Joey Briggs – Cellar Door is one song that “Gets” me. It describes perfectly the escape music offers. This song inspired me to play my first solo show and to pursue this whole blog writing thing. I hope one day that something I play or write can inspire you.