“I Feel Like a Book that Can’t be Read”-Blow Away by Staind

Like I said before, DH and I are pretty into music without actually being musicians ourselves.  I really think people can really connect with music if it’s right for them.  Some of most amazing poets are really song writers, and they get overlooked because they set their words to music.  I say this because I’m having a crummy night tonight, and I’m turning to one of my favorite cds for comfort.

Blasting away on my ipod right now is Staind‘s cd, 14 Shades of Grey.  Aaron Lewis, the lead singer of Staind, is simply amazing.  He has a way of articulating my internal struggles in a way that I can’t imagine doing myself.  It makes sense to me, and I always wonder if people who have never gone through depression understand it better having really examined his lyrics.  His voice is a whole nother story.  It’s effortlessly full of emotion.

Staind is pretty serious rock music, borderline metal, but I think that’s pushing the definition some.  Please don’t misunderstand Staind to be some of these bands in the news that sound like they’re encouraging suicide and violence.  The lyrics are actually the exact opposite.  They stress that depression is incredibly hard but beatable, that addiction robs people of life without ever fixing the problem, and suicide is a personal failure that can be avoided.  In all the hard, edgy, loud music I hear hope.  I hear a fellow sufferer that was in so much pain that he tried many of the same solutions I have.  I hear the same failures that I have.  And I hear ownership, acceptance, and hope for an inner peace that is eventually possible.

All this is wrapped up and packaged in a format that helps me deal when I’m feeling bad.  I get the anger so I can internally range for awhile.  I get the pain and the desperation that makes me sink into a hole for awhile.  Then I get the smack in the face that says ‘if I give up it’s not because it was too hard but because I quit trying.’  I hear that I’m not alone and that there are people just like me silently struggling.  Personally, I think that’s one of the most important thing for people with depression to know and remember.  They are not alone.  Other people feel just as hopeless and scared and desperate and angry.  But when we can’t articulate that to others and we can’t understand when someone else attempts to reaffirm that, loneliness seems like the only conclusion.

Music helps me go through the range of emotions associated with depression without acting on them.  I don’t have to harm myself anymore.  I don’t have to contemplate suicide.  I don’t have to revert back to my safe, solitary mental cave.  I do like giving myself the time, whether it’s an hour or an afternoon, to let my soul cry though.  I think it’s important to give those feelings their space and recognize them.  It lets me think about if there’s a cause and what I can do about getting better.  In a way, too, it feels like grieving.  It feels like recognizing and remembering parts of me that are past.  I’ve found a way to put some parts of me on a box on a shelf.  They’re not gone forever, but I don’t need to carry them with me every day.  Most of them aren’t fond memories at all, but I still spent so much time with them and warped them into my safety net that putting distance between them and me was very hard.  Putting on my music and letting all that old stuff wash over me gives me some time where I don’t have to be strong.  I don’t have to resist every thought and impulse for that stuff to come back and become my priority again.  Now I’m strong enough to open the box for awhile and be able to put the lid back on when I choose.

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