Music has been the most quintessential coping skill involving my life, and was a big factor dealing with difficult circumstances at a very early age. I was nonverbal growing up. So not being able to express myself in way that people could understand, music became that way to manage emotions. I have always been a diehard Hip Hop fan. That started at 8 years old. My soon to be step brother let me listen to the CD “The Eminem show”. One song in particular “Sing For The Moment” resonated with me on so many levels. From that time going forward, everything was going to change. I was diagnosed with Bipolar at 10 years old, and could not verbally express anything going on with my brain racing so fast that it would result in aggression, headaches, and much more. One thing that stands true to my character, is my passion for things I am interested in and loved. I wanted to know as much about what it would like as possible. The trials and tribulations over the years include trauma and events that people could not even fathom of taking place. But as I was enduring these severe times, so did my love for music. My mind always went on tangents. Yet the positive side of that was me picking up and learning things extremely fast. As well as a savant like memory to rarely forget things. I started to branch out to different Hip Hop artists. From Eminem, to Notorious B.I.G. 2pac, Nas, Jay-Z, Outkast, Gangstarr, Bone thugs N Harmony, Wu-Tang Clan, Scarface, Kool G Rap, Rakim and many more. You get the picture. It then went from the music, to the battle rap culture. Watching the Scribble Jam/Freestyle era change into the written format. And what battle rappers do today is just incredible. Their delivery, stage presence, performance, lyricism, cadence, creativity is like no other. I have so much appreciation for the art form and craft that is apart of the culture. How verses are constructed, angles used, the production aspect. Then using all this to create something incredible. And as my passion and love for Hip Hop Culture grew, so did my ways to cope with mental illness. I began to write poetry, spoken word segments, any type of creative writing to cope with everything I was going through. What separates Hip Hop from any other genre of music is the freedom of expression, and how that is done. With many different artists and different styles, there’s always something to gravitate and resonate with. From managing emotions, current struggles with different scenarios, and plenty more. However, the most important thing is just the fact that music is a way of life. Its apart of our daily lives, as are coping skills. Things that we do on a daily basis! I appreciate whoever reads this, and looking forward to people posting on this topic!
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TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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