As many of you may be aware, the implementation of the COVID vaccine is well underway, and pretty soon everyone would be eligible to get it. I have heard both pros and cons to getting it, and would love to know what your take on it is as well as if you are planning to get it. No judgments here, instead I would love to know everyone’s opinions on either getting or not getting it, and why.
Also, if you have already received it, do you have any feedback or any other details about your experience that you’d like to share with us?
Music & Emotions//Opening My Library
If you’ve read any of my previous posts you know i looove music. I love to listen to it, write it, record it, watch it, hear about it, and i absolutely love everything guitars. So with this post I want to open it up to all of you as a library, allow me to explain.
1.) Tell me how you’re feeling/times you’re feeling a certain way
2.) Tell me how you WANT to feel, OR if you’d like music to help feel said feelings all the way through
3.) Tell me what kind of music you currently enjoy/listen to OR a genre of music you’d like to explore farther
Now these three steps (in a responding post below) would be applicable if you’re looking for my recommendations on music and how it affects our emotions, HOWEVER I have a very broad taste and relatively extensive knowledge on a lot of music genres and sub-genres so if you’re looking to explore one farther or ask music related questions I have no opposition to that either!
Now, allow me to speak more on Music and their relationship with our emotions. Music is an international language. It is spoken through all races, sexes, communities, ages, etc. In many cultures it is described as the “language of emotions”, that’s also why when we watch films, for example, music typically accompanies specific moments or scenes to give the viewer a better sense of the emotional atmosphere and let us know how we should be viewing what’s going on. The experience of “Music” has the power to evoke emotions that is absolutely incomparable to any other sense. When our brain processes music, it can be related to a “collage” of sorts. There are different sounds in a specific structure, in which when combined in said sequence, create a piece of art that seems to make sense to us compared to it’s singular sounds alone. Music is primarily rooted in the primitive part of the brain’s structures that are tied to emotion, motivation, and reward. The response that our brain’s have our almost unconscious in a way, and musical artists themselves have the ability to manipulate our emotions and expectations whether they realize what they’re doing or not. According to psychcentral.com, “More than any other stimulus, music has the ability to conjure up images and feelings that need not necessarily be directly reflected in memory.”. If you sit back and just read that sentence over a time or two again, it really truly is amazing how Music can draw pictures in our heads and evoke such strong emotion, and yet, those things MAY not even be related to any past memories or experiences, providing you with a whole new experience through nothing more than sound. Our own preference even on the kind of music we’d like to listen to at some time has an effect on its perceived experience to the listener.
“It could be this heightened level of experience in certain people and musicians that allows them to imagine and create music that others simply cannot, painting their very own sonic image.”. – Malini Mohana on “Music & How It Impacts Your Brain, Emotions”
SO, with all of this being said, I open this up to you, as I encourage you to ask for any of those beautiful experiences through music that I may be able to share with you.
Talking to Death
I feel I am one of those few people who do not fear the concept of death and dying. As it stands, I would not be afraid to leave this lifetime at any given moment. Sometimes, I like to picture myself having a conversation with the spectre of Death, asking “what if..” and “how come…” but these, of course, are questions I will never have answers for.
Unless, well, you know–
I believe that death is not a defeat, and death is not a concept people should be scared of. It’s natural, it’s plain and simple and part of our reality. However. Talking to him as often as I do, making up scenarios and lifetimes I don’t often have the chance to come into contact with, it would seem to others I’m not even living at all; I’m fraternizing too fully with dying.
Someone in therapy once told me, “Don’t flirt with death too much, Fallyn. Or you’ll forget to live.”
For a long time I feel I forgot to live. Or even HOW to do so. But after awhile, Death and I just continue to be good friends. I wish to live and thrive, to be unburdened; I don’t want to die. But I don’t fear it either.
My life has been full of A LOT of ups and downs, and as sad as it sounds, I’ve been used to the fact that no matter how good things can be going, the good times would always abruptly come to an end. Nevertheless, as more and more time keeps passing, I am in this sort of natural high feeling, where I feel like I am unstoppable, where I am so focused on striving to complete my goals in school and the workplace, where I can cut toxic people out of my life without any resentment whatsoever because I have come to the understanding that if you aren’t going to help me rise, you don’t need to be a part of my life, where I feel determined to succeed no matter what, where I am actually happy everyday. This isn’t what I’m used to, and this hasn’t been me in years, this actually hasn’t been me since before I ever started having any issues with depression or anything like that. I sometimes worry that things are “too good to be true”, and that eventually this natural high will run out and I’ll cycle down and feel icky again for a certain amount of time. But then at the same time, I’m just like, that’s a mental thing too, that’s a choice, I don’t have to think that I’m going to fail. Have any of you ever gotten in what you feel is like a natural high where you feel unstoppable? Did it eventually end? What are your thoughts on this?
Guilt, Anxiety, and Fear: Motherhood
When I wake up it starts.
I probably didn’t sleep very well- or maybe I did and I wanted to sleep longer. I probably got woken up a few times last night to nurse you back to sleep. There were probably a few times you were restless and tossed and turned while you tried to get comfortable.
Guilt; I remember being woken up over and over again, exhaustion, panic because I know I’m tired and need so much more sleep than I will get. Frustrated because I so desperately want to sleep as peacefully as I imagine you do. Anger because I cannot and anticipation of how exhausted I will feel in the morning.
Fear of never being able to sleep again.
Dread; I dread waking up in this place, putting you in daycare, being alive and monotonously going through the day.
Collapsing into a puddle, I break, I lose my patience. I’m not fully awake and not fully human. Maybe I harshly say, “stop.” Or angrily beg you to go back to sleep. Or worse, maybe I just lay there, don’t look at you or talk to you, just sit in a heaping puddle of uncomfortable emotions.
When I wake up, probably a little while before you did, a realization comes to me as I see how beautiful and peaceful you are. I realize the impatience that took over me hours earlier.
I’m a terrible mother- a terrible person, in fact.
I lost my patience. I scared you, upset you, and damaged you. An intense wave of sadness covers me and I feel desperate to go backward in time. A pit grows in my stomach as I know I cannot do that and must only go forwards. I want to hold you, I want to cry, I want to be perfect for you and I want to be happy with you always.
Regret, fear, dread, anger, exhaustion, guilt, sadness. Over and over again, every day.
I wonder what I am doing wrong. There are many, many things I know; many mistakes. I wonder how much they are damaging you, and in what ways. I want to fix them all- be perfect and wonderful and exactly what you need and want. But when I try to think of my wrong-doings I cannot pinpoint them all. It’s looking for hay in a haystack- it’s all there and it’s all the same, and it’s all wrong. I can hardly do anything right for you. Maybe I do what I believe is good, but soon I will find it is, in fact, wrong. I have hurt or damaged you in some unknown, and therefore gigantic, way. Worst of all, I cannot take any of it back.
Paralyzed with fear but continuously pushed forward by the current of life. I’m stuck in a riptide.
But my love for you grows each day. It’s a painful love that fills me simultaneously with joy, and a deep despair and fear. I wonder about all the things I must prevent. All the possibilities. So much can go wrong. So many scary, seemingly unpreventable things swirling around us in this world. I want to protect you but fear I cannot.
I feel out of control.
But then a beautiful day happens. You grab my checks with two soft, warm hands and look into my eyes. Or you crawl to me, laugh, kiss me. You let me hold you and hug you and you hold me back. And for a moment, my fears melt away, so that I’m standing in a deep puddle, soaking wet but dripping dry. We stand alone in the dark for a moment, and my brain gives me time to love you in peace.
I realize that these moments can grow. That if I make myself a farmer and equip myself with fertilizer and pesticides and gain the knowledge to grow a garden that we can be happy. I can rake out sadness and anxiety to make room for big, bright, beautiful happiness.
I will call myself a farmer and you will be my seeds, my water, and my sun.
10 Great Songs to help empower you through depression
I am hoping to make this into a weekly post and also create a final draft of a feature that we can all use. Going forward I will be doing some research on some great songs that keeps us motivated and gets us through difficult times. I will ask random people what songs they listen to, or would recommend, say for anxiety and I will also use the internet and music publications as backup. I have some songs in mind and I know they may not always work for everyone and of course, I am not an expert on all forms of mental illness but I will do my best to gather the best information that I can.
So this week I just want to explore depression a little, maybe next week we can maybe look at anxiety:
Two years ago when I made the choice to start loving myself and take a different path in life, I realized it was okay to fall apart as long as I kept getting back up and trying again. When being a peer, it is hard to allow yourself that time to heal, cry, or just have a bad day. I have realized I am strong for myself, but sometimes too strong for others.
As peers, mentors and people in recovery, do you ever feel like you can’t have a bad day or show you are struggling because you do not want to let other people see you know see it?
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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