The Power of Music

Like many others, I grew up with music as a huge part of my life.But it was always different for me than the kids I grew up with. With my dad as a musician, I was exposed to all kinds of music and I started playing guitar when I was 10. That’s when I realized just how important it was to me. It simply became a part of who I was. I found it was the best thing I had to express myself, along with writing.

I was 11 when music first started saving my life. Diagnosed with depression, the only thing that kept me sane, that kept me going, was music.

All I cared about was my guitar and going to shows. Those were the only times I never felt truly alone; my guitar, a pen and some paper, or the stereo on full blast; or being in a room surrounded by other people who feel the exact same as you, are there for the same reasons, and the band giving back just as much as we gave them.
To this day, I never feel more alive than in a crowd, all of us pouring our hearts out with the band onstage. It’s really the only time I really feel understood and that comfort is what keeps me going.

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One of the best quotes I’ve come across that really hit me, as shown above from one of my art journals, came from Soupy of The Wonder Years:

“There’s a reason we all listen to punk rock instead of Top 40. There’s a reason I’d rather be stage-diving than at a bar. I think that most everyone I know involved in punk or hardcore is intrinsically fucked up on some level. There’s something wrong with us. Maybe not “wrong”, but certainly different. Because of this, I think we all share a similar outlook and because of that, we share similar experiences. I’m just writing songs about my life, but as it turns out, my life is pretty similar to others and honestly, it feels good to know we’re in this shit together.”

I remember so clearly the first time I experienced this rush and contentment, the first time I was ever in a mosh pit. 2006, 12 years old, with my cousin (who I’d had this shitty all-girl punk band with) where we saw From First to Last and Fall Out Boy. I’d been to shows before of course, but this was the first time I was ever in the pit. I was immediately addicted to the energy.

I miss those days. Yeah, I was going through some rough shit but, for at least those first couple years, I had this outlet that I shared with my cousin; our band. I lived for practices and performing. I continued playing my own music after the band “broke up”, of course, but I’ll always hold those days as some of the best in my life.

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I can’t imagine my life without music. What’s it’s done for me. Punk, especially.

I was 11 the first time music saved my life and it’s been saving me ever since.

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Self-Harm: Always Recovering, Never Recovered

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I don’t remember the exact moment, but I know it changed me irrevocably. Obviously.

I was 12 the first time I cut myself. And I’ve been in this war of relapse and recovery ever since.

It wasn’t until last year that I realized that it’s an addiction. 10 years of this unhealthy relationship and I was only now seeing it for what it was. I even asked my family doctor about it, and she shared the same sentiments.

And it may sound so obvious but think about it – is it ever referred to as an addiction?

We turn to it in the most desperate moments because it offers a relief, if only for a moment. A relief that’s always temporary. And then you always crave it. Even years later into recovery, it’s there in the back of your mind. Every day is a fight to do the right thing and stay clean or sober.

If we talked about self-harm as an addiction, maybe it would help people understand it better, understand those who struggle with it better.

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“We couldn’t imagine the emptiness of a creature who put a razor to her wrists and opened her veins; the emptiness and the calm.” 

This quote, in one of my art journals, is from one of my favourite books – The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. It’s a beautifully tragic story and the words have resonated with me in a way not many things have.

Self-harm is a part of who I am, whether I like it or not. I will always be in recovery. I have to make peace with that.

First post: Recovery Is Better Together

I took this photo of my medications at the time when I’d been first diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

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To say this diagnosis changed my life would be an understatement. I have others, but this one is different. Bigger.

Sometimes, when I think about what all comes with living with BPD, I get so overwhelmed at how hopeless it all seems, that recovery was never a road meant for me. But more often than not, I know that’s just the disorder talking. And they all do it – my disorders, of which I’ll delve into one post at a time.

For now, I’ll give you the gist:
Besides BPD, I have been living with severe depression and anxiety for over half of my life, and as a result I turned to self-harming when I was 12 years old. ADHD diagnosis in 2014, PTSD diagnosis at the beginning of 2016.

I need my life to change. I’m ready for it. I can’t let any of these disorders control me anymore. One way I’m changing is through my writing. I’ve been writing all my life and back in December 2015, I decided to really do (or try, rather) something with my talent. I’m writing a book about my mental health journey in the Prose and Poetry genre, and being mentored by one of my favourite authors. As much as it is for me since it’s my story, I want to help others like my mentor has helped me. Give others hope, prove they are not alone no matter how dark or distant they feel.

I hope to connect to others struggling or who can relate. Please feel free to comment or contact me. Because I know I can’t do this alone – no one can.