WAKE UP: The biggest difference between my personal Facebook family account and my new personal account that I created solely for my music and performing artist connections, is that there are a lot more people I can relate to on my artist account. Not just creatively either. It appears that in addition to our love of creating our own music to present to the entertainment industry and the rush we get from pleasing our fans and followers, just about every day I see a different person on my artist page, venting or expressing their emotions publicly, the best way they know how and the first thing that comes to mind is, "they're having a mental health crises and I don't think they even realize it".
AS FOR ME, I've already been diagnosed with a mental health condition. I learned that I have major depressive and anxiety disorders that sent my life spiraling out of control again at the top of 2019 and I'm still being treated for it as of the date of this post so it's been over a year now. I've been experiencing severe emotional distress that was triggered by a series of events that left me feeling a sense of loss and betrayal. Over several months it became too much to bear. I won't go into the specifics in this post but it's bad. Really bad. The last time I experienced a nervous break down like this was 20 years ago but the symptoms were not nearly as bad and they didn't last nearly as long as this most recent episode but the subject matter is extremely similar. So similar that my primary care doctor described it at PTSD.
While the treatment I received from my mental health care team seemed to be working at first, somewhere along the way things went left and they've had to make several adjustments to the dosage of meds I was prescribed. I don't know if it's the meds or the mental health alone but whatever it is has changed me in ways that are affecting my ability to work as an artist. Here are some examples:
1. I haven't lost my ability to be creative but I have lost the motivation to create.
2. I haven't lost my ability to get new clients but I've lost the desire to work with them in person. So I've been declining requests with the exception of an online session from time to time because it's not always the clients that concern me. It's mostly people I associate with betrayal. Every situation is different tho and I'm still working with a therapist to figure it out.
3. I haven't lost my ability to be a social butterfly but I have lost my ability to do it in person, at events, by phone, video chat or email. I only feel safe when I can control those type of interactions by scheduling them in advance so I can be mentally prepared and therefore the only form of acceptable communication with anybody is via social media or texts. When people ask to call me or video chat the fear runs through my body and I feel like a deer in headlights. I can't trust everybody with this information for fear they'll think I'm "crazy".
4. I can't open mail without feeling anxiety. I can't answer phone calls without feeling anxiety. My anxiety becomes much worse when somebody that is associated with the circumstances that triggered my latest episode of mental illness, tries to connect with me.
5. I haven't been taking care of myself the way I was before. If it were not for my husband I don't know what I'd do. He's a true blessing. I feel bad cuz we use to go out all the time but now I can't. I just can't. He's literally pulling the weight of both of us. Even when it comes to communication with family, he does it on my behalf.
DEAR READERS: So what I need my readers to understand is that the behavior I've described is AVOIDANCE. To make it easier to understand, the circumstance that triggered all these personality changes continue to cause me to feel emotional, anxious, depressed, sick to my stomach, overwhelmed, nervous and out of control. In order to protect myself from experiencing those thoughts and feelings, I avoid just about everything that may put me at risk. Even though I understand this logical explanation, all that logic goes right out the window when people try to connect with me in a way that makes me feel the symptoms of anxiety. Then for added concern, the fact that I'm stuck in this nightmare day after day really does make death look like a better option but it's NOT and if you believe it is, it's time to change your thinking. Fortunately I've recovered enough to at least know that much.
Now of course there's a lot more to all of this but I won't be going in to all of that today. I just wanted to paint a picture of how my life has drastically changed over the last year and how it's effected my ability to do all the things I once loved...and still love. If I can't coach singers or continue helping artists...If I can't complete the books I've already started or create new music...If I can't get out and connect with my family and friends and network with other artists and music industry professionals, then I don't have any motivation to get out of bed every day.
THE TAKE AWAY: I've just used my own personal story to demonstrate something that our creative community is silently dealing with daily. Their circumstances may be set up differently than mine and we may have different levels of endurance, but I know somebody reading this totally get's it while others won't. Somebody out there is at the end of their rope and all out of hope.
So anywhooo...Today I'm seeking alternative ways to manage my disorder, which brings me to the true purpose of this post. After being inspired by what I've heard from other music and performing artists, from blogs and videos I researched on Google and ultimately what I've also learned after consulting with a few friends that offer professional services dealing with natural healing through meditation and positive affirmations, I've decided to try something new. I didn't realize until recently that so many artists....actually so many people that have suffered with anxiety and depression have been benefiting from meditation and other natural methods of healing that involve positive energy and positive thoughts. I'd love to bring my readers along to join me on this journey to hopefully become a better, more productive and more peaceful version of ourselves. If we're already down then there's no where left to go but UP.
WAKE UP: One of the greatest things I've learned through my healing process is that as long as we take even the smallest step in the right direction each day, it's still an accomplishment. For me, just getting dressed was breaking news lol. Then when I'd later advance to cleaning the kitchen....awww hell...I'm on my way! And if we have a day where we take one or two steps backwards, it's okay. It's OKAY. Tomorrow we'll try again. Every time we TRY we win. If you can just have the WILL to just open your eyes and even if you don't feel like getting out of bed yet, just WAKE UP, take baby steps, open your eyes and speak out loud the things you desire to have and accomplish. Speak out loud about the person you desire to become so God and the whole universe can hear you. Write it down so you can see it. Speak it everyday until you believe it because then it goes from being a desire or dream to actually becoming your new reality. Let's speak positive things into existence. The mind is the most powerful thing God gave us. Don't forget to thank him for that blessing and please don't use your mind to self sabotage yourself by speaking negative words and actions. Use it for good. That's how our minds were intended to be used. I'm not just saying this to you, the readers, I'm also speaking to my own inner soul so I can also motivate myself to be better. I'd like to close this post with something my husband told me on one of the many occasions I was having a tough time during the healing process....I swear he's my angel on earth.
“You just need to take it easy. You definitely need to get out of the house and take a walk or drive. Staying cooped up in the house is not doing you any good. Make a list of your goals and make sure you do it. And I’m not trying to be funny but simple things such as: Day 1: get up and get dressed. Day 2: get dressed and do my hair. Day 3: get dressed and walked around the block and so on. Do baby steps, and stop thinking too deep into everything. IT’S GOING TO BE ALRIGHT. IF I can help let me know. Just always remember I am here for you. Love You” - Rod
-- Sent from Gmail Mobile
FOLLOW ME | SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG: I'll be posting positive affirmations, prayers and meditation techniques for us to try in my upcoming blog and social media posts as I learn them. (I'm new to this too) To join my page search on Facebook @SingingFlat (VocalzMusic & Publishing) and please share the posts that you believe may be useful to others as well. If you'd like to add to this conversation, please leave a comment below.