Music and Mental Health
Music can be so powerful. It can make you smile, laugh and cry. It can bring back memories. I know whenever I hear songs from the 90’s I’m taken back to high school sock hops. Music can be therapeutic too.
Did you know May is Mental Health Awareness Month? I decided it was the perfect time to share what I call…
My Coming out Story
Obviously now I’m open and posting about my and G’s struggles with mental illness. Sure didn’t used to be that way. Instead I was embarrassed and ashamed. I must have done something wrong for us to be like this.
I remember the turning point for me. As silly as it might sound, seeing the movie Frozen changed it all. I still member sitting in the movie theater with tears running down my cheeks. The whole concept of Elsa hiding her magic, concealing it so others wouldn’t know she was different, just really related for me. When she sang, “Let it Go”, so many of the lyrics resonated with me.
“It’s a kingdom of isolation and it looks like I’m the queen” I felt so alone in this battle.
“The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside. Couldn’t keep it in; Heaven knows I’ve tried” We tried so hard to keep it all in and keep it hidden but it was hurting us and getting harder.
“Don’t let them in, don’t let them see. Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.” Don’t let anyone know about our problems. Be good and keep it hidden.
“I don’t care what they’re going to say. Let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway” Why are we worrying so much about what other people are going to think?
“The fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all. It’s time to see what I can do to test the limits and break through” What could I do if I talked about it openly? How much different could things be?
Let it Go
It really hit home for me that it was time to stop hiding and “Let it Go”. I was expending so much energy trying to be “normal” that I should be using to help G, and myself, learn to live with the illness. Once Elsa embraced her magic, she learned that she could control it and I felt once we embraced our illnesses we could do the same.
Now anxiety and depression are just a part of me, they don’t define me. OCD is just part of who G is. She’s 8, she’s blond, and she has OCD. It just is. I often relate it to being diabetic. Our bodies, and a diabetic’s body, don’t produce the right amount of a chemical that we need to function. We need to learn to modify our life (eating differently, fighting the compulsions) and sometimes take medication to help us; and that’s OK. There’s no shame, no stigma to physical illnesses. There shouldn’t be any with a mental illness either. If I can share our story, our struggles, and our victories and help others who struggle and educate people, why shouldn’t I? After all, if I don’t speak up, who will?
Do you have a song that really resonates with you?