To Music or Not To Music?

I love music. LOVE. It’s almost ungodly how much I love music. That’s why it bummed me out when I realized that listening to certain music was affecting my mood in a bad way.

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RIP Harry’s hair

I discovered One Direction somewhere around December of last year, after they did their Carpool Karaoke with James Corden (I swear it was glorious). That led to a . . . six-ish month obsession with all things 1D, including listening to “Perfect” and “Alive” on repeat depending on my mood. Taylor got hella annoyed with me since he actually started learning 1D songs just by driving around in my car. Sorry, love.

More recently, I binged on 3 weeks of nothing but Halsey. God, her voice is just . . . oh, it sends chills down my spine. “Gasoline” and “Control” both struck major chords with me (no pun intended), and I listened to the former on repeat for hours.

Then I tried to write. Nope, nothing. I tried to stop listening. Nope–the addiction was real. I felt like an alcoholic dying for another drink. It got to the point that I knew my mood was going to be awful if I didn’t listen, but listening didn’t make me feel better anymore. I felt weird.

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Love her music, love her voice.

I think part of it had to do with the fact that I was having so much trouble writing. Anything that gets in the way of my writing is something that has to disappear. After spending six months with a severe case of “I’m writing because I have to, not because I want to,” I recognized the signs of Halsey’s affect on me almost immediately.

I can’t explain it. I’ve tried to research “music that puts you in a bad mood” but such a concept just doesn’t seem to exist. What’s bizarre is it’s music I love. I really wish I could explain the phenomenon, but maybe I’m just an addict who can’t get enough so it stops fulfilling my needs.

Have you guys ever experienced anything like this? Does it seem bizarre? I’m curious what you think since the rest of the Internet doesn’t seem to know what I’m talking about.

Nothingness

I want to do nothing.

I don’t want to be here or there or awake or asleep or moving or still. I am in a state of contradictions. I can’t think and yet my mind is racing. I feel frozen but I’m filled with energy. I am fluctuating between irate and numb, but happy doesn’t seem to be on the radar.

Coping mechanism: mental writing. As I drove in to work, I screamed internally at the drivers on the freeway. It took a great deal of self-restraint not to lay on the horn as I drove behind a car going 55-mph in a 65-mph zone. In Phoenix, you’re allowed to go up to 75-mph before highway patrol will pull you over, so this person was essentially going 20 mph under the understood speed limit.

In my head, I wrote a scene with Lukas (one of my VHAMA characters). He’s the one that has road-rage issues–but good road-rage, not the kind of road-rage you see on TV with people literally driving over motorcyclists or getting out of the car and shooting the other drivers. Lukas is angry, but not crazy.

In my head, Lukas told his sister that if he were highway patrol, he’d revoke everyone else’s driver’s licenses. Anyone going under 60-mph would get pulled over, ticketed, and then moved to side-streets. Anyone who couldn’t stay in their own goddamn lane (he said “fucking lane,” but I figured that’s probably overkill) would encounter the same fate.

Lukas also often yells, “WHY ARE YOU GOING TWELVE MILES AN HOUR?” when driving behind someone going under 70. (Taylor can tell you that this comes from something I definitely do.)

(ADD side note: For the love of God, please keep professional emails to 250 words maximum. Some of us receive no fewer than 200+ emails a day. This isn’t high school; we do not require you add fluff to your essays.)

(This is where I give a giant middle finger to every teacher who took off points on my papers for not making them long enough. Guess what, honey? The real world wants short, simple, and to the point. I see your academic bullshit and the 2.89 GPA you gave me, and raise you the fact that I make more money than you do and I’m twenty-fucking-five.) 

Anyway.

 

Numb

Orlando, Dallas, Nice, Istanbul. . . . I feel like I haven’t stopped crying for weeks.

I got a letter in the mail today. My 46-year-old psychiatrist died of an unexpected medical emergency.

I feel like there aren’t even words anymore.

I Am Okay

After a fabulous day of breakfasting and coffee-ing and working and First Friday-ing, I had a momentary crisis. That’s the beauty of my mental state: once I acknowledge that all things are good and I am okay, all of the bad thoughts decide to rush in and send me spinning.

Ugh.

What to do, what to do? My brother and I found this amazing place to meditate a couple of years ago, and it’s become my safe-haven. I drive into the parking lot and immediately breathe better. It’s nuts how this place calms my anxiety.

Tonight I pulled into the parking lot, locked everything in the car, and immediately headed for a quiet space. After a few minutes of falling apart, I started a mantra, and at 11:00 on the nose, everything in me quieted and I was okay to go home.

I am okay.
I am alive
I am hurt
I am scared
I am human
It is okay to be hurt
It is okay to be scared
And because I am both of these
I am human,
I am alive,
and I am okay.

Back Again, old friend?

It’s funny. The only time I feel like writing via digital means is when everything is going wrong. When things are right, my hand aches for a paper and pen. This is a new phenomenon, about two months old.

You’ve probably figured by now that things aren’t going well.

I find refuge in books before I seek the same in writing. I’ve read six books in the last week, all on my Kindle. More digital intrusion.

The books were two trilogies, both by Cassandra Clare. The last book I read was Clockwork Princess and it drained me. The novel is beautiful, but I cry through about 50%. Every other page either rips my heart out or makes me laugh. The last few chapters are mostly the former.

The pharmacist switched brands on my meds. The new ones aren’t as effective as the last batch. I feel like I’ve gone back about three months–three months of not having particularly damaging mood swings. I even had about three weeks without anxiety gripping me at inconvenient hours.

Instead, I’m back to crying in the car when a song hits me too hard. I’m not talking songs like, “Allissa Lies,” which should make every red-blooded English speaker bawl. I’m talking any and every song about break-ups or falling in love. Yup. I’m that girl. I hate that girl. She annoys me.

On the bright side, I’ll be listening to NPR and reading Wired magazine with unnatural dedication.

My headache is doing awful things to my stomach. Ideally I’ll be back to hand writing my thoughts soon.