Have you ever had a moment where you couldn’t think of what to say? Of course you have! We all suffer from an attack of ‘Writer’s Block” from time to time. It’s like you have many thoughts, yet don’t know exactly what to put down. It’s that “getting started” phase that you have to get through. Sometimes it’s just best to write down something….anything, just to get your mind stimulated. Rather than feeling uninspired, this is what I am doing. Perhaps, something may come of it; perhaps not. I guess that I just play it by ear and see what happens.
Well, I’m still struggling along. Mostly I’m trying to get used to this keyboard. I am using my sister’s notebook this time. I am not used to using this type of keyboard. I find myself making lots of errors! Yes, it is a bit frustrating, but I am getting the hang of it. I have to hunch slightly over to reach the computer, as it’s on a coffee table. I will take frequent breaks to relax because of this. At least spell check is enabled!
Well, in spite of all the negative goings-on in my life, I do have some great news. My aunt (who had a stroke on New Year’s Eve,) is recovering well. She is able to form sentences and communicate much better than before. She is having speech problems, as she is hard to understand. I am very grateful that she has progressed so much. She’s getting back to the same aunt that I’ve known for so long.
A Loss for Words
When I saw her in the hospital, I was nearly speechless. I was not used to seeing her lay in a hospital bed, nearly fighting for her life. She couldn’t talk – the only thing she could do was look at me, hold my hand, and grunt when she needed something. Two weeks prior, I was having conversations with her on Christmas Day. We were all taken aback, especially my uncle, who’s had a few strokes of his own. As they are in their 60s, they are slowly getting sicker and more susceptible to strokes, heart attacks, and the like. I do hope that they can hang in there for a while.
Fear and Suicidal Thoughts
I’ll be honest – I don’t know how I would react right now, if I lost one of them. I’m sure that it would trigger another depression, and maybe this time I would go to the hospital due to a psychotic break. My therapist is very concerned, as I have been struggling with suicidal thoughts for a few months now. After a failed relationship, I started to feel hopeless and helpless. I could barely function at work, and didn’t do much of anything to try and make myself feel better. I didn’t even put forth any effort to get myself out of the funk. I let myself just sink deeper and deeper. I am very glad that I have a great therapist, a therapy group, meds, and family and friends who love me dearly. Without all this, I don’t know how long I would have lasted.
The First Time
The first time I ever thought of suicide and acted upon it, I was on a high school trip in Florida. I was 15 years old, and had a really tough time getting along and making friends. I was very passive, which caused me to be pushed around and of course picked on. All these years I just felt like I didn’t fit in, and it seemed that I had no one to turn to. It just got to the point where I didn’t want to suffer anymore, and there was only one solution – to end my life. We had gotten to our hotel room and settled in for the night. When everyone was busy getting together in their little cliques, I decided to slip out of the hotel room I looked down both ends of the hallway, making sure no one could see me. I made my way to the balcony of the hotel; it was a Hyatt Regency, with 3 or 4 floors (we were on the 3rd floor,) and the balcony was within an atrium. There was a fountain on the ground floor and a baby grand piano close by. I walked up to the railing that was just outside our door and had a few thoughts – perhaps some regret. Apparently, it wasn’t enough, because I started to climb the railing very slowly, leaning forward more and more as I ascended.
Lending A Hand
I kept on going, until I heard a voice shout “go ahead, do it! I’ll even help you do it!” I recognized that voice. It was my friend (the only one I really had,) “G.” Of course, this puzzled me. He pulled me down from the railing and proceeded to explain his actions. Apparently, his father shot himself in the head when he was very young. I don’t remember if he saw it happen or not, but just to know about it would have been traumatizing. Imagine, if you were in his shoes; to have to go through life knowing how your father had taken his own life, and fighting the temptation to do it yourself. He’s very adamant in not doing that, no matter how hard his life gets. He’s still a good friend today, and I tell him when I’m feeling that way. He’s usually the first call. Thanks, man.
Take A Deep Breath…Ahhhhh
Okay, it’s good to get that out in the open. It’s true that I’m having rough times right now, but I’m not going to take the “easy way out.” It’s been a long time since I’ve felt need and appreciated because of my abilities. It means so much to me. I know that many people love and care the world for me, but that never seems to be enough. Reason being that when we are children, we are pretty much instilled with the belief that “we are what we do.” As a result, I’ve lived life on that conditional basis, and have applied it to most aspects of my life. Anyway, you get the idea, and I don’t need to go on a downward spiral. What I need to do is to get away from the negative stimuli that feed my life.
Why Do I Do It?
The answer? It’s very simple – it’s “safe.” Wait a minute, you say; how can being depressed and down most of the time keep you “safe?” It keeps you from getting hurt; from taking chances, which in turn guarantees that you don’t fail. You tend to stay in this safe haven, and you learn ways around everything that is difficult in your life. Most of the time, you run away from your problems and basically crawl into your respective “hole-in-the-wall,” (mine being a room about the size of a typical jail cell.)
Another reason is that you don’t have to take risks within your life, or make any difficult decisions. When in doubt, you just shut it out. You make the choice to be passive and run away from it all. Thus, in turn, you don’t have to shoulder a lot of responsibility or any at all.
The Price You Pay
This is all good and fine, but you certainly pay for all this. Unfortunately, you just might miss out on some really great opportunities or meeting some great people. You might miss out on some great relationships, or having a great time with family or friends. You also cheat and deny yourself of your creative side. You stay trapped, in your own little world, denying that there is anything going on around you. Of your own accord – because it’s the world you know. Everything in your world is familiar to you. There is nothing to surprise you, or catch you off-guard. You don’t have to deal with confrontation, or protect yourself from possible harm. It’s least that is the impression that you have, anyway.
I have made tremendous progress in getting out of my shell. It hasn’t been easy, I admit, but it IS moving forward. I take baby steps – I am adverse to drastic change. And so it goes…little by little. Sometimes it seems that it’s not fast enough. It’s during those times, that I need to realize that I AM making progress, and things WILL get better eventually. For example, I sat and listened to my brother-in-law talk about his job and his salary. It is a lot of money, but I didn’t get jealous at all. I’ve decided that I want to do something that I enjoy, and have a genuine talent for. I for one, (as I’ve stated before,) will not spend the rest of my life working a dead-end thankless job that will deny me of my time to play, compose, and produce music. That’s the decision that I’ve made, and I’m sticking to it.
I don’t care if that means living in some rough times for a little bit – even a homeless shelter. I don’t think that I will reach that point, but you never know. As long as I have my music, and people to jam with, I think that things will be pretty good. I hope to never lose that passion, as I do believe it is my calling in life. Anyone who has seen me play knows exactly what I’m referring to. They can see the intensity with which I pour forth my emotions and energy. The Power, The Passion, and The Glory – a triumvirate that rules over my life, and always will. The music will always live within me. Some say laughter is the best medicine. For me, such is not the case. Nothing evokes feeling and emotion so universally as music does. Nothing.
Note: this was written originally on Wednesday, May 25, 2004 @ 10:00pm