Yesterday I finally listened to music that wasn’t on the radio.
Let me explain why that feels like quite a step.
I associate things – music, art, places, with people and emotions – I have horrendous short and long-term memory, to sometimes a worrisome level (a leftover from the PTSD I so dearly love) so one of the ways to subconsciously remember how I felt or who I met, I seem to associate them with something else. When I hear some pieces of music I will completely and wholly feel the emotion that it’s associated with. I know everyone does this to a degree.
This means that music can be a wonderful therapy for me – I have songs that I know make me sing whether I’m a crying mess or happy anyway – or it can mean I have to leave the room when certain songs are played. When I’m really struggling, like I have been for the last few weeks, I don’t want to listen to anything, even the songs that usually give me a boost. The reasons are two-fold: I don’t want to associate the song – or even the musician – with that time and emotion, and quite frankly a lot of the time when I’m struggling all I really want to do is stay in bed, not interact with anything outside my tiny space that I know is safe, and stay there forever.
I’ve done a bit of the hiding away, but in less of a tiny space than usual – mainly just staying in the house – over the last little while. I’ve been at my parents house, and with my Christmas family in mid-Wales, both of which are ‘safe’ (in this situation anyway) and I’ve not done much interacted with the real world outside – and it’s taken a fair bit of psyching up and felt like a huge achievement when I did. The thought of interacting with anyone, dealing with the possibility someone will say something that makes me cry – I’m not a pretty cryer, and pretty self conscious which doesn’t help – is at times paralyzing. The thought of being so isolated from the outside world is mainly a relief, not often a stress inducer, but especially since I have such a connection with this virtual world – I can still talk to friends, see what they’re up to, and (mostly) do my job – it really feels like a great thing most of the time. But that is then counteracted with the opposite sometimes – I need to be around people, not even people I know sometimes, but with that ‘real’ world in some way. It’s really quite hard work.
But yesterday; yesterday I listened to some music, and I went to the Post Office. That felt like a step in the right direction maybe.
I’ve not got to being able to listen to her yet, but one of my absolute favourite musicians to listen to is Yvonne Lyon. I first saw her at Greenbelt about 3 years ago – I’ve never had such a strong positive reaction to hearing a musician before, and I think she’s fabulous. I have two of her albums so far, and really wish she would play further south! Here are some of my favourites – her name is a link to her website if you want to check out anymore.