Music can be an emotional method of self expression, either through our choices of music, or creation. Oftentimes we associate memories with music be they good or bad. This is the power of music within our own inner worlds. Throughout my journey of mental health difficulties there have been songs that have stuck with me, encapsulating my memories, triggering my memories, or cheering me on towards a mentally healthier life. Some remind me of the most entrenched times within illness that I’ve endured, and some that remind me of recovery.
For the songs that remind me of the most difficult times, they can be emotionally triggering as they remind me of some of the lowest points in my life so far. A song for rock-bottom. However, within this gloom there is the positive viewing angle in being thankful that I am no longer there. I am a long way up from my own personal rock-bottom. Listening to songs and remembering, in addition to reflecting upon my journey has been an important process for me in accepting, observing and processing my own illness.
To hear a song that reminds me of times when I felt trapped, and like my eating disorder was my only way of surviving – and to know now, that I am over my eating disorders, that I have moved forwards healthily is a nice reminder of just how far I have come in my recovery.
For other songs however, I listened to them when I was becoming very unwell, or throughout the periods during which I was very unwell, in order to motivate my recovery. The pain they were singing about in their past rang true for my present. We connected over pain.
Some songs remind me of the desperation I had to be better, to recover, and to live a relatively happy life – and to again, reflect whilst listening to that same song allows me to review my journey with hindsight, positivity and the knowing that, I am on my way to what I have always deeply desired: a happier healthful life.
When I am struggling these songs serve still to motivate me in reminding me of everything I have learnt and processed during therapy. When I am struggling, I can listen to some of those same songs and feel a further drive towards better mental health and well-being. The impact remains the same.
In this series of posts, ‘Songs Of My Journey’ I will be posting about those exact songs that have stuck with me through my mental health journey so far. Perhaps, within these posts someone else may find them helpful in a similar way. Perhaps some of you can relate. Ultimately though, this series is for myself in order to further process, reflect upon and share my story of living with mental illness.