Coping With Music

I have always been bad at expressing my emotions. I never learned how to work through them so they don’t eat me alive. I have worked through various bad coping mechanisms, but what I found works best for me is music.

If I am sad and don’t want to deal with the world, I put my headphones in and blast music. That way I am focusing on the music and not what is making me sad, or that I have no idea why I am sad. I used to play depressing music when I was sad, to help me feel the sadness, because for some reason I thought I deserved it. Now I play uplifting music when I am sad. This helps me realize what is good about my life, what I am doing well. It helps me remember that the sadness will pass, and it doesn’t encompass my life anymore.

When I don’t know what I am feeling I look through YouTube and Pandora until I find a song that seems to fit what I am feeling. It is easier for me to decipher what the song is feeling than it is for me to be like “Oh! I’m frustrated!” Doing this also helps me feel the feelings, rather than stuffing them down until they explode.

I was raised around music. I started playing violin when I was three, and at home music is always playing, so it seems natural that I use it to cope.

I didn’t realize that this was how I was coping until one day I was doing chores and feeling sad, for no reason, and had my headphones in. My boyfriend was asking me if I was upset, he thought I was because he realized that I always put them in when I am upset. It is nice to know that people care.

 

~Maddie

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The Depression Mindset

People seek out what is the most comfortable for them. When you have depression that is what becomes your comfort zone. I consider myself in the “recovery” stage of my journey with depression, but sometimes I find myself feeling uncomfortable when I am happy.

When I am genuinely happy, it can be uncomfortable, or confusing. With depression you spend so much time not being happy, that when it happens without you doing anything, it can catch you off guard. You spend years learning how to cope with the sadness that is thick, and overwhelming, that once you break through it you don’t know how to handle the happiness.

I have often found myself watching sad movies or videos, listening to sad music, or reading sad books all in an attempt to make myself sad. I can handle being sad. I know how to be sad. I have to learn how to be happy again.

I don’t mean that I have to learn how to MAKE myself happy, I mean that I havedepression-warning-sign-rev to relearn how to live with the feeling of being happy. It feels weird to me, uncomfortable, wrong, and that is the scary part.

I WANT to be happy, I don’t want to be sad, and I enjoy being happy. The feeling of happiness simply feels uncomfortable and wrong. It’s like putting on clothing that irritates your skin, you spend all of your time thinking about how uncomfortable the clothing is rather than thinking about how good you feel in it when you look in the mirror.

More, and more I find myself wishing I had some sort of coping mechanism for when I feel uncomfortable being happy. I am aware that making myself sad is not a healthy coping mechanism. Recently, when I have felt like that, I have been reminding myself of how bad I felt when my depression was at its worst. That way I appreciate being able to feel happy more than I worry about how uncomfortable it makes me.

I am still working through how I handle my emotions. It is still a daily battle to develop healthy coping mechanisms, and catch myself before I can use unhealthy ones.

All you can do is keep working.

 

~Maddie

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