Sometimes I forget just how much I love music. I can get absolutely lost in a song; caught up in a catchy chorus and soothed by soulful lyrics- music therapy is legit. Lucky for me, I was introduced to classical music as a child by my dad. Although it’s not what I usually have on my Pandora (even though I do have a Scott Joplin station that would make my Pop proud) it taught me to develop such an appreciation for real instrumental compositions. A song is not composed of just one thing. If you listen close, you’ll hear it’s multiple melodies going on simultaneously yet separately, working together in harmony. It’s too bad all us humans can’t do that, huh?
I’m an old soul when it comes to music; my most favorite band is the Beatles and my favorite genre is hands down 60s/70s (I pretty sure I was a flower child in a previous life). Not only was I fortunate enough to learn about Mozart and Beethoven at a young age, but my mom and sisters often listened to oldies and the classics, so I was no stranger to good music. My love grew much more when I enrolled in the school band. I played -are you ready for this?- tuba and then baritone from 6th-12th grade. While I loved making music, I can honestly say I was in it for the social comradery more than the passion of playing, but it gave me a whole new aspect and appreciation for what really goes into a song. It goes so much deeper than some background noise you have on at work. If you have never taken a long, meaningless drive with your favorite song turned all the way up and rockin’ out like it ain’t nobody’s business, then I encourage you to stop reading this blog and go do so immediately. But be sure to come back and finish the blog when you’re done.
Oh good, you’re back. So, as I was saying, music has a way of making you feel certain ways, provoke emotions, and allow you to express yourself in a way you didn’t know how. But what’s crazy to me is the way a song can be like a time capsule. There are so many different songs that, even when I hear them still to this day, immediately launch me back in time to the memory that accompanies it. Important or special moments in my life are all loosely tied with music, the phases of genres I’ve gone through as I’ve grown up providing a general timeline of my life. I will admit, though, it’s not always a good thing. Some of my favorite songs take me back to a time I don’t want to revisit, to a space I can never go back to and to a memory that is sometimes too bittersweet to bear. I’m not sure why, but I’ve been making myself listen to some of this music. It’s my own form of torture, I guess. Although I love the songs themselves, I don’t love the emotions they can arouse. But I’ve finally decided to confront the feelings in attempts to conquer it and continue on. Or maybe, I can’t fight this feeling anymore (you get +100 awesome points if you got the reference).
A long time ago, I blogged about the stages of grief and my theory on it, which is that it is a process that you can go through multiple times and in random orders. Well for today’s blog, we’ll be revisiting Stage 2: Anger. For a long time I felt fine, 2013 was a pretty good year. Then, starting around Christmastime, probably coming down off the high from my California trip and the taste of independence I had, it’s been a struggle. I had big plans for 2014, which have unfortunately been slightly delayed. No doubt that those kind of setbacks could affect me so heavily. Or perhaps it is just the lingering infection that has me so blah lately, an evidently nasty bug that refuses to clear could certainly cause me to be more morose. Honestly, however, I think it stems from something deeper than that.
Listening to some of my old music and entertaining the emotions they provoke, one feeling keeps resurfacing and that is anger. I guess I never realized how angry I felt that the life I made for myself was taken away without my consent. That’s not to say my life was anything spectacular, 23 and going nowhere fast, but it was my journey to create and it got taken from me. Even though I do sometimes feel that breaking my neck inadvertently saved my life because I simply could not imagined where I would be today. I don’t think I was leading the type of life I am meant to lead. I wish I had realized then what I know now, but hindsight is always 20/20, right? If I had known sooner, my life would have been totally different. I would have spent more time going out and doing all the things I’ve always wanted: exploring the world around me and living more in the moment without letting life just simply pass me by, always waiting for a tomorrow that never came. Stop sitting on the couch and go out and live life.
In this period of my life now, I feel like I can’t make all my own decisions or even yet embark on my new journey and move on with my life. I just feel stuck. I always feel stuck, always waiting for something – waiting for more money, waiting for rehab, waiting for surgeries, waiting to drive. Some days it just seems like every time I get past a speed bump, there’s a red light that follows. Feeling like you get knocked down every time right after you get back up takes its toll on a person. It really kinda makes it impossible to plan some sort of timeline of goals because it seems like when I do, something always comes up. I know now that there is absolutely NO timeline to any type of recovery, but it’s difficult not to get discouraged when your general expectations are far from being met. I guess I just thought at almost 4 years post injury I’d be at a different point than where I am now; however, a good friend of mine who has lived with SCI for the last 15 years told me that the first 5 years post-injury are the toughest. That being said, I’ll be holding my breath til June 13, 2015.
I know there is a reason for my accident and for God taking me out of the life I was in and putting me here. I have no doubt it was for the best, although I don’t always agree with His method. But riddle me this: Can you honestly go through life without questioning why bad things happen to good people? Sometimes it just doesn’t make any sense, and I’m barely even talking about my situation anymore. I know this is where faith comes in. Believe me, I have faith. Sometimes it’s the only shred of something I have left to cling on to. But you can still have faith and question these things and get angry, right? I think we’re entitled to that. At least I’m giving us all permission to. If you don’t confront it and deal with it, how do you ever move pass it?
I’m sure some of you are tempted to offer me words of encouragement and advice, but – and please take no offense – unless you have rolled a mile in these wheels (and I do mean that literally) then nothing you say will really resonate with me. It’s sad but true, you never understand what someone goes through unless you’ve been in their situation. I don’t write this blog for pity, sympathy, nor advice or encouragement; this blog is my story, on the good days and the bad. This blog is my struggle, my journey to recover, to rediscover myself and move on with my life. It’s not always pretty and it’s far from perfect. I write these blogs because otherwise I might go crazy one day. I write these blogs because a friend who also lives with SCI recently told me how much my blog touches people and hearing that so randomly from somebody who has lived with SCI longer than I really hit me. It was much needed validation for all my recent questioning. I write these blogs because I have something to say. Whether anyone wants to read it or not.. Well, that’s a whole different blog and I think we can both agree that this has gone on long enough.
With all that being said, and because I always feel awkward trying to end my blog, I’ll just cut it off here. You can pretend that it’s like the end of The Sopranos when everything cuts to black and you never find out th.
Yeah, I just did that.
**Note- too tired to edit, please forgive all the grammatical errors, I’m sure there’s plenty.