All of us have very different opinions as to how music affects us. However, for me, things are way a little closer to perfection. I always love music as a kid, and until now on my 20’s, I still make sure that I associate my everyday duties with the songs I like. But that is not going to be the topic of this article. Since a lot of people don’t know how music works in rough times, let me share how it changed my life. Because as Daniel J. Levitin, PhD used to say, “While music has long been recognized as an effective form of therapy to provide an outlet for emotions, the notion of using song, sound frequencies and rhythm to treat physical ailments is a relatively new domain.”
The Mental Health Battle
Things in my life are pretty much standard. Honestly, I can’t complain because there is nothing to complain about either. I have my family that supports my small and huge life decisions. I hang out with good influence friends. Happy individuals in our community also surround me. With that, there is nothing I can elaborate more. However, though I get encircled with great people, I experienced a strange chill inside. I am not happy and contented with things. I once thought it was something usual because it sometimes goes away and then comes back and goes away again. I didn’t pay enough caution to the mental health side because I am entirely sure there is nothing to worry on the physical state. But then, I was wrong. I get diagnosed with major clinical depression, and it was worse. It is like what Lillian Harris LCPC-C used to explain when she wrote, “So much of mental health work is about giving people a space to be witnessed and held while sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly of human life.”
My mental illness got intense, and it tried to make me do things I know I am not supposed to do. I attempted to commit suicide. Note that “Not all people who have thoughts of suicide end up acting on those thoughts. But for those who do, generally there is deep emotional pain combined with a belief that things will never improve.” Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC said. And I consider myself part of that. I pretty much hate everything about life at that time. But then one particular moment, as I was in my room having thoughts on how to end my life, I heard a song. It was entitled “Welcome To My Life” by Simple Plan. The first few lines hit me hard, so I began listening to the whole song. The message was very devastating and relatable that I started crying. The song made me feel more helpless and unworthy. It made me realize that my life sucked. Due to the message it delivered to me, I listened to it again and again. I began to internalize and feel it more deeply. Of course, every line of it hurt my feelings over and over again. But it didn’t stop me because I felt happy emotionally hurting myself.
I Am Saved
With all the frustrations I am having that moment, I suddenly came to reality. I noticed I no longer feel burdened by something. Is it because I cried my heart out? Well, it doesn’t matter. After one whole day of listening to that song, I realized one thing. My life should be in my control, and my mental illness shouldn’t mess with it. With that moment, I started listening to songs that are hurtful and damaging. And it is meaningful that it didn’t negatively affect me. Instead, listening to devastating music helped me understand the things I am going through with my life. It allows me to manage my emotions and work myself through emotional and mental healing. One thing I will never forget in this experience is to “Give yourself permission to do some serious emotional healing to become your happiest self and remember, it is a process more than a destination.” A reminder from Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD