Just a warning that this post is not your typical “music tips” post. It’s raw, honest & I’m not sure there is a lesson in it. My hope is that it helps someone who might be going through a rough time. Mental health issues are pretty common in creative people & not many people are talking about it.
Music & My Mental Health
I’m writing this from deep appreciation for my mental health, especially considering a current event. I am still recovering but mostly back to normal.
It’s a Saturday, just like any other & after finishing up some work, I decided to treat myself to an afternoon nap. This is something I’ve needed daily for the better part of the last 2 years. It’s only recently that I have been feeling less fatigue & have had the ability to stay awake until bed time.
Anyway, so I begin to lay down on my side & I begin right away start thinking strange thoughts & noting how it’s a bit odd.
Soon these thoughts are getting a bit more intense & suddenly I am feeling strange body sensations getting equally as intense.
It feels like I have been drugged, most likely a psychedelic.
I sit up in bed & try to shake it off, but no such luck. I start to feel like I am losing my mind & it’s becoming more & more overwhelming.
I get up & look in the mirror. Yes, I am definitely on drugs, my pupils are the size of dinner plates.
I reach for my phone… “who can I call? Should I call 911? What in the actual fuck is going on!”
After a couple minutes of this intensity, which seems like ages, whatever this sensation is, has reached a peak & the worst of it has passed. The outside world still feels unreal & my body is going through feelings of vertigo. I am just thankful I am thinking somewhat rationally, even though it’s still on high alert.
How long is this going to last? Hours? Days?
Then it hit me. Wait, I’ve felt this before! It’s been 13 years, but I have felt this. I wasn’t drugged, I am having a fucking panic attack!
For the last 13 years, meds have absolutely returned my life to me. Previously I had gone through 10 horrible years of panic, hallucinations, intense pain & next level stomach problems.
So now it has returned. I’m feeling old body sensations & pains, as well as the looming anxiety. Why all of a sudden are my meds not working?
I am convinced it was because my pharmacy gave me meds from a different manufacturer. So far, it’s the only thing that makes sense, considering it happened on the 2nd day of taking this new med.
Luckily I have an emergency stash, until my proper meds are no longer on back order.
I’m sure many of you have your own mental health stories.
Nothing can make you appreciate your mental health like having it temporarily removed from you.
Although I am aware of all the coping approaches to panic & anxiety, like Meditation, Journaling, exercise, diet, breath work, yoga & all the rest, I must reluctantly admit that this little white pill has been an absolute god send.
It this common for creatives?
How common it is for music types to get involved with music as a way to escape from anxiety or depression?
For me, I think it was the idea of creating something that would attract the people who thought more like me, into one location. The idea of this always gave me a feeling of safety.
I’m curious if it’s like this for a lot of music producers. Our brains tend to work differently & we are seeking an outlet that is a right fit for us. I think we just want to receive a level of approval & acceptance beyond any that we have previously had, to express something special inside us.
A search for validation?
If you can just see a sea of people responding to your music, maybe you will finally stop having to prove your worth to the world. Just maybe this might cure you.
The truth of the matter is that this type of validation, however great, is short lived. Soon there is another mountain you need to climb to prove yourself.
And on and on it goes.
That said, I DO believe it has true rewards, many of which you can’t quite put your finger on. There are those fleeting moments where everything feels right in the world & for most of us, that makes it all worth it.
I believe THAT is ultimately why we do what we do.
How are you feeling?
If you are among the very few who have excellent mental health, please consider yourself fortunate. Many of us would kill to be in your shoes.
There is no real “message” or goal, except to say, if you have had or are having a hard time, I see you. Because I am one of you.
If you feel like you have something inside you that you need to express, but aren’t sure how to get started, I want to help you give this gift to yourself, and to others. That’s why I’m here.
I want to help the world hear your music & I hope to help you find something to focus your mind on that brings you happiness, comfort & safety.
Obviously this won’t replace professional help & therapy, so please don’t put that off. It may really help you. It did me.
You are ok & you are not alone. There is a world of people who understand & will never judge you for your challenges. Stay strong & keep moving forward.
If you are benefiting from these posts, you will absolutely love my 2 bestselling books:
The Mental Game of Music Production
The Process for Electronic Music Producers
To level up your Ableton Production Skills: Ableton Courses & Instruments
If you are looking for personal guidance with your music production or Ableton, you can set up a free chat with me to go over exactly what your best next steps are to create the best music of your life. If it seems like a good fit, we can move forward from there. https://musicsoftwaretraining.com/private-coaching
Happy music making!