for the Writers, Musings

Thanks for the Memories: for Yaz & Mus(e)ic

I’m at writer’s retreat telling Yasmeen that I’m listening to “One night and one more time, thanks for the memories, thanks for the memories…” and she’s not sure how she could write from that anything but “memories memories.” Here’s what I’m writing. Sometimes a soundtrack of words actually works.

How many words have I typed from song? Song might be more Muse to me than any other muse. Maybe. It’s the first half of a sentence and the last half of my heart.

    • I could run on love [and music] til it dies again. I’ll always go back to music.
    • I have one less problem when music gives me the words to write.
    • If I had music, that wouldn’t be the *only* thing I ever need, but writing would be a party, it’d be ecstasy.
    • When I do everything right and am on the outside of my story, I gotta be so strong, but every other day I watch for music.
    • Maybe it’s not right that I tend towards music with lyrics more than soundtrack or classical music, but it’s okay – I’m gonna make it anyway.
    • My mind was frozen in the blizzards, it was burning like a wildfire. I tried, but I’m a natural disaster without music.
    • I’d tell myself, “Everything you say is so, so predictable and small, I don’t wanna hear you.” When it gets so frustrating, I just sing a song inside my head.
    • Maybe if you tried it you’d realize, til now you always got by on your own. You never really cared until you tried music. Now it chills you to the bone.
    • If you’re okay with music with words while writing, we could, we could belong together. Free my mind ArtPop, you make my HeartStop.
    • We could be different. Maybe we missed it. It could be different. It could. It could. It should’ve been…
    • Don’t worry, Yaz, don’t worry. I’m here by your side. We’re letting go tonight. Yesterday is gone and you will be okay.
    • If I could write a song to make you fall in love, I would already have you….I hope that you like this, but you probably won’t, you think you’re cooler than me.
    • So Yaz….can you handle it if we go against the crowd? cause I’m counting on you now.
      Are you game?

Blog Signature - Crisper

Faith, Mental Health, Musings

Karitos Retreat 2015

 

“Hey! How do you get out of here?”

 

“We don’t. We’re trapped,” I wanted to say.

 
 
11742732_1597469107208009_8860441120884512912_n

I never intended to write this blogpost. The title, yes; the content, no. Karitos 2015 was supposed to be a lovely artistic post about all the techniques and spiritual life applications from a gathering of creatives. It wasn’t supposed to be this mess.

But Karitos 2015 wasn’t a conference, it was a retreat. The classes were designed to delve into the creative’s mind and heart, not their skills and art. So unplanned by me, I was faced head-on with my anxiety, that thing that I shouldn’t blog about again so soon because I’d just finished telling everyone about it.

 
 

I sat outside the writing room, curled up, begging no one to notice. Hoping that the class had fallen for it when I picked up my phone and ran out, as if I had a call though there was no ringing. And I breathed and cried and hoped to God this wasn’t who I am. Then the girl came up – limping along in an uncertain scurry as if something was chasing her. I’m a mess, but she doesn’t seem too great either. Desperate. I saw it in her eyes. She asked how to exit the building – “How do you get out of here?” – and I told her to turn left and then right. What I wanted to say is “There’s no escape.” That’s what it feels like, and I wonder if she felt it too.

 
 

“You cannot manage a life of lies.” — Matt Tommey, #Karitos2015

 
 

It struck me. I know. I know that all this pent-up anxiety and fear and panic, it’s lies I somehow believed at the core, that somehow own me at the most inopportune times. And I knew that managing, what I’d been doing for years, wasn’t enough. I would fight this.

11745753_1012573032087299_2563336675012698307_n
 
 

But a fight doesn’t look pretty. A fight doesn’t mean as soon as I know the answer it’s all over. And I think that’s what the Christian world pretends, that enlisting in the fight means it’s all perfectly won that instant. Physical illnesses the church can understand if someone believes in healing but isn’t healed. But mental illness and the like, somehow the problem is that the person hasn’t been preached to enough.

 
 
 

In the few short weeks I’ve had a problem large enough to be on medication, to speak out about it, consult others, I’ve been told so many things I never need to hear.

 
 

“It’s just fear and lies. Let go of the lie and embrace the truth.”

I hear:

“You’re wrong, you’re believing so many wrong things, and if you just believed right like me, you’d be okay.”

 
 

“Be glad you can deal with this now before you’re married with kids. That adds so much more difficulty to bring that into marriage.”

I hear:

“You’re not whole enough for marriage yet, you’re not enough for someone else to take your problems.”

 
 
 

“Take your focus off yourself and praise Jesus. The devil can’t stand praise and will leave.”

I hear:

“You’re so self-centered with your anxiety, unlike us who are able to focus on God just fine.”

 
 
 

Those with anxiety don’t need a sermon, an answer. We have that bottled up within us, terrified to face it yet seeing it every. single. day. When my emotions are in a panic, my thoughts are overrun with dread, and my body experiences chest pain or twitching, the anxiety has taken my mind, emotion, and body, and in that state what more to a person is there? The anxiety is me, it’s all me, is what I believe. And all the while as I scream at myself “BE REASONABLE, AMY” nothing changes. Though it seems controllable, I have no control. Though it seems like it’s all my own doing, I can’t do anything but let it pass. I’m a prisoner to it. I’m fighting, but it’s not me. It’s not me. And that’s what I remind myself every. single. day.
11403042_1010964442248158_4726679093490955047_n

 
 

And if anyone feels this way, I just want to take a moment to say what I most need to hear: You’re strong! I see that. That the victory is slow does not mean it’s any less. I hope healing and freedom is instantaneous for you, but if it is not, know this: That you get back up every time to fight, you. are. strong. Keep going. And I’m with you in it.

 
 
 
 

You Are Strong

 
 

I won the battle at Karitos 2015. My unexpected panic attack where things should have been safe, it made me stronger. I’d like to say I won everything, but I’m still getting there. I opened up. I pressed forward. And I will keep on going.

 
 
 

Blog Signature - Crisper