Posts Tagged ‘Modern Day meditation’

When I am depressed, it is almost impossible for me to enjoy music.  Music that I have otherwise grooved to just irritates me.  If I try to listen to music while I’m exercising, I turn it off.  When I am even a little bit up, I love music – it  takes me to some wonderful places.  In my recent long spell of depression, I mostly lost track of music – now, praise God, I’m starting to get it back.

About ten years ago, I was hospitalized in the same state hospital twice in a month.  The first time, I came in suicidally depressed, then within my first day there flipped over into being pretty manic.  There was a terrific young woman staff member who rotated among the units doing I don’t know what she called it: “exercise therapy”? “music therapy”?  She would come on our unit maybe every day, using just a cheap boombox, and would play very upbeat music while she had us up on our feet following her in some series of aerobics.

Well, I pretended to do her exercises, but I mostly just danced.  I had a ball.  i was totally all over the rhythm, owned the beat.  I pretended i was dancing in some wonderful, magical night club – not a dingy and oppressive mental hospital.  I loved the (mostly not so special) music over this less than mediocre sound system.  I do think she was genuinely terrific – upbeat, supportive, charming.  But then I may have been exaggerating that, too.

They let me out of that place in just a few days – I was no longer depressed and they don’t keep you there if you’re not dangerous to yourself or others.  I was back again in just two weeks – the shortest time ever between two hospitalizations, but I hadn’t stayed long enough the first time to really do much good, and had left seriously manic.  This time my suicidal depression didn’t lift for a couple of weeks.  And I hated that exercise class.  I couldn’t find the beat.  My body would not move.  It was all painful.

I’ve been doing a meditation called Modern Day Meditation, which is all done to music and they encourage you to get up and move if that is what is wanting to be expressed through you.  They also encourage you to do this at home, and when you are having a hard time to try at least to let yourself to go with one song: to dance hard, cry, shake, scream, whatever – just to get the energy moving.

One day a few weeks ago, when I was really bottomed out, I went up to my room, played some of my favorite Spotify music, and did most of these things.  I had a very hard time getting into it – at first most of it felt like hard work.  The music just didn’t work for me.  I several times changed what I was listening to, some of my favorite music just grated on me.  But little by little, over the course of about 40 minutes,  I did get some release.  Then I went out on my front porch and wrote for about an hour and ended up feeling pretty good.

So I know it can work.  And I believe there must be music out there which is soothing when I’m depressed – I just haven’t found it.  Know some?  Put it in a comment where we can all see it.

For the last two weeks, I have again been mostly depressed, and I have let go of the music that three weeks ago – through the magic of Spotify – I was happily discovering.  This morning, a couple of days into being at about a 5 (slightly expanded) on my manic-depression scale, while walking the dog I discovered Ani DiFranco (not dance music, but warm and rich and human and poetic) on Spotify – and life is good.

My current Ani DiFranco fix

My current Ani DiFranco fix

Knuckle Down cover - doesn't she ever look full of life!?

Knuckle Down cover – doesn’t she ever look full of life!?


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