OK, now you may not be into music, you may not be into the Stone Roses, you may not be into Ian Brown, or you may not even have heard of them. That’s fine. What’s important here is the meaning behind the message that I want to share with you.
Back when I was in the depths of my depression and I was closed off to the world. One day, and I don’t know why, I put on some music.
Now to set the scene, music has always been a large part of my life. If I wasn’t learning music, I was playing music. If I wasn’t playing music I was listening to music, if I wasn’t listening to music I was performing music. You get the idea. I remember in my teens and early twenties if I’d had a rough day, I used to get in, go to my room, pick up my guitar and sing my heart out. I would disappear into music and come out 30 mins later feeling great. It was my outlet.
So going back to my depression, I hadn’t performed live for about 2 years! Hadn’t picked up an instrument for just as long and didn’t listen to music anymore. I’d lost that passion.
So now you get an idea of the significance of me putting on some music. Now my wife will probably hate me for saying but I remember her coming home from work that day, expecting to find me in my usual spot on the couch. Either in silence or staring blankly into the TV. But she found me doing some artwork listening to music and she started to cry. Tears of happiness by the way, it wasn’t that she hated my taste in music! Well possibly 🙂
Anyway, I like all sorts but for some reason I put on a new Ian Brown album. This album actually became my safety blanket for a while. I would be so nervous and anxious before seeing my counsellor, I would listen to it in my headphones literally up until the point that my counsellor invited me into the room for a session. It kept me calm. Or calmer than I would have otherwise been.
One day at home listening to the album in full, an older song of Ian Brown’s came on called F.E.A.R. I’d have to say it was already one of my favourite Ian Brown songs but on this day, the lyrics really opened my eyes and it got to me. I suddenly got the meaning of the words, or at least they suddenly meant something deep to me.
The cool thing about the song F.E.A.R. is that the first letter of each word in each line of the lyrics, spells the word fear.
Now I had been exploring with my counsellor, my FEAR. I had fear about losing my job. I had fear about not being able to pay the mortgage. I had fear that if this happened my family, including my kids would think less of me. Essentially this whole complex fear of being a man and not being able to provide for my family and all the pressure that brought with it. As always I think it’s important to note here that all this was an illusion my mind, with the help of my depression and anxiety, had created.
This fear I had was consuming me and making me feel trapped with no control over my thoughts or my life.
When I listened to the song, the lyrics really got to me. Not in a bad way. I should mention that the song is not one of fear by its very definition. It’s a very positive song and flips the word FEAR, into positives. I’ll give you some examples.
“Forget Everything And Remember, For Everything A Reason.” So to me this meant, I had to forget everything that was happening to me now, as this isn’t the real me. Remember the real me, the good times, and that everything happens for a reason. If I really wanted to I could come out of this horrific experience stronger for it.
“Final Eternity Arouses Reactions, Freeing Excellence Affects Reality.” My suicidal episodes was the “Final Eternity” but this had woken something inside me that was making me react. I was no longer in the zombie state day to day. If I can feel motivated, hell, feel anything for once, this could affect my reality. I had a glimmer of hope that I could come out of this alive. That’s some quite heavy stuff I know, but that was my reality at the time.
Anyway, I could go on, but you get the idea. Towards the end he says, “Finding Everything And Realising…..you got the F.E.A.R.” And at this point I thought to myself, I have this fear that I had been discussing with my counsellor, but I’ve just realised it doesn’t have to be a negative. I could turn that fear into a positive and give the word new meaning to myself. I guess you could say that hope was starting to grow, though I had a long road ahead.
I actually told one of my best mates about this experience, right about when I had just told my close friends and family about my mental health issues. He very kindly bought me a picture with the lyrics on that I have hanging on my wall at home as a reminder for me.
The word no longer means darkness and despair to me, it means hope and taking back control of my life. I’ll leave you with this last one…
“Fantastic Expectations, Amazing Revelations!”
Take care of yourselves.