Mental Health, Music, & Self Loathing
I recently finished reading (okay, I listened to the audiobook) This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. This book is about a girl struggling to find her place in the world while battling bullies, loneliness, and an extremely unhelpful (if not downright detrimental) inner voice. The only thing keeping her head above water is music. Here’s how it is described on the author’s website —
Elise Dembowski is not afraid of a little hard work. In fact, she embraces it. All her life, she’s taken on big, all-encompassing projects. When she was eight years old, she built her own dollhouse. When she was thirteen, she taught herself stop-motion animation. And when she’s fifteen, she embarks on the biggest, and most important, project of them all: becoming cool. Except she fails. Miserably. And everything falls to pieces.
Now, if possible, Elise’s social life is even worse than it was before. Until she stumbles into an underground dance club, and opens the door to a world she never knew existed. An inside-out world where, seemingly overnight, a previously uncool high school sophomore can become the hottest new DJ sensation. Elise finally has what she always wanted: acceptance, friendship, maybe even love. Until the real world threatens to steal it all away.
In a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, Leila Sales delivers an exuberant novel about identity, relationships, and the power of music to bring people together.
This book really hit home, especially now. There is so much about Elise’s journey that I identify with—the feeling of not belonging, negative thoughts about oneself, and a deep love of music are all things that I have felt or dealt with for about as long as I can remember.
See, self-loathing is my specialty. I suspect that the worst things ever said about me, came out of my own mouth. What’s truly messed up is that I can’t imagine not hating myself. How f*cked up is that?
Aside from the characters that hit a bit too close to home and the story itself, one of the really cool things about this book is the Recommended Listening list at the end. Leila Sales has some good taste in music. And it’s all over the place, which makes it even more fun! So obviously, I had to make a playlist inspired by this book. I’ve included some of the recommended songs, some different songs from the artists on that list, and stuff of my own choosing. I’m not sure if dance parties like the ones in this book actually exist (though the author says that they do and she does event planning, so she is sure to know better than my dumb ass), but if they do, they sound amazing.
I’m So Over It
I am so done with social media. Every time I find myself scrolling my timeline, I get irritated. Why do people share so much crap? And trust me, I’ve been as guilty of this as the next person. But now when I see some random-ass post about some completely inane thing or some take that the author is sure to think of as hot or virtue signaling that amounts to less than nothing productive, all I can think is “who fucking cares.” And don’t even get me started on the people who are so completely online that that seems to be all they talk about. Or, or those “news” stories that are nothing more than a bunch of tweets. Jesus fucking Christ, what are we doing people?!?
At this point I use social media for two things: 1) to keep in contact with people and 2) to promote my dopey podcast (okay, I also like to post pictures of books or DVDs that have titles that correspond with song lyrics because it cracks me up). Hell, since I started back writing this thing, I haven’t shared it on social media and I don’t plan to, especially since it has turned into a vehicle to talk about my mental health struggles. Admittedly, there is this account on Instagram that is too cute that I enjoy and I am a sucker for those “out of context” accounts so I too am part of the problem.
Do you have people that you almost always downplay your problems or put on a brave face to? I’ve noticed that I’m doing that with my parents more often. Despite the fact that I tend to word vomit my problem on here (and weirdly enough in the first draft of my yearly self-evaluations) I really do not like talking about this shit. Hell, I have a hard time talking to my therapist about this stuff. It makes me feel all self-conscious and gross, so I try to put on a brave face. Well…that might be a bit of a stretch considering that I wear my heart on my sleeve but I think I’m good at hiding it from folks that don’t know me that well. That and my default response to questions like “how are you?” is “not bad.” The last thing I want to do is to take my crap out on someone else. They don’t need that. So, as I begin this new day I am going to try my damnedest to not lash out at people who annoy the bejesus out of me.