Hello All! Michelle from Faces of Recovery here again. Thanks to the Faces of Recovery Members for sharing their messages. I have one final personal message to round off our week of recovery and resilience inspired posts in recognition of EDAW.
Music has always been a big part of my life. I have always loved listening to music and in my teens I started experimenting with playing guitar, piano, singing, and writing songs. I have written a number of songs in my life and sang in a band for a few years in my early twenties, but as far as playing an instrument and singing in front of people went, I was always too scared to play in front of crowds. It wasn’t until recently (at one of Riverwalk’s Songs to Recovery spring concerts, in fact) that I finally got up the nerve to perform in front of people solo – just me and my guitar. It was terrifying and exhilarating in equal measures. I got up there and just closed my eyes and tried to immerse myself in the performance rather than thinking about what other people were thinking of me. And it worked! The performance was not perfect by any means, but I was okay with that. I put my heart and soul into my performance and that was all that really mattered.
For me, a big part of resilience is being able to face your fears. I was terrified of playing music in front of people because I was afraid of failure. I was afraid that if I made a mistake, it would reflect poorly on my worth as a human being. Nowadays I know this to be a false belief. FAIL = First Attempt in Learning. Personally, if I don’t take risks and go out of my comfort zone, even just a little bit, I don’t grow and learn. This is easier said than done but I am working on living this philosophy a little more each day.
Long story short is, I now am a little more comfortable with playing my music in front of people. It still terrifies me, but not to the extent that that fear will stop me. I get too much joy from playing music to let a little thing like fear hold me back. I’d like to share with you a video from a concert that a friend and I played in my backyard for friends and family. The song is called I Will Not Be Taken In and it’s about not allowing yourself to be strung along by unrealistic expectations that others/the media/whomever may have of you. You can find the lyrics below.
A single wave makes its way
Into the universe, a smile that never hurts
The miles you make are etched into your skin
You wear your past like the brand it is
Lost in the barrel of a gun, the spark ignites your sun
The space between the trigger finger and the hammer thumb
I am running from the ones who carry poison on their tongues
I live with knowing this cannot be undone
But I will not be taken in, I will not be taken in by them
There is a notion that I often entertain
But the tide is strong and I can feel it carry me away again
I’m surrounded by an ocean filled with eager eyes
A wasted gaze upon the pavement, ignoring open skies
Anything that you can possibly sink your teeth into
Any word to justify the hate that emanates from you
Any action to unfasten your blame from this abuse
Another fool will live to lose, another tool to use
But I will not be taken in
No I will not be taken in again
You gotta hold on
Don’t let it slip from your grip, Don’t let those colours run
The universe is in your blood
Can’t you feel it rising up, it takes strength to rise above