A Post About Singing, Yeah, That’s It

The late, great Maggie Estep used to say that singing was one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself. And she’s right. Singing gives you all this endorphin action, and all the benefits of extra oxygen. It reduces stress, it increases your immune system, fosters clear thinking through correct breathing, improves your memory, and benefits your heart. It also lessens feelings of depression and loneliness because of the oxytocin released when you sing.

Basically, it does nearly everything except cure those pesky little abandonment issues. I mean, an emoji just made me cry. What the fuck.

Anyway. Singing does all this really great stuff for you if you just sing. But I grab a digital recorder and try to be a One Take Sally with every single syllable and note absolutely perfect in a room that’s about as acoustically sound (pardon the pun) as an outhouse. And I have medication dry mouth so it sounds like I’m trying to sing with a tongue piercing. Clack clack clack. So I frustrate myself. But I busy myself, also. Focus elsewhere (except for that fucking emoji thing). And dare I even say it.. I feel a little of that energy, bouncing off what Lynch has referred to as the radio, and I feel a little better.

And then I get sidelined by something and it’s a sob-show again, but this stuff comes in waves, this recurrent shock of loss comes in waves that knock you over just as you get upright again. And that is normal grieving. And it sucks unbelievably, and those waves have been part of my life for nearly a decade now between the losses of my parents, my friends, and my kitties. But I also think it’s okay to say that it sucks. Because if I say something that feels so debilitating and painful actually feels how it feels, that’s how I get past it. And I’ve been kicking myself for laying out the eviscerative (if I may make that a word?) nature of this particular pain, asking myself who cares, telling myself I don’t matter, plus the usual difficulty I have whenever I say anything in public, no matter how strident I sound, because for most of my life, exercising my freedom of speech has meant sacrificing my physical safety. So putting thoughts into the world can feel a little uncomfortable sometimes.

But the only way to purge a thing is to tell it. It’s the only way to be free of it that I’ve found works.

And I forgot the power of that. I forgot the songs and poems I wrote about traumatic events that freed me from them, only because I wrote about them. I somehow forgot through this past fucked up decade, so unlike any of my others which were fucked in their own way but at least contained some really cool shit too, that it’s not just comedy that saves. It’s art, and music, and film, and singing, and kitties in sweaters.

The only problem with purging the stuff is that while I’m doing something very healthy, people who don’t understand can read it and be like, oh, this bitch is really crazy, look at all her problems, she can only focus on the past (separate blog post coming soon) as if I am trying to wallow and be unhealthy. Nope. I am sincerely trying to get better. I don’t want to BE my disabilities. I am NOT my disabilities. My disabilities are challenges that I have to deal with and manage and despite them somehow be human, and some of the challenges I face make being human not only like walking over hot coals, but standing on them.

And honestly, a lot of the coals are the judgments of “normal people” who don’t even ever have any kind of dialogue with me about my disabilities – or about who I am OUTSIDE of them, how I view the EXEGESIS of all of this. No judgmental person goes meta. They barely even go SURFACE. Give a little tip of the iceberg to try to foster some understanding, it will not usually go well but instead be more grist for the mill of how you just really need to be avoided because ISSUES.

(I have to interject here that I cannot recall a single time a smoker has judged me for having mental illness. They {we} are all dopamine-deprived and seem to understand one another. And we all know what it’s like to be ostracized, that’s for sure.)

We are a nation of alienated people. We don’t exactly welcome those who are different. We don’t listen to their stories without judging them. We don’t look into their eyes and try to imagine what it must have been like to have been them, what it is like now to be them. We find every way we can to Other each other. So if me making myself sound like a total sailor-mouthed basket case – which I may well be, but also, a lot of other things, many quite positive and healthy and good – helps someone else? I’m down.

And it’s also okay to cry, is what I’m telling myself, because finally now, we are getting out of the Mewling and Puking phase, and into the cathartic phase, and with that comes clarity. My perspective is a lot different than it was a week ago. So ironic I had all this stuff I was trying to work on in myself and my life, but now I think it was all the wrong stuff. So concerned about the future when I am still trying to get a handle on the present, and then Typhoid Mary-ing the person I loved best in the world with my toxic panic and grasping at them at the worst possible moment.

Which .. the whole grasping thing, anyway… damn, what the fuck, Annie? This is like a question on a test, and I knew the answer, but I put down the wrong answer, couldn’t understand why I got it wrong, and then burned down the school without realizing it (while my fucking coat was on fire). Which is to say, grasping is fucking stupid for ten million reasons (and Four Noble Truths, cough cough).

So, um, yeah.

Singing.

Ask for it by name.

ETA: Oh, shit. Pretty sure the original point of this post was to say that I WROTE A SONG.

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