A Little Saving Grace

A Little Saving Grace
.I want to start this blog by sharing this incredible video that probably saved my life on a daily basis. (You can watch this video by clicking on it, and then hit the "watch on Youtube option."  It was this video and many others like it, that continued to give me the strength to keep fighting through this unbelievably difficult war. 
As I mentioned last week, my intense symptom of "battery acid in my veins"  had finally left after the 3rd moth. Without this shooting pain, I was able to walk around a little more easily. However, I still had to hold onto walls to stable myself because my depth perception was off so badly that it was hard to balance myself.
I was also living with my dad.  ....now... I love my dad because he is my dad. But let's just say it is much MUCH easier to love him from a distance. He is a very caring dad and I know he loves me very much, but he has always been a screamer with a bad temper. Now I don't think I have to explain why my collapsed nervous system and living with someone like this was a FUCKED UP mix! I remember one time I had a pot of water boiling on the stove and he got so pissed off because he thought I wasn't paying enough attention to it and he threw the pot all the way across the kitchen and screamed at me relentlessly....yeah not too easy on the ol' nerves. This is was a pretty regular occurrence when I first moved in, and although I'm extremely grateful for him opening up his home to me, I'd be lying if I said I probably won't have some resentments for quite awhile.
So after the screaming fits and being triggered into even more desperation and emotional anguish due to the withdrawal I was already dealing with, I would throw on my headphones and watch videos like the one I posted above. I would listen to the words of Les Brown, my favorite motivational speaker. He would say things like "No Matter How Hard It Is, No Matter How Hard It Gets, I AM GOING TO MAKE IT!" He inspired me so much and gave me some much needed energy to press forward. I had all this energy from the inspiration he'd bring me but didn't have any outlets for it. His message made me want to conquer the world but how could I? I couldn't even leave my driveway because the terror was still so horrific from withdrawal. How could I be productive? I was also dealing with a hurt back from a previous injury, so I couldn't work out like I usually do, so what the hell could I do?
And then I saw it...my saving grace....I saw my dad's guitar in the corner of the living room and the light bulb went off. I picked that blessing up, I went on Youtube and looked up "guitar songs for beginners" and I stumbled my way through my first 20 minutes of practicing...and I was hooked. The music from the strings reached my soul in a period of time when I literally didn't feel like I had a soul anymore (yes withdrawal is that bad).
Now since I had so much adrenaline pulsing through me at all times due to the chemical anxiety, it was very difficult for me to sit still and learn this instrument. I was EXTREMELY restless. This is when I had to learn to apply the practice of discipline. I could write a whole post on discipline and it's actually what a lot of the post will be about as well, but here's the main jist of it: I believe discipline is the key to freedom. I have always had big goals, dreams, and ambitions, but following through was also always an issue. Since I was 19 I've made daily lists of things I wanted to get done but the number of times I had actually lived up to it was embarrassing. I lacked discipline in every area of my life. Alcohol certainly didn't help anything over the years haha. But now I was on a mission. I made a deep DEEP vow to myself that for the next 30 days, I was going to actually do whatever I wrote down for my daily goals, no matter how big the goal or how small and insignificant the goal seemed. I was just about depleted in serotonin and dopamine, so it was difficult to get enjoyment out of completing these tasks at first, but it gave me some satisfaction mentally to know that I did it. Plus  I NEEDED to get good guitar because it was literally ALL I HAD! I had lost my ability to function, speak a complete sentence, or socialize with people so I HAD to get good at guitar to hang onto any sliver of emotional well being.
At first I could only sit still long enough for about 20 minutes at a time to practice. But over time I was able to add on five minutes here and there, eventually working my way up to one hour sessions. You can check out playing one of my favorite songs by clicking on this facebook link. 
It was my relief when the depression and anguish were too much to bear. It was my outlet for all my yearning to better myself. It was my only way to create something positive in such a tragic situation. It was my goal to learn and memorize 100 songs and I became obsessed with achieving it. Before too long I was practicing up to 6 hrs a day and was so thankful for the distraction from my misery. It took about a year but I reached my goal of 100 songs and the blue link above is a video of me playing my favorite one :) 
Sometimes in life I know we feel helpless, useless, and worthless, but we must fight. We must focus on what we CAN do and what we CAN control. Sometimes all it is is picking up a guitar and playing it poorly for awhile. But the point is we must fight to put in the effort to try to make our situation better. As I began to get better at guitar, a question popped into my head....what else could I do?