What is the role of music in your life? How has it affected your recovery?
Music has always been a big part of my life. When I listen to music I can experience it in colors, shapes, textures and flavors. Music makes me move, I love dancing. But when I am struggling, I do not listen to anything. All stimulation is overwhelming, an assault, an avalanche. There is no room in my head for more of anything. Everything is too much. I have not listened to any music in a long time. And realizing this now, I miss it. At the bottom of my illness, when my doctor said to take a walk every day, I put together a playlist that pushed me forward, though sobbing. I could not listen to that outside of its role. Any sound at all is too much. Anything that makes it inside my head hurts. When I’ve had my brief respites, moments where I almost felt good again, I have listened to one of my favorites, like savoring a special candy. I can’t remember the last time I did that. I used to go dancing at clubs and let myself be swallowed up by the music. Fully immersed in sound and movement, I was the only person that existed, and I’d dance for 4 hours straight. Now I’m lucky if I can climb stairs without being out of breath. I used to come home at daybreak. Now I can barely make it to 9 PM. I may not be able to go back in time, but at least I can remember it vividly and can almost taste that natural high.