Music: My Means of Survival

Surviving Music has seen me through some really tough times in life. Many phases of my life are associated with specific artists, styles of music, and songs. I imagine that is normal. The past three years have been particularly hard for me, so I have a lot of memories associated with music that might be considered dark. When you are in a dark place, the last thing you want to hear is something fluffy and light (am I right?).

Here are my musical memories:
These songs helped me survive the hell that was my last semester at college: Nightwish’s album “Dark Passion Play” (instrumental version mostly) and songs “Cadence of Her Last Breath,” “Meadows of Heaven,” “End of All Hope,” and “Nemo,” and Avril Lavigne’s “Keep Holding On.”
Nightwish remained a staple for the next year or so, with the addition of Evanescence, Poets of the Fall, and Within Temptation. During that time I struggled with severe depression while waiting for a diagnosis and then again after I was told I had fibromyalgia and they couldn’t help me. Within Temptation’s “Pale” and “Stand My Ground” were very important to me. So were Evanescence’s “Imaginary” and  “Bring Me to Life.”
As I questioned and then challenged my religious ideology, Within Temptation’s music really spoke to me, particularly “The Truth Beneath The Rose.”
When my first marriage began to fall apart I found comfort in Evanescence’s latest album “Evanescence.” Songs like “Made of Stone” and “My Heart Is Broken” helped me vent my pain and confusion (I liked to sing them loudly while driving).

Now, when I hear those songs I remember the painful things I associate them with, but with the knowledge that I survived those times and came out stronger. Without music, I’m not sure how I would have coped. I know friends who do struggle/have struggled with cutting as a way of dealing with intense emotional pain. I have never cut, but admit I was sorely tempted on more than one occasion. Instead, I discovered hard, driving music with an intensity and depth to match the pain I felt inside. Music became my cutting. It’s hard to describe, but I often used music to gouge out my heart because I was too numb to feel. The louder I played it the better.

I’m not struggling with depression or going through a low period in my life at the moment (Yay! First time since 2010), but I still enjoy my intense music. Granted, I’m more likely to turn to Enya than Evanescence these days, but I do still pull it out. There is a certain depth to much of the lyrics in symphonic metal, and I like deep lyrics (plus the increased length of songs that often comes with this depth/genre of music).
And I digress….



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