March 6, 2010

Jude, the Sea, and Me

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:39 pm by eddejae

There are times when painful memories hit me at the oddest moments, triggering a whole gamut of unwanted emotions ranging from fear to hurt to anger. The smallest thing can bring it on – a song, a face, a street. Sometimes it seems to take me over entirely, and I “space out,” overwhelmed and almost reliving the memory with all its accompanying shame, fear, and hopelessness. These attacks have been less frequent lately, but they still happen now and then, and it forces me to practice using a healthier coping method than my habitual “pain-numbers” as bingeing, cutting, or disappearing for days at a time. I will admit, I did consider cutting because the memories I was having evoked a lot of self-hatred. However, instead of dwelling on that thought, I grabbed my ipod and listened to my favorite Beatles song, “Hey Jude” (specifically the version from the musical Across the Universe).

I listened to it over and over again until I felt better. I even went in my room and sang along. It helped lift me out of my gloom and put some spark back into my spirit. To me, the song expresses hope, joy, and fearlessness. It also made me think back to the time I spent last summer at Sea Ranch (a community on the west coast near Bodega Bay), when I first fell in love with that song. I was going through a difficult transition at that time, and that song brought me a lot of comfort.

I really miss that house by the ocean. It belonged to my uncle, but he wound up having to sell it. Every morning, I would walk out the back door, down a flight of wooden stairs, and be right at the water’s edge. It was spectacularly gorgeous. There is something about the combination of the salty air and the cold water that is not only physically refreshing, but mentally refreshing as well. I think so much more clearly when I’m at the ocean, and it’s easier for me to feel joy. Running barefoot along the sand, feeling the rush of movement as the waves gather and recede around my ankles, exploring the seaweed-adorned and barnacle-encrusted rocks, poking at starfish and sea anemone, hiking for miles along the shore… Nothing is more relaxing and soul-soothing in my book. I miss it…

Waves of music, waves of the sea, washing away my pain…



  1. tiffk1023 said,

    I completely believe in how music can uplift us out of certain “ditches” of our lives. When I feel like there’s no one else to turn to, I always find myself retreating to my room with whatever music fits my mood. Everything about music just preoccupies your brain with something more. Like I feel like there is so much substance from the lyrics or the music itself and just how everything pieces together to create something so pleasant. Yeah, it’s pretty corny, but the thing it does to you and the way it makes you feel just really helps you appreciate it so much more.

    For a while I felt like I was “spacing out” more than living my actual life. Sadly, even though that other life was usually so much worse, I couldn’t stop bringing myself back to that imaginary world. It was like I was so sick and tired of living my own life that I wanted to create one of my own whether it was made to be “better” or not. I also feel like some of these emotions from seeing something is related to nostalgia. Maybe not exactly the same, but almost like a longing for something more? I’m not sure if that’s what you’re talking about but the dissatisfaction of not being able to be in that moment in time again is sometimes just enough to send me over the edge. I hope these attacks don’t overwhelm you too frequently!

    • Edde said,

      Thanks for your comment! I share your perspective on music. It definitely is powerful.

      Hmm I kind of get what your saying about retreating to an imaginary world… I do have episodes like that too… More like a “dissociation” where I separate myself from my surroundings and kind of “hover” mentally (versus re-experiencing the past). Or I just get achy inside like something’s missing. Do you ever get a “homesick” feeling even when you’re at home? It’s kind of like that.

  2. saint said,

    Music is so POWERFUL and THERAPEUTIC! I find that by listening to songs that fit my “mood” at the time, that I can work through any challenging moment. Sometimes it’s a lyric that strikes a chord, sometimes it’s just a melody that is so beautiful and touching that I realize how much life’s beauty can really put things into perspective.

    I tend to slip into an imaginary world, too, when I am down. My problem is that when I get like this, I tend to want to sleep the day away. After all, in those moments, my dreams are way better than my reality. But, I’ve learned when I get out of bed and put my mind in the right place, become productive towards the goals that scare me, and change my mindset (I get a lot of that “you’re not good enough,” “you’re too late in the game” voices every now and then and I’m learning to tell them, not so politely, to “SHUT UP!” :)) When I’m able to do that, it’s funny, I actually conquer what I’ve set out to do! I love it when life works that way!

    “Hey Jude” is a great song. One song that lifts me up right now is “Eet Eet” by Regina Spektor. I think you’d like it. Trust me. 🙂 It always makes me happy.

    Love you!

    • Edde said,

      Thanks! I’ll definitely check out that song!

      Oh, and about having to tell those voices to freaking SHUT UP… I have to do that ALL the time. I even do it out loud sometimes and then I get funny looks HA! 😉

      Love you too!

  3. saint said,

    I’ve been told that I should acknowledge that I had the thought and then let it pass – but that never seemed to work for me. Whether it’s a negative self-image thought, stressing over money, or how my career is not moving forward enough, I find that by just telling those thoughts to “shut up” I can think more clearly. lol I know it’s different for everyone, but at least the progress is more in a forward motion than backwards…

    btw, this blog is beautiful in your honesty and perseverance. You truly are remarkable. 🙂

  4. Lillie said,

    i love music. i feel enraptured by the lull it gives to me. i once met yo yo-ma the cellist and he said he stays inside his music room and plays 14 hours a day. he never uses notes to remember what he plays. he plays from his heart and soul. though i dont play like him, i feel the enveloping of me and the music taking me to new heights and deliverance.

    • Edde said,

      i’m jealous you got to meet him haha! music is the lifeblood of my soul, whether i’m listening to it, or playing on the piano, it rejuvenates me.

  5. Lillie said,

    wow, you play piano, too? awesome. my mom always said music wins the heart.

  6. Katherine said,

    Regina Spektor is my inspiration. For just about everything. When I’m sad or really stressed and need to get away from the outside hectic, rat race, I listen to her. Or Cosmic Love by Florence The Machine. I listen to those really loud and it usually make it go away.
    There’s just something about the song Cosmic Love that seems like it takes over and pushes everything out. I know this comment is completely off topic and really late but I suggest that song because it always helps me when I have writers block and need a story idea or for musical inspiration. Oh and I play viola. Lol off topic again.

    • Edde Jae said,

      Music can do wonders… And I’ve always dreamed of playing the viola. Thanks for your comment…There is really no such thing as off-topic in my opinion…Everything is connected . 🙂

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