Sunday, February 8, 2015

Alternative Therapy

I am really going through something right now. None of it is very interesting or noteworthy, and I don't particularly feel like hashing it all out, but I am here and alive and will make it.

In the midst of all this, I've come across some really random shit that helps. Music, for one. I used to be a very serious musician—violin was my life for many years and I almost went to conservatory for college. But that was all classical (Brahms, Bach, Beethoven, etc.) and I always enjoyed but kind of turned up my nose at most pop music.* Music to me was never just throwing a catchy tune together and shooting a flashy video, you know? It was so much more intricate and serious. It was hours alone in a practice room running through scales and arpeggios again and again, wiggling my finger until it hit that sweet spot, where the note was so perfectly in tune you could feel it in your bones.

But man, there is something to be said for a catchy tune. On repeat for me right now is a mix of Whitney Houston dance music (think "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" and "How Will I Know"—a CLASSIC), Taylor Swift (obvi), "Uptown Funk" (listen and try not dancing, I dare ya), and some other random happy songs. This morning I started off in tears, then managed to turn the whole thing around by blasting music in my apartment and reorganizing my school binders.


Which brings me to Cleaning. I do not care how cliche this sounds, but sometimes stress turns me into Kaylee the Manic Cleaning Freak and it is so therapeutic. And by Cleaning, I'm talking about pulling on rubber gloves, scrubbing the floors on my hands and knees, bleaching the bathtub, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, beating my rugs off the front steps, disinfecting my microwave, running six loads of laundry, and purging my sock drawer. It really helps, like I'm also cleaning out my brain and my soul or something, scrubbing away all the gunk that isn't serving me anymore.

Obviously I still do the real kind of therapy too—my session with Dr. P last week was really hard and uncomfortable but ultimately helpful, I think. I had been feeling like I wanted to be pushed in therapy and not just coast when things are good, then crash-n-burn when things are bad, and she definitely gave me that on Thursday. Unfortunately I'm traveling the next two weeks and won't see her until the 26th, but I definitely have some food for thought. And in the spirit of eating disorder recovery, many of those thoughts actually are about food. See what I did there?

So, I guess my point is that I'm trying really really hard to make my mental health a priority, using sort of a hodgepodge of skills and tools and tricks. Some of them suck but some of them stick, and that in itself is pretty empowering. How terrible can it be if a little 80's dance music perks me right up?

*I still turn my nose up at country music.


  1. I'm really sorry you're going through stuff :( I hope you know you can email or text anytime. I'm glad the music has been helpful. I hope things start to look up! Hang in there!

  2. Tay came out of country don't forget :P

    1. ugh I know. It is a major source of distress for me. But at least she hasn't sounded very country in about ten years, so I'm okay with it. Me and country music have a love-hate thing. Mostly hate, but like a teeny tiny bit of love. TEENY TINY. And it's really more "like" than "love." Okay, I think my rant about country music is now longer than my post and your comment combined so I am gonna go now...

  3. I like music too. Listening to it could sometimes do the trick in hyping up your energy, and set your mood for productive task such as cleaning. I hope you enjoyed cleaning your house, in that case. Anyway, I'm looking forward for your full recovery. Thanks for sharing, Kaylee! Get well soon! :)

    Bo Tolbert @ HJS Supply