What I’ve Been Doing

I have, somewhat oddly for me, been playing a lot of music. It’s not that I never play music, I just don’t usually do it this much. It’s funny, because I don’t pretend to be in the least bit good at it.

My mother came from a very musical family. Her grandfather was a cabinet-maker and violin maker. Her uncle inherited the business and he also played in the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. My sister and I were given lessons in piano and violin as a matter of course. Although I wasn’t exactly talentless as a musician, I did not stand out in any way. I dropped the violin, but continued to play the piano until I went away to college. Ever since college, I have regretted not sticking with the violin for no other reason than it is more portable than a piano. Essentially, ever after leaving my parents house, I didn’t play any music for over thirty years.

About a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with depression. It probably had been creeping up on me for a year or two. I hit a very low point during the spring before last. When I started to feel better, I went and bought myself a keyboard. I’d been wanting one for decades, however, I felt like I wasn’t good enough to deserve one. It’s the sort of self-denial that helped drive me into a depression in the first place.

When I first started to seek help for my depression, many therapists responded with suggestions like I go to the gym or throw myself into work. I felt so frustrated hearing these kinds of suggestions because I felt that it was exactly that sort of puritanical running on the treadmill, both literally and figuratively, that had gotten me into that state in the first place.

Buying the keyboard was a much mentally healthier thing for me to do than exercise or work. The funny thing is because I am not very good it brings out the fact that I’m only doing it for myself. I’m not trying to please anyone or achieve anything. I just do it because it’s fun.

Ever since I bought it, I play a little bit all the time, but sometimes I go on binges. I’ve been on one of those binges, playing constantly, for the past couple of weeks. I suspect my neighbors, if they knew, would be relieved that I bought an electric keyboard instead of an acoustic piano.

  1. makagutu said:

    You have been missed. Music, I hear, is therapeutic, so play away my friend.

    • fojap said:

      That’s sweet of you to say.

  2. vastlycurious.com said:

    I missed you here. I am also quite depressed but I refuse to go and get a diagnosis , hence I can declare my ailment still unknown.: ) Yes I smile but it is my outside public smile. I left on my bike yesterday in tears and 16 miles later I arrived at home feeling quite jubilant. We all have our little ways around this !

    I know EXACTLY how to remedy this and I am trying to solve the 43 reasons .. day by day.

    ~HUGS TO YOU ~ Kathryn

    • fojap said:

      Sorry to hear you’ve been low. I know what you mean about the “outside public smile.” I’ve actually been a good bit better overall for about a year now, but small things can still throw me for a loop. It’s a good sign that a bike ride can still make you feel better. If you can actually get up enough get-up-and-go to start addressing those forty-three reasons, that’s good. I understand how you feel. Sometimes when you have too many problems to fix at once it can be a little overwhelming.

      Did you every see the movie “What About Bob?” Baby steps.

      • vastlycurious.com said:

        Love this movie- One tiny step at a time! ~HUGS~

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