Mental Health Sanctuary Thread

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  • @frenchcricket 4 weeks

    How's your mental health doing? Feel free to drop into this thread to have a vent or anything. I've been told I'm a pretty good listener.

    Mine is in the toilet, tbh.

  • @alonetogether  4 weeks

    bad lol

    i saw the thread about personal challenges and didnt realize it was about like, musical challenges and not about how shitty everything is.

  • @frenchcricket 4 weeks

    Right??? I even posted a reply to that exact effect!

  • @cblack 4 weeks

    Same! I was thinking things like depression or having physical limitations rather than musical challenges when I clicked the link.

    My mental health is shitty but stable. Won't go into details, but it's a chronic issue I've had for at least 15 years. For the most part I get by, but it still sucks usually.

    I try to be an optimist, though. People who've held on despite mental health issues are some tough mofos indeed!

  • @jacobeverettwallace  4 weeks

    This past year has done a number on mine for sure. I think I unknowingly placed a lot of expectation on 2021 to be different than 2020 and when it was mostly the same or worse, that was/is a tough thing to deal with.

  • @jackdawfactories  4 weeks

    oh lord it's bad!

  • @vomvorton  4 weeks

    I am somehow able to stay mostly positive about things day by day (and I know I'm lucky to be able to say that) but I've had a serious of major negative changes in my life over the last few months and I'm torn between denial and wanting to let it all out in my songs this year, so... we'll see what happens I guess. I'm not sure if that would be cathartic or just make everything worse. Either way, love and support to all - these are extremely difficult times.

  • @thedustcollector 4 weeks

    All of the song scraps I've been turning out recently have been incredibly, consistently depressing, so uh.

    Like, this isn't new and I know what's going on and I have the tools to work on it. This isn't my first rodeo or my thirtieth. It's just easier to--not (which is what happens when your primary survival/coping mechanisms are avoidant; it's hard to work with them because you're too busy avoiding working with them. It's like a self-generating forcefield; it's doing its job too well).

    I literally have three half-written songs going right now along the lines of 'it's easier to just--not. At all.'

  • @dzdandcunfsd  4 weeks

    @thedustcollector That's very well put! Not my first rodeo either, so I usually manage to stay pretty positive. Actually feeling a lot better than I have in the past....... I think it is mostly a forced denial, but if it works it works.

  • @evolvemysound  4 weeks

    My mental health is okay at the moment. Tomorrow (or today, actually) could turn into a different situation.

    I like having hobbies and places to go for "sanctuary."

    Thanks for creating this thread!

    I am new here and I appreciate the community!

    Be well!

  • @evolvemysound  4 weeks

    @frenchcricket @alonetogether I, too, saw the personal challenges thread, and thought "huh?'

    I think I clicked it a few times just to be sure.

  • @karlsburg25  4 weeks

    Ah what a wonderful thread Anja. And i have found myself going through all sorts over the last 6 months or so. It has been like relearning how to function in this world. I've always had ups and downs mentally but the difference is experiencing waves of emotions that are so sudden and extreme, so i have to be kind to myself and recognise that everything is linked. So there is a great deal of difficult acceptance going on this year. (that may sneak into a song but tbh i written so much in lockdown i think i've exhausted the subject 😉 ) x

  • @bithprod 4 weeks

    Thanks for asking. I'm not one to bitch and moan, so I'll just say that my mental health is pretty much like always. That's.... probably not a good thing. And I still feel numb inside after the loss of my number one inspiration, hero, father figure, deity, guiding light.. the only person I've ever admired. So, let's see how this FAWM thing goes.

  • @chaotrick 4 weeks

    Honestly... My mental health is in the gutter right now. As it's always been. My general life situation makes it nearly impossible to feel good, happy or energized. It's a struggle, but making music tends to help me get through the days, It always has been one of those few things that kept me here.

  • @evolvemysound  4 weeks

    Making music is something I greatly enjoy! It comes at a cost though!

  • @petemurphy  4 weeks

    Hugs to all in this thread, and thank you for starting it @frenchcricket

    I'm a long time sufferer of various issues. Depression, generalised anxiety, OCD (and related disorders like Trichotillomania, which is partly related to self harming, partly anxiety, and partly OCD - I don't have any eyebrows due to the Trich, so I have to draw them on with a makeup pencil).

    Lately I've been struggling more than usual, both physically and mentally.

    I've long suspected that I have some form of neurodivergence, and several of my autistic and ADD friends have said that I display symptoms of both (an autistic friend of mine told his autistic daughter that I'm thinking of looking into getting tested, and she said "huh?? I just presumed that he WAS autistic!").

    I've also been having bouts of 'repetitive non functional speech', compulsively repeating the same phrases or rhythms over and over and over...

    Plus, the constant fatigue, brain fog, and other things that I can't think of right now.

    I don't think the fact that I've been struggling more is to do with being locked down. I rarely leave the house anyway, whether there's a pandemic or not.

    Love and respect to you all.

  • @pfaffbrill  4 weeks

    Music helps me cope. That's why my stuff sounds like it sounds. Guess tis the same for many of us, right? Hugs to all that need one.

  • @jinx  4 weeks

    What a perfect name for a thread. I needed this. I started FAWMing in 2006 and did it consistently every single year... until the past couple of years. I went through a painful breakup and was dealing with severe depression at the same time. Wasn't sure I was going to make it out the other side, to be honest. And then of course COVID came along, and as someone who lives alone and has no intimate relationship (and my family lives on another continent), I was hit pretty hard by that as well. But, incredibly, I've started to pull myself out of it. I still have bad days, of course. I get the impression that genuine clinical depression is something that's never really "cured" – you just learn to handle it. And I can handle it okay right now. Still, it helps to be able to talk about it to other folks who understand <3

  • @frenchcricket 4 weeks

    Thanks everyone who's replied so far. I don't know about you but I feel a bit better just knowing there's people around me who get it.

    We're all in the soup, together ❤️❤️❤️

  • @melissamccarthy20 4 weeks

    I am a Mental Health Crisis Responder working on my social work certification. I so appreciate this post! 😀 Last year at this time, I was working as a manager for an Outpatient clinic and my mental health was in rough shape. I joined the FAWM challenge and poured so much of the weight on my shoulders into music.

    When the lockdown hit, I went into crisis mode. The therapists I managed were struggling, so i had to support them from a distance. It was a wild ride, but I realized I needed to back on the front line. I relocated and now work as a responder. It's what I'm meant to do.

    Meds, music, and leaving a toxic work environment saved me. I am going to assume that many of us participating in FAWM use righting and music as our outlet. I still struggle at times - for me right now it's mostly motivation and staying focused. My goal for this month is to play my guitar everyday - even if it's only 5-10 minutes.

    Small steps. Be kind and patient with yourselves. Thanks for this thread.

  • @dzdandcunfsd  4 weeks

    I really appreciate this thread too! We're all writers/musicians/poets/whatever. Not the most inherently stable group of people to begin with in the best of times 😁

    I've always considered it a blessing to have writing and music as a way to express anything pent up. Even if it doesn't immediately improve anything, its at least an unharmful way of coping, it sure beats massive substance abuse.

  • @apophony  4 weeks

    Hey gang, I know all about being low. It used to be a consistent theme in my life. I thought something like finding Jesus was going to be my ticket out of hell. Turns out the best way to manage the darkness is a healthy diet, a tiny bit of exercise like a daily walk, and quick morning meditation. Life changes in positivity, you're worth it.

    We've all been dealt a shit stick with the pandemic. I hope this may help inspire some of you to find your way out.

  • @alyxanderjames  4 weeks

    Big hugs to all of you. I'm doing okay at the moment but I've been in the depths of it before...and honestly, depression/anxiety/other mental health shit is a perfectly reasonable response to the world we're living in. I hope that this community and the music that comes out of it help to buoy you all up a little bit this month. <3

  • @evolvemysound  4 weeks

    I’ve been in the trenches for the past 20 years. I have no choice but to deliberately seek out positivity in any viable form I can find it. Also, I must have hobbies and a good support system. There has to be a place to go to to help others when I’m doing okay in the moment! All of these are check, but for me, my mental health wavers every day. So, it becomes an issue of moving on down the list. What can I do to help myself out today? Happy FAWMing all!

  • @wacha  4 weeks

    This is such a great thread! Last FAWM and 50/90 many of my songs were me dealing with my failing physical and mental health. I'd actually write things like, "I'm working through some shit on this one, my therapist would be so proud".

    I spent most of 2019 watching my health decline, started dialysis in January of 2021 and was told that should start to make me feel a lot better (it didn't), got a kidney transplant in September of 2021 and again was told the change in my health for the better was gong to life altering and again, it wasn't. I am in MUCH better health than I was this time last year but I don't feel a lot better. I'm pretty much just healthier on paper.

    I suffer from very bad bouts of depression but have managed to stay off medication for close to 15 years. I have an amazing therapist who has done wonders for me. And I have found it really does help to put that into my music, I have gotten quite a few people tell me that they can relate to my more open songs.

  • @chandra83  4 weeks

    *sending love to you all*

  • @candle  4 weeks

    Hugs & positive energy for everyone.

    I'm probably still dealing with the depression I felt in my late teens & early '20's. I mean, I've been revisiting a lot of the same themes I wrote about back then - even using the same metaphors: shadows, rain, nighttime & whispers. I've learned to live with the darkness inside me & to look for the light & the hope that surrounds us all (it's there, though somtimes its hidden really well). But I feel like a lot of the root causes of my "dark times" (as I call them) seem to be cropping up again.

    As always, music & my other creative endeavours are my only salvation. Though, my loving family & friends - as well as amazing communities like this one - do go a long way to help. Remember, we are never alone. There's always light around us, even in the deepest darkness.

    …I think I'll actually refrain (for the first time on FAWM) from ending with my usual signature. Instead, I offer this one:

    Blessed Be.

  • @emkaydeebee  4 weeks

    Thanks so much for this thread. Like others I had been relieved to see the personal challenge post, then felt foolish for it not being what I thought. (It’s still a good post - not knocking it.)

    This is one of the few posts I’ve read every one of though, and each of you have helped me feel comforted in some way. I am struggling this fawm, and finding lockdown very, well, at best level and often down.

    Having to homeschool 2 young children, when homeschooling has never been a choice I’d ever make, attempt to find a balance with my husband that we both might still work and earn a living half of our time, and generally dealing with the constant background hum of stay-at-home/covid has worn me right down. Issues with my DAW also leaving me feeling powerless. I feel there’s little left in me to put into fawm.

    And yet, I love fawm and have been longing for it to start. There’s nothing quite like it, and the thought of sitting it out... well I think I’d spend the next 11 months regretting it. #tiredintheUK

  • @frenchcricket 4 weeks

    I agree with everyone that having an outlet is so, so beneficial to our health. And there's something specific about the FAWM community which in itself is a sanctuary. Well—a few people aside.

    I just had a mindfulness intro session on Zoom and I found it really hard not to get overwhelmed by sadness in the meditation. Never had that happened before. Although those horrible waves of sadness keep crashing into me at odd times. Usually when I'm walking the dog???

  • @alonetogether  4 weeks

    dealing with a bad breakup thats tanked my ability to feel good but i might be able to turn that sad into more music who knows

  • @tunecat  4 weeks

    I think all my songs used to be ways of either venting, or finding out what shit was actually going on in my head unbeknownst to me. Not sure where I'm at right now... been trying out story-writing.. a completely new venture. But have lost connection witht eh whole writign on a DAW thing which I used to love love love love ... Maybe will get that back. Felt at my best when writing the weirdest music was just listening to the FAWM tracks I wrote in 2018.. man that was a good year. I feel eons away at the moment.. but hoping to get back. (If you are interested its here Not plugging, just connecting.

  • @evolvemysound  4 weeks

    I just followed you @tunecat. Looking forward to everyone here making something they're proud of!

  • @davidbreslin101  3 weeks

    I seem to be surprisingly stable, but stressed to the point that the back of my head twangs with tension whenever I move. It hurts.

    @frenchcricket - Mindfulness is a useful and powerful technique but it can backfire sometimes. I triggered an asthma attack while focussing on my breathing once, which taught me to be willing to bail out if needed!

  • @chandra83  3 weeks


  • @monty 3 weeks

    I'll confess my mental health has been better and I almost decided to skip FAWM this year. But doing music with others in real time (I use Jamulus) has been a godsend for me. Haven't had a band gig for a year. Hugs to y'all.

  • @themelgoexperience  3 weeks

    Wow thanks so much for starting this thread. I’m sending good energy and creative healing vibes to everyone here. It is truly such a tough mind boggling time and I feel like I’m hitting a bit of a wall. Sometimes I lose a sense of myself but I think that’s happening to a lot of people right now. I’m very happy to be doing FAWM for the first time this year!

  • @krrisstin  3 weeks

    thanks for this thread. things are up and down for me. when i'm really into a song, it's one of the best feelings. when i'm struggling with songwriting things can turn kinda dark. i work in health care (mix of hospital and outpatient work) and this past year of work's been rough for sure! and as a single person living alone in the pandemic, that usual freedom can feel like scary isolation at times. i'm a cellist too and my classical groups haven't met in 11 months 😞 but thank goodness for solitary songwriting for keeping me semi-sane!!

  • @yam655  3 weeks

    I've had an on-again/off-again relationship with anxiety and depression.

    I was first suicidally depressed when I was 8. That's an idea that once you get it, it rarely totally leaves the list of options.

    My anxiety is currently well managed. I had a period where it was particularly bad and it felt like laying in bed, staring at a wall, and shaking was a really good idea. Any level of anxiety where I can actually use other support skills and techniques is a good one. Fortunately, I've found something that works for me.

    During my last bout of depression, I decided to lean in to it and kill pieces of me. The method? Emotionally terrifying activities, like (first) NaNoWriMo, and (later) FAWM. I figured, "What's it going to do? Kill me? Ha!" It's the best thing I ever f'ing did.

    I hope you all find something that works so well that many years later, when you tell the tale to others, you can finish it with, "It's the best thing I ever f'ing did."

  • @scubed  3 weeks

    Virtual hugs to you all. I’m very glad @frenchcricket started this thread. I have suffered from depression and anxiety most of my life, beginning in adolescence (I’m 65), and for many years I thought I was absolutely alone. No one struggling with mental illness should have to feel alone. (Despite the Pandemic, I’m at long last doing pretty well; in recent years I’ve gained insight into the roots of the problems that have plagued me for so long, and that has helped mightily.)

  • @trolls2 3 weeks

    thanks for this post. i see alot of uk folks here maybe it's the weather. i live in the states but this has been a long cold winter. i suffered from anxiety and found an outlet with music, prayer and meditation. never be afraid to reach out and ask for help. people can be very understanding. such a nice thread here.

  • @dreamscuba  3 weeks

    @frenchcricket thanks for starting this thread.
    @alonetogether I too thought the personal challenges thread would be about this stuff.
    Hugs to everyone here.
    I have had to learn to live my life one day at a time...I also find music, prayer, and meditation helpful.

  • @apolez3 3 weeks

    @petemurphy -hey I actually repeat phrases too esp. if you ask me the same question.. it's very odd but last time I noticed it i was talking to a bunch and forget if mentioned or not .. lol but think i told him the same phrase like 4-5 times in a short period lol lmao.

    @frenchcricket - hey just noticed this thread for the first time. nice on starting it and .. eagerly & anxiously? waiting to see if you're in or not for the drum bit. 😝

    I was basically more manic than not till about/around ish 30 then was really depressed and sought out help and It's hard to shake tho there are things, people whom I'm grateful for each day and also like being optimistic on everything and well .

    **virtual hugs**

    Also wanted to add for my mental health,, I saw the Nicholas cage's post and like could have sworn he said he'll leave it to the prof.'s so I go to his sound board and seems like he's going to participate, then I go back to read and it makes sense and now I'm thinking what I first read was right lol, but I wrote like happy FAWming idk i'm so confuzed

  • @vivalarayna 3 weeks

    Spoonie with an alphabet soup of painful neurological conditions here. You know, it's kind of odd - I'm so used to things going wrong (especially physically) and having to adapt that I was okay for quite a while. I wasn't great, but I was getting through. Having my primary and secondary sources of income nuked in one was harder than anything else, but I've been relying on other skills and pivoting. I was getting through as well as can ve expected until I seriously injured my leg last year (mostly better now) and was then stuck in the *same spot* of the *same room* of the same house for weeks. That... Kind of broke me. I was digging out fairly well when the Insurrection happened. It's been a huge struggle ever since. I started painting as a result and it's been helpful. Writing, embroidery, and painting have been the most helpful in getting through the bad times. I've been looking forward to because I know there A Lot of Things I need to process. Then I got a call on Feb 1 that a friend had passed away from CoVID. So... there will be a lot of processing this year. Much of it might be shit, but better out than in, right?

  • @pcob1993  3 weeks

    I found the last year particularly flattening but I think that was because I was reading all the news every day, desperately hoping for Lee Harvey Oswald to re-appear, just this time with grenades. So I gave up the news and within two days felt my spirits rise, started practicing clarinet and piano and always ending up strumming a guitar. So I've quieted down a lot, despite my mother and my elder sister dying of the Trump virus within six months of each other.
    And I'm so looking forward to getting a song done for my beloved Fawm buddies. Difficult to get off the ground still.
    Thanks to y'all, brighter days ahead.

  • @klyma 3 weeks

    Thank you for starting this thread. I see a number of posts about hugs or virtual hugs and man, I MISS HUGS. Skin hunger for real! More than missing playing shows, I miss going to shows. Dancing. And, living in Boston, I haven't seen my family in Buffalo since last summer. It's all been weighing on my mind. I've been watching my diet, taking walks, and drinking less alcohol. All helpful, but some days it's just so hard to deal with pandemic life. Before FAWM, I hadn't written a song in months (FWIW, I typically write one per week). I signed up this year hoping for a kick in the pants to get writing again. It's great to see the strength of this community. And I've been writing. A lot. One of the songs is actually called "Mental Health Crisis in America." If ya need it:

  • @chipwithrow  3 weeks

    I've been following this thread for a few days, weighing whether to chime in. My therapist (finally started seeing one at age 54, though I should have been going probably starting in my teens) told me it helps to know I'm not alone in what I'm enduring.
    I supposed I've had anxiety and depression issues as long as I can remember. And I've always been totally sympathetic to those who do - my daughter, my sister, and my mom, for example - but I've also always thought, "Mine isn't so bad."
    Well. in about mid-November, it became that bad. The similar combo many of you have shared - the US election, the virus, keeping a struggling business afloat.
    First I consulted a friend who studies Ayurveda (health and wellness component of yoga). But even my yoga and meditation wasn't working. Next was therapy - two psychologists and a psychiatrist.
    Learned some uncomfortable truths about life and myself (more like uncovered - I guess I knew them all along). And I'm certainly going to continue with one of the therapists.
    Thanks, all, for being so open in this thread.

  • @frenchcricket 3 weeks

    I suppose this is kind of specific, but I had a really great therapy session today, and I wanted to share it with you because it was a bit of a breakthrough for me. In the session we talked about it being okay to feel desired, to feel feminine, to feel vulnerable, to feel all that at the same time in one big mush. I’m in a new relationship which is why this is all new and vivid, not to mention overwhelming, to me.

    But anyway this realisation was so important for me, considering that one of the things destroying my life, that we are trying our best to resolve in therapy, is this conviction that I'm unworthy of love.

    I’ve absorbed a lot of messages to that effect.

    I don't know if any element of the above will resonate with anyone at all as it's very specific to my background, but you never know.

  • @yam655  3 weeks

    @frenchcricket Yay for a great therapy session! I'm all about celebrating wins, and that's a win. <3

    I'm kind of big in to personal development and growth. (Maybe that doesn't describe it properly "radical self-transformation" sounds more accurate).

    I want you to know that not only are you not alone in that struggle to feel lovable, there actually is an other side. I know many, many people who started off feeling unlovable and -- though it can be hard work at times -- they managed to get to a point where they love themselves. It is possible. People do it.

    That includes me. When I was a teen in Jr. High, I had a girl come up to me with a group of her friends to tell me she liked me. I so didn't understand how that could be the case that over that weekend I completely changed my appearance and musical tastes. (From long hair, black shirts with jeans, and Metallica to short hair, ties with slacks, and Mozart.) Clearly, whatever she liked was just a surface detail. She didn't like _me_.

    These days? Well, I've mentioned it in another thread. My world these days is positively overflowing with love. <3

  • @jeustan  3 weeks

    Thanks for this. FAWM in general has been mostly a sanctuary and a positive place. Thank you.

    I'm pretty sad. 2020 saw the ugly end of a friendship with someone I've been musically collaborating with for half my life. I worry about his mental health but it was time to let go. Then, the end of a long-term relationship. I'm not ok but people are telling me that that's ok. So be it. I would like to cry a little less. I never used to be a cryer.

  • @jeustan  3 weeks

    I started journaling and focusing on water, sleep, quality meals, and exercise. It’s so much easier to numb the pain. Here’s to growth, y’all. Keep pushing.

  • @arthurrossi 3 weeks

    For me personally, last year was a year full of ups and downs, and under the shadow of this COVID19-nightmare... My personal highlight of last year was the birth of my son and to be able to witness his first smile, his first giggling words, his first insecure steps... My former (rude) boss resigned and we got a much better one now (at least that´s what he seems to be so far)... However, at the same time, I was also confined in the hospital for five weeks. The whole year I could not travel anywhere and could not see neither my sister and my parents nor some dear friends that I miss so much because of this Corona-madness. Just recently, my old dad fell on the floor and broke his leg, which made me very worried since this can cause a life-threatening fat embolism particularly among the elderly, fortunately, this did not happen and he is on the way to recovery. What makes me afraid more than anything else is the fear of the possibility to lose someone I love... This fear is omnipresent, so even in the brightest and most happy moments I am still aware of what could go wrong and I hope the price for some short minutes of great bliss will not be too high... as in life, everything comes at a cost...

  • @yam655  3 weeks

    @jeustan They don't call it heartbreak for nothing. <3 It can change people either for the worse or for the better.

    Some people put their hearts in boxes and bury them in the ground to protect them, letting them slowly dry and wither. Personally, I let my tears get my heart softer and squishier and lump it back together. I may be a tenderhearted old sap, but I figure a heart doesn't get tender unless it undergoes some tenderizing.

  • @chrishope  3 weeks

    yes, here, but definately in the toilet!, long time depression, breakdown, substance sedation, recovery....missed last year, and so looked forward to this year but unable to join in so far. HUGS & love n music

  • @rickatfulcrum  3 weeks

    I won't lie, as a lifelong left-of-center Democrat the last four years have taken a toll on me. I was a lot more creative in my first two or three FAWMs than I've been over the last few.

    Then, too, comes the responsibility of taking care of two declining parents, one of whom left us in 2018. In a sense placing their needs before my own actually meets my most basic needs: for a roof over my head and a place with which to conduct FAWMing and other musical necessities (without which I might very well go insane anyway). But there's always been the 300-pound gorilla in the room, namely that while I was gigging I couldn't afford to get sick for fear of bringing it home to either of two (now one) parents who might not be able to fight it if they should catch it from me. And now I can't even gig because the restaurants are closed either temporarily or permanently.

    So, +vibrations and good cheer from this end to everyone who's finding it a rough go at the moment.

  • @colgoo 3 weeks

    Hanging on with my fingertips....My song “Rough Year” sums up about 10-15% of what I am going through. Seeing two therapists and writing songs: I have been unemployed for about five months; my spouse got laid off in April (the day after we opened up our marriage to polyamory, his girlfriend waiting in the wings); they hate their new job; my kids have been struggling with their mental health and online school; our dog has cancer and I had some suicidal ideation at the end of October, my dad died in December, and I had some serious depressive thoughts in January that forced me into taking some time away from my family during a freaking pandemic....It is rough.

  • @dreamscuba  3 weeks

    Any friends of Bill? Ping me...

  • @treble 2 weeks

    Thank you all for being here. I've always had problems with anxiety and depression but this past year of politics and the pandemic has flattened my creativity. I look forward to FAWM but haven't written anything yet this year. On the positive side I am playing the piano every day although it's other people's songs. Thank you all for your posts. It helps to know that I'm not the only one struggling. Blessings to you all.

  • @guatecoop  2 weeks

    @frenchcricket I really appreciate that you have kept the focus on this over the past few years. Really important and very normal to have struggles. I’m in the midst of some myself. I wish all of you the best. I will keep reading this thread.

  • @sciren  2 weeks

    I keep coming back to this thread to not feel so alone. It really does seem that mental illness and songwriting have to go hand in hand, and it's not fair. The last decade of my life, FAWM has been a team effort, and the most exciting month of the year for me. Having to go solo this year has completely changed my relationship with this site, and with songwriting in general. It feels awful. But I think without an outlet, it would be worse. Anybody else write about their mental illnesses? I've decided to write a scifi concept album, or "study" of sorts, on personality disorders (BPD specifically), and it's given me something to fixate/focus on. Dunno if it's healthy, but at least something is coming out of me...? Hope you all are surviving out there. One day at a time.

  • @pearlmanhattan  2 weeks

    I hate February for a few reasons. This year it's especially hard. The isolation, loneliness, and physical/mental illness are draining me. This isn't the ditch I'm gonna give up in - I know there's another side to this hill - but all the "think positive!" and "don't be a debby downers" from people who can't relate are getting me down. I work my circle of control, listing what I can control or affect in the circle, and everything I cannot control outside the circle - then I control what's in the circle. The monotony is getting to me. My lyrics are heavy and dark - I'm usually able to push those lyrics back and write silly stuff, but the silly, like the smiles and sleep, doesn't seem to come. thanks for listening.

  • @raygungirls 2 weeks

    Most of my music is about struggling with depression. For the past year, though, I've been in a pretty good place. Last year (well, December 2019) I was diagnosed as autistic and that cleared up a lot of stuff. That also took a load off my mind.
    So, yeah... right now just dealing with the frustration of technology (my computer situation crapped the bed in mid January, had a workaround, and finally getting the final fix today) and work getting int he way of creativity.

  • @scottlake 2 weeks

    To all in this thread....I am reading your words and I feel your hearts. I plan to make a lyric read through of as many of your lyrics as I can. They will be read by me here in Colorado. You are not alone. Have shared a light even in your dark lyrics, which will be a beam to me here as I read them. I have struggled with mild depression and anxiety on and off over the decades. mostly controlled with medication now but those times come when it feels like a wave that can’t be controlled. But I promise to know you just a bit through your words.

  • @jackdawfactories  1 week

    I came roaring out of the gate with two tracks on day one with work started on a third and then boom. Nothing but ennui for the last two weeks, just crawling from bed to PC to bed to work to bed. It's crap here but I hope to get back on the horse to at least get track 3 done.

  • @sheilerk  1 week

    Well, I guess mines kind of on the edge since as much as I truly love fawm and look forward to it every year it’s taken me till yesterday to actually engage. I’m plugging along now, but nothing like usual. One more week. We’ll see how it goes. I really want to do this, but I want to curl up in a ball at the same time.

  • @sbs2018  1 week

    This time has felt like a prison at times. No place to run. My usual coping mechanisms unavailable to me. Everybody is going through this and my heart goes out to everyone! No escape. Just when I thought this was the hardest time of my life, I remembered I’d been through tougher things. That surprised me but it’s true. We will get through this!

  • @theodamus  1 week

    I am feeling rough right now! Not super major rough but enough to sit down and say oh shit I’m feeling rough what do I need to do. Tonight that means stopping and taking a bit of a break and playing a dumb game and eating a giant mug brownie and checking out from all the things I am “meant to” be doing instead. Including writing. Lots of love out to all of you on this thread, shit isn’t easy and you are incredible

  • @tawny249  1 week

    I think I just ran out of juice after song 9....I was doing really well and then got very overwhelmed by a sudden sad apathy about everything. I'm not entirely sure what happened. Depression and anxiety aren't new to me, but I was doing pretty well at avoiding the worst of them during FAWM until last week. Hugs to everyone else who is having a hard time also.

  • @colgoo 1 week

    Lost my dog over the weekend after her fight with lymphoma over the past few months. Thank God our family has therapists....This is hard!

  • @davidbreslin101  1 week

    I only went and FAWMed too fast, didn't I? Had the last week of February booked off from work, to a) do a last push on FAWM and b) have a break from my daily journey through the Plague Zone to my allegedly essential but currently very boring job.

    But I've crossed the finish line, feel zero motivation to work on any more tracks, and the unaccustomed stuck-in-the-house-ness is already making me a twitchy paranoid mess. I spent several hours today listening to my upstairs neighbour's cat endlessly miaowing every few seconds, until I was half-convinced she was lying dead on the floor up there. At which point, happily, she came home.

    I'm babbling, aren't I.

  • @emkaydeebee  1 week

    I’m struggling today. Announcements yesterday from UK government bring both hope and anxiety, both relief and fear. I’m drained beyond belief at having to homeschool two very different aged young children, trying to balance this with working by sharing the week’s commitments with my other half. Fawm has been a sanctuary for me, something to disappear into just for me, and a huge bolster to self confidence as there’s nowhere quite like it. I want to relish every last drop of that while it’s here, but I still have all the aforementioned commitments, so I can’t. I’m dreading the emotional crash after this in March.

    Colgoo - I’m sorry for your loss.

  • @jeffokay 1 week

    Music has been a refuge for me during challenges. I'm often my most productive creatively during the worst times.

    Lost the momentum after 7 songs... but tried to channel that into some songs about mental health, including one about panic attacks and one about cooking as a refuge from one's troubles.

  • @frenchcricket 6 days

    Yeah, I’ve been the same as you @jeffokay. Completely ran out of pep, and enthusiasm for the place as a whole as my creative energies dried up. I’ve gone back on antidepressants today. No idea if that will help or harm my creativity...

  • @frenchcricket 6 days

    This seems to be a pattern for many of us, actually. I wonder if the novelty of being able to express our difficulties only has a short life? And therefore when it burns out it takes our creativity with it

  • @frenchcricket 6 days

    I’d be interested to hear from those of you who managed to keep the songs coming while feeling like shit

  • @vivalarayna 6 days

    @colgoo - I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear pup. This year's turning out to be quite the turd.

    @frenchcricket - I'm up to 15, with another 1 or 2 to be posted either tonight or tomorrow. I'm hoping to add a demo or 2 as well. I wish I could explain how, but this has been my most productive FAWM ever and while l wrote a few silly ones that will never see the light of March, I've produced far better content this year than ever before. I hope it's a sign of growing as a writer and musician, not an anomaly. But.. I've also been in this weird neutral emotion zone for... a while. Probably since the fall. It's like if I allow myself to feel *anything*, it will all fall apart. With writing, I can at least get it out on paper. Idk. That's the working theory. I also tend to only write during FAWM, so I've had a year to build up the motivation and know that if I miss it, the opportunity won't come around for another 11 months. Not sure if that helps you at all.

  • @candle  6 days

    @frenchcricket, I had a very interesting experience this FAWM. As usual, I surrendered completely to my Muse & followed her whims as she fluttered from idea to idea. My songs have, for the most part, explored my so-called "Dark Times" - those years of depression I suffered in my late teens & early 20's. However, I've come to realize (with the help of some great FAWMers - especially @pheonixash) that I'm revisiting those Dark Times in order to, perhaps face the fears I've always lived with. These songs are a form of catharsis for me - & I'm determined to re-work them & release them as an album of that name - Catharsis.

    As for FAWM being a novelty. For sure, it happens in February & the community is mostly active in the first three months of the year. But i think for those of us who want it, we find a way to carry the FAWMing Spirit with us throughout the year. Maybe we take on 50/90, maybe we spend the rest of the year re-working, re-recording & eventually releasing an album based on our FAWM tracks. But, like the old saying says: "Where there's a will, there's a way." Perhaps we all need to stay in better contact in the off-FAWM portion of the year. Not only to continue to inspire creativity, but to continue to support each other.

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @spinhead 6 days

    Though I haven't been diagnosed (because at this point there's no, um, point) Best Beloved and I are pretty sure I had COVID last February. Sick sick sick all month.

    I've been waiting for 10 months for the anxiety to slack so I could start feeling better. I've now discovered that all my symptoms (severe brain fog, increased anxiety, deeper than usual depression, chest pain, heart palpitation, sleep problems, and like eleven other delightful things) are called Post COVID Syndrome, and the brain and heart damage are most likely permanent.

    It hurts.

    I don't brag about my smart, because I don't think it's a worthy metric for my place in the world, but I got real used to having an IQ north of the G-line. These days, I do simple addition with a pencil and paper, and my web work takes 3-5 times as long because it's like thinking through mud. I will literally look at the code I've just written and not know what it means. Sue and I joke about it, but she seriously watches me if I'm in the kitchen or using sharp tools. Since I've spent the past month converting an old classical guitar into a tenor, I think she's been spying on me while I'm out back with my rotary tool and saws and whatnot.

    I live from hour to hour these days. I have a stupendous wife. Our youngest still lives at home, and at almost 17 she's the most amazing human being I know, and she laughs at all my jokes, so that helps. I have a robust, active, interested, selfless spiritual network, and a lifetime of training in how to avoid stress and to cope with it when you can't.

    But I'm struggling. Every minute of every day. Even when I'm asleep. [Stupid frustrating angry dreams, night after night.]

    And every morning, I get up and get right back at it. At the end of every day, I still feel it was worth the struggle. And now, it's the end of this day. G'night.

  • @vomvorton  6 days

    I managed to keep the songs coming by relying on collaborations. I had more free time this month than any of my previous FAWMs but I feel like this is the least writing I've ever done. I was hoping that a month of creativity and excitement would help with all the other shit but in all honesty i feel worse now than I did at the start. But the moments where I sent a song back to my collaborator and they were happy with it were probably the brightest moments in a bleak fucking month.

  • @petemurphy  6 days

    I've been going through a lot of weird stuff recently, both physically and mentally, and this FAWM has been a real struggle. I can't sing at the moment due to feeling so weak, so I've resorted to posting some of the experimental instrumental pieces that I've been messing around with during the month.

    I've had some really helpful advice from a couple of FAWMers (thank you @frenchcricket !).

    @vomvorton - I don't know if this will help with the good vibes in any way, but one of your collabs (Waving To The Cosmos) is in my top 3 FAWM songs for this year.

  • @chandra83  1 day


  • @candle  1 day

    And now we add the post-FAWM let down to our already troubled souls. @spinhead I wish there was some magic wand we all could wave to reset you back to the way things were pre-COVID. Hearing your story, honestly, scares the $#!t out of me. I wasn't too afraid of the virus (even tho I'm asthmatic & (in theory) would be high-risk) - but hearing how it has affected you long term has really grabbed my attention. Locally we've been pretty good throughout this pandemic. At the height of things last spring/summer & even before Christmas we weren't seeing many cases (despite the massive outbreak in Manitoba - just west of us). But in the last three weeks we've seen a massive spike. A variant was even detected in a case found in a town about an hour & a half east of here. And Thunder Bay (where @kantilla lives - which is six hours east of me) just went back into lockdown. I've been off work since before Christmas & have only worked 5 days this calendar year. In theory, I might be going back to work next week, but that all depends on where the case counts are at. It's a wait & see situation, I guess.

    So yeah, that's where I'm at. Thank you @spinhead for sharing your experience. It has really opened my eyes. And again, I wish you the best & a speedy recovery from these lingering symptoms.

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @gm7  1 day

    That's a real tough story to hear about @spinhead ..I hope in the coming months you and your family are feeling better.
    keep writing and keep music in your day to day routine. I'm sure that helps

  • @spinhead 1 day

    Appreciate the kind words, @candle and @gm7 Not to quibble, whine, or scare you worse, but since the symptoms come from brain damage, heart damage, and lung damage, the only hope for improvement is eventual neuroplasticity giving me back some mental function. Heart and lungs are what they are for the duration. No cure, no treatment.

    Don't go anywhere people are randomly licking each other and sneezing on the salad bar without masks, distancing, or sense. This stuff is serious. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    My mental and emotional health are propped up by Best Beloved and a solid spiritual network, and if I had to choose between a healthy body and healthy spirit, I'd take the non-physical any day.

  • @candle  1 day

    I hear you @spinhead. This mortal shell is only fleeting. But the soul is immortal. Keep your spirits up & don't stop the music!

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @nerdjealous  1 day

    I had a tough time pre 50/90 and figured while the opportunity came up, hey why not give it a go?

    I ended up having a spiritual moment between all the depression anxiety and issues me and my loved ones faced, knowing I'd finally achieved something I meant to do when I was a 16 year old.

    But when 50/90 ended it came with a massive crash which led me to a weird phase of Insomnia that I have only just manage to curb. I just about finished NaSo in time then sought to repair my insomnia.

    It felt like I became addicted to making music. I am now learning ways to make it less about working so hard and more about relaxing, which is why I plan on having more of a functional day to day when the next challenges come.

    That down ward spiral hit me hard. But I've been there before, I have been making up for lost time as the professionals say. Ive spent the last 6-7 years pursuing my goals that I never got to chase when my developments were hindered by MH. Sometimes I feel guilty for being so lucky that I have such supporting people around me.

    @yam655 it's true I've found, it sticks with me too. I think part of my addiction to creativity is knowing that I'm using this medium as therapy as well as expression, in the sense of keeping busy and having a way to express the hurt. Otherwise I can find myself getting restless.

  • @epi 1 day

    @sciren You asked if anyone writes songs about mental illness. I don’t write music, but I did write a lyric a few months ago about OCD. I used to have symptoms that would take up 99% of my life. Now, I probably wouldn’t even be considered as clinically having the disorder. However, I definitely still have spells sometimes. Anyway, I enjoyed writing about it.

  • @mrblitz000 1 day

    everybody hang in there, and remember to keep creating!

  • @emkaydeebee  1 day

    Is anyone else having incredibly vivid dreams since fawm ended? Every night for four nights now, I’ve had vivid and long-feeling dreams, that I remember when I awake. I wonder if it’s my subconscious reacting to not creating new songs anymore?

  • @gm7  1 day

    This is an important thread.

    Many year ago I had an issue to deal with...minor compared to some of the stories have I read in this thread. It may have manifested itself into MH an issue...but not to sure?? Anyway, I felt as if I was pulling on a rope with all my might and it was beginning to affect me emotionally and physically. Then I saw the movie “My First Mister”. And I got from that movie how I would commit 100% to addressing my worked and I could tie that rope off to a post, as it where, and move on.

    Keeping with that metaphor, many people feel like an octopus with 8 ropes all pulling in many directions simultaneously for many many different reason. Well, that movie helped me, maybe watching could help you in a small way. The movie made me mad, sad, happy and the ending, which I will not give away, was greatly uplifting.

    We all know people dealing with different levels of MH..and I honestly feel for you guys.
    If this helps just 1% that's 1% less you have to deal with!

    So @frenchcricket love that handle

    Just to name few, but you are all in my thoughts


    'We are FAWMily
    I got all my sisters with me
    We are FAWMily
    Get up everybody and sing'

    All the best.

  • @chipwithrow  23 hours

    @spinhead - the Post Covid Syndrome symptoms you list intrigued me, because I was super sick in March last year. My symptoms didn't quite match Covid symptoms, at least the way they were understood at the time. And since then, my mental health concerns have become such that my therapist likened them to PTSD.
    @emkaydeebee - I've had intense, vivid dreams for months now. My therapist tends to think it's because there's so much commotion to process in the world that I can't do it all when I'm awake. But what you say about your creative outlet being cut off makes sense. Around the time my dreams got intense, I also lost interest in making music for a while.

  • @chipwithrow  23 hours

    Also, several of you mentioned a post-FAWM letdown. I've been doing FAWM since 2008 and I don't think I've ever consciously experienced such a letdown - even last year when the world shut down in March.
    But now I don't think it's a coincidence that Monday was the first day in quite a while that my anxiety felt overwhelming. And I've had more frequent anxiety episodes this week than I had all of February. Interesting.

  • @spinhead 22 hours

    @chipwithrow I've felt postFAWMish every year for all 15 (16?) of my FAWMs. Never affected my dreams, which have always been intense to the point of terror. Few months ago I started taking something called ashwagandha which is supposed to help with anxiety (Best Beloved and I believe it has helped greatly) but it seems to affect dreams as well. A close friend who has had night terrors for years said her dreams have become more 'normal'; I've experienced something similar. During the past 6 months I have had the first happy dreams of my adult life (that's, like, two dreams I enjoyed after 39 years of not so much.)

  • @candle  14 hours

    @gm7 I didn't physically get up & dance. But spiritually, I did.

    We are FAWMily. We've got everybody.

    @emkaydeebee that's quite interesting. I can't say my dreams have been more vivid than usual since the end of FAWM, but I could see how the reduction in creative output might fuel your dreamscape. It is something I will monitor in myself over the next few weeks.

    @chipwithrow anxiety, yes. Lots of that right now. I received word today that I have to return to work on Monday. I also received word today that my Grandmother passed away late last night from post-COVID complications. It's been a tough day. I'm anxious to go back to work (though I might be able to delay that a bit with bereavement time) because COVID cases seem to be multiplying in our region (for the first time during the whole pandemic). I work in recreation (I'm a lifeguard & swimming instructor) - the very definition of non-essential work (I mean, look up the definition of "recreation" folks 😉 ). I'm please the city has waited on re-opening the rec centre, but I'm worried that they're looking at their bank books & putting economic concerns before health ones (which is the M.O. of our current City Council, unfortunately). Especially since it was just announced that the Rec Centre would be used as a mass vaccination site (which is a good thing, but how does that work with the Pool & the Gym being open?).

    Yeah, it's been a tough day. So thank you everyone for your support & thank you @gm7 for the song!

    We are FAWMily.

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @dzdandcunfsd  12 hours

    @candle sorry to hear about your grandma, and the job iffiness, just that alone can cause lots of undue stress.

    @emkaydeebee that is weird, and the last few nights I've had really vivid and odd dreams as well, at least I think they're odd I usually don't remember mine at all, unless its something terrible that wakes me up I can practically never recall anything about any dreams.

    @chipwithrow I'm similar in the fact I've never felt any big letdown after a fawm, but I also never really stop doing anything. It wasn't 2 or 3 hours after I posted the last song I started tearing one guitar apart, even if not creating any new music or feeling drained creativly there's always something I've been putting off doing, or could be doing that doesn't take any heavy mental work and I usually find that pretty soothing, that and smoking more than usual tend to help 🤣

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