Monday, January 23, 2006

iPod Shuffle, Yet Again

My iPod was again the catalyst for my thoughts this evening. I put it on shuffle again and was surprised to find that when I was thinking about the issues regarding depression and other defined medical conditions, the songs playing fit the mood. Seems odd, yes, but that's my iPod. It is magic (I am joking here. I don't actually believe the little mechanical device is magical. I think this is concidence.)

The thoughts I had about depression and other medical conditions may show up in this post, but I'm not sure to what capacity. I have an idea in my head and questions I want to explore, yet I don't know how to yet. If I find a way as I write this, I will.

Song #1: Leaving to Stay, Jonny Lang
While this song has a positive message, the beat is laid-back, bluesy and almost religious in feeling. Actually, the song is quite religious. "I've been waiting for the glory of the coming of the Lord. I've heard a lot of stories, but my prayers have been ignored. I've been waiting in the wings between the ocean and the shore. But this time, I'm leaving to stay."

Song #2: Carnival, Natalie Merchant
I have just a few Natalie Merchant songs and I rarely listen to them. There is something about her music that is soothing and relaxing, but I also find hidden meanings and sadness in her lyrics. The songs typically make me think there are hidden emotions and surprises and the metaphors seem contrived. That makes no sense. "Have I been blind, have I been lost inside myself and my own mind? Hypnotized and mesmerized by what my eyes have seen?" It is a depressing song. It makes me feel like there is a veil hiding reality from us and I don't believe that. Whatever. I may come back to that thought. Or not.

Song #3: This Used to Be My Playground, Madonna
Okay, here is a sad song. It is about remembering the glory days of youth. While I believe the past is important, it is still in the past. The melody is lethargic and Madonna's singing is quite whiny. "Don't hold onto the past, well that's too much to ask." No, it is not. Appreciate the past, live in the present, plan for the future. I don't even know what mood I'm in as I write this because the songs are bringing me down and I don't want to be down. Sadness is an emotion I don't deal with easily.

Song #4: One Headlight, The Wallflowers
I'm not even sure what this song is about. I looked up the lyrics. "So long ago, I don't remember when, that's when they say I lost my only friend, well they said she died easy of a broken heart disease, as I listened through the cemetery trees ... I seen the sun comin' up at the funeral at dawn, the long broken era of human law, now it always seemed such a waste, she always had a pretty face, so I wondered how she hung around this place ... Chorus: Hey, come on try a little, nothing is forever, there's got to be something better than, in the middle, but me & Cinderella, we put it all together, we can drive it home, with one headlight ... She said it's cold, it feels like Independence Day, and I can't break away from this parade, but there's got to be an opening, somewhere in front of me, through this maze of ugliness and greed, and I seen the sun up ahead, at the county line bridge, sayin' all there's good and nothingness is dead, we'll run until she's out of breath, she ran until there's nothin' left, she hit the end - it's just her window ledge ... chorus ... well this place is old, it feels just like a beat up truck, I turn the engine, but the engine doesn't turn, well it smells of cheap wine & cigarettes, this place is always such a mess, sometimes I think I'd like to watch it burn, I'm so alone, and I feel just like somebody else, Man, I ain't changed, but I know I ain't the same, but somewhere here in between the city walls of dyin' dreams, I think her death it must be killin' me ... chorus." The song is just sad.

Song #5: I'm Sensitivie, Jewel
"Please be careful with me, I'm sensitive and I'd like to stay that way." "Maybe if we're surrounded by beauty someday we'll become what we see ... we are everyday angels, be careful with me, I'd like to stay that way." This song is one that I used to think about when I was living with Adam. I wanted to stay innocent and happy and the situation was not a great one. I made it through and now I'm back to the person I was before I lived with him, happy most of the time and a little wiser. I'm not completely over the pain, but I am better than I was. I'll probably come back to this.

Song #6: She Paints Me Blue, Something Corporate
While this song is about a relationship, I find the phrase, "And you're my good feeling" the one that stands out tonight. Someone asked me recently about my thoughts on medication and personality "disorders". They said, "Do you believe that medication helps?" I answered, "Yes, for some." That question keeps coming back to my mind and I remember another comment the individual made. "It is hard, because people see my [diagnosed condition] as a disease." That keeps haunting me. After thinking about it, I realized that I don't see conditions as diseases. I think disease is a word that conjours negative emotions and some of the conditions people have are not diseases, the conditions are part of who the person is. It helped shape them into the person they are today and they deal with it and how they deal with it is part of them. This makes absolutely no sense what-so-ever. I don't know if I can describe this with words on a screen. The condition in this context is not depression, but ADHD. The person takes medication to help them focus and I can tell the medication helps. Medication is not the solution, but just a little bit of a push in the right direction. It allows the person to feel better about what they do. And I don't think ADHD or ADD is a disease. I think it is part of a person and they just have a different, diverse, and unique style. This is not a negative. When partnered with an obsessive-compulsive individual or a person who focuses a bit too much, distractions can be a benefit. People are different and that is one of the joys of life.

This still makes no sense. Maybe if I could clear my head I could explain it. Instead, I'll just ramble on and on about something I don't understand.

Song #7: So. Cal, The Vanity Project (Stephen Page)
"It's just another lonely day in sunny, Southern Californ-I-A ... What could have been and what never was in spite of us because it's another lonely day in sunny, Southern Carliforn-I-A." It is a sad song and I haven't listened to it too much yet to have an association with it.

Song #8: Breathe, Melissa Etheridge
I've probably linked to this song before, but I forget. And then sometimes the same song can conjour up different emotions. This is a rough song. "I played the fool today, I just dream of vanishing into the crowd, Longing for home again, Home, is a feeling I buried in you, I'm alright, I'm alright, It only hurts when I breathe."

The other day, on Friday actually, I was feeling a bit down. It is a rare emotion for me. At least at this point in my life. On the outside, most people would say that I'm happy. Others may even go so far as to say I'm a manic-depressive stuck on manic. Not often, but once in awhile (probably once every 4 or 5 months), I will have a day when I just feel a bit down. Something will be bothering me all day long and I'll have the defeating thoughts of, "I'm alone, I haven't accomplished [some task], I don't know what to do. I feel like no one will ever love me again and I don't want to let anyone in and I'm just going to put myself down all day." Then I kick myself in the head (mentally) and call up those who make me happy and laugh and have a good time and the bad feelings go away. Call it avoidance, call it a way to deal, I don't know what it is. But it works for me. It doesn't work for others. My friend and laughing and music are my medications. These things can change my outlook back to the positive and I appreciate that.

Song #9: Round Here, Counting Crows
Here's yet another song with a slow melody and quiet chords. "'Round here, we always stand up straight, 'round here, something radiates ... 'Round here, we're carving out our names, 'round here, we all look the same, 'round here, we talk just like lions but we sacrifice like lambs, 'round here, slipping through my hands."

The odd part of this train of songs is that I don't feel depressed. I feel pretty good. I am looking forward to returning to work tomorrow and seeing my friends and that life is on the right track. There are good times ahead, but I'm afraid that there are others in my life that are struggling right now. I think that's where this post is coming from. It is a part of my finding a way to help those I care about and a continuance of things said to me and a way I deal with the emotions of others since I don't deal with my own very well.

Song #10: The River, Garth Brooks
An uplifting song about overcoming obstacles. "I will sail my vessel until the river runs dry, like a bird upon the wind, these waters are my sky, I will never reach my destination if I never try, so I will sail my vessel until the river runs dry." It is about strength. The human spirit has strength and it gains momentum through hope. Hope is a good thing. Hope is a great thing.

Song #11: When the Heartache Ends, Rob Thomas
"Well it's alright, why don't you tell me again my friend, how you'll still be there when the heartache ends." Friendship is so important. It is the most important thing in my life and what I value more than anything else. Good friends are hard to find but a joy to treasure. I still believe in friendship, even after ones have turned sour. What one can gain from the support of a good friend, what one can offer of themself to a friend, that's what I believe life is about. There are many levels of friendship and the more you offer of yourself the more friends you will find.

Song #12: The Thong Song, Sisqo
Okay, just funny. iPod decided to throw in a song to just make me laugh. This is so bad. And unrelated. But hey, life throws some surprises in and apparently my iPod does too!

Song #13: Break Your Heart, Barenaked Ladies
I posted the lyrics to this song in one of my early, early posts. This is my favorite song that is not sung by Bryan. That only makes sense to a small few. Okay, I love Bryan's album, Mechanical Bride. The songs on there are terrific and fantastic. This is a song that is commercial and available for purchase and I love it. It is about a break-up. "And you say, 'What did you think I was gonna do, curl up and die just because of you, what did you think I was going to do, try to make you love me just as I love you, how could you be so low, you arrogant man, what do you think that I am, my heart will be fine, just stop wasting my time' oh, no, I know that you will be okay and that I got what I want, and that's rid of you, goodbye, and it's not because I'll be missing you that makes me fall apart, it's just that I didn't want to break, no I didn't mean to break, no I didn't mean to break your heart." The man is feeling guilty because he can't give as much as he thought was needed and for some reason I love the song. It makes me cry each time I hear it live.

Song #14: Ego, Medium (Bryan's music)
A soft song, towards the end of the album. "Sitting in the passenger seat, she saw another building, another wall ... sitting so dead in the passenger seat ... waiting so long on the passenger seat ... I want to be that too ... sitting so dead in the passenger seat, another family, another photo ... baby, just give me a reason, maybe it's not that wrong, it's always hard time in the season, when you go back home ... where is my crutch, where is my soul? I know the reasons, but I don't know how." This man's voice is amazing.

Song #15: Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O'Connor
Besides the fact I hate it when people write out words with numbers or only use a letter to write out an entire word, this is another depressing song. I don't dislike this song and there have been times when I felt like crying until there were no more tears, but I find it hard to relate to this song. Whine, whine, whine, I miss you, whine, whine, whine, you left me and I can't go on. Blah, blah, blah. Okay, maybe I don't like this song. Why do I have it?

Song #16: I Can't Make You Love Me, Bonnie Raitt
Good job iPod, you've found yet another song about longing and foolish games. Hey, do you think you'll play "Foolish Games" next?

Song #17: Bed of Lies, Matchbox Twenty
Nope, just another song about relationships gone bad. It's like a Fox special. I remember listening to a lot of MB20 when I lived with Adam. Most of the music is about relationships (romantic and not) gone bad. I found a lot of reason in the songs that I could apply to friendship. But then, I also believe in friendship more than some. "I don't think I could take another talk about it." This song, along with "Hang" and "Rest Stop" tend to remind me of the bad times. "I don't want to be somewhere I don't belong, it's not enough just to be sorry, don't you know I feel the darkness closing in."

Song #18: Title and Registration, Death Cab for Cutie
I got this song when I bought my iPod. There were a bunch of free songs that came with it and this was one. It starts out about how the glove compartment is not named correctly because no one keeps gloves in it. This is just a funny story. My dad lost his gloves. He couldn't find them for a year. Then he opened his glove compartment. That's where he put them. It is just a bit funny that it was the one place he didn't think to look for a year. This song is not that depressing. Well, actually, listening to the lyrics, it is a bit sad. The singer is telling a story about how "our love did slowly fade, now it's gone ... here I'm left with disappointment and regret." Dang it!

That's probably good for tonight. I don't think I got the point across that I was looking for, but I did list off more songs on my iPod. Here's to another week of busy times at work and fun. I'm sure I'll have my stress level back to normal highs by the end of tomorrow. Good night.