When You’re Down and Troubled (Day 104)

(photo credit: Vinyl Record Player by Nan Palermo on flickr.com. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode.)

I think I’m drawn to song lyrics because, if they’re good, they state the truth about some human situation in a way that would sound awkward if you said it in conversation with another person. The music adds a ethereal element to the content, which makes it possible to absorb the words’ intent more easily.

If a friend told me she was sad, I might say that I’m always there for her, and she can call me anytime, but I would never word it the way Carole King does in her song, “You’ve Got a Friend.” It would sound stilted if spoken without music.

At some point today, my emotions kind of went haywire and I felt pretty down. Oddly, it was in response to some relief about something I’d learned I no longer needed to be concerned about.

Anyway, my first instinct was to call a friend or my husband, simply to hear somebody else’s voice, as that will sometimes do the trick and pull me out of my own head. I called my husband but I guess the emotions ran deeper than I thought. The telephone chat left me feeling even lower.

Immediately the lyrics of that Carole King song entered my consciousness and I searched for it on Youtube. As I listened to it, I cried until I was done, and then, I listened. The sadness hadn’t disappeared completely, but it had mellowed enough for me to feel comfortable talking about it, at least a little bit.

Luckily for me (maybe not for him), my husband stopped by the house to change clothes a moment or so after I’d reached this point. So, I told him a little of what I was feeling and we went for a walk before I released him and let him go back to work.

Now, an hour or so later, I’m back to normal.

We all go through our ups and downs and often we do not have the benefit of somebody to talk or cry to at our moment of need. Or we aren’t ready to share with somebody else.

For me, music often serves as a buffer. It gives me the space to release some of my pain without having to explain myself before I’m ready. I wonder if others, who are more social than I am or who don’t like to be alone, get the same benefits that I do from closing my eyes and listening to a song.

If you are someone who does not get these benefits and you can’t reach another person, what do you do to calm yourself down?


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