This is a guest post written by my younger sister, Tiffany, who has a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. I recently invited Tiffany to be a regular contributor on this blog. Once a month, she’ll document a single day in her life. The purpose of these posts is to raise awareness of what it’s like to live with a mental illness. I’m also hoping the posts will help readers recognize that we all have hopes, dreams, challenges and mountains to climb regardless of our mental health status. Without further ado, here’s Tiffany.
“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.” – Martin Luther
I feel that in order to connect to our true self, we must connect in mind, body and soul. This particular day, I wanted to connect on all levels, but I was not sure how to achieve that goal. The day seemed to play out on its own.
I was having intense cravings. What is this feeling I am experiencing? I have not felt this for a while. I needed something, but I was not sure what it was. I thought about the possibility of attending an AA/NA meeting. I should be talking about these feelings so I don’t have a major relapse. I needed to relieve the cravings, so I took a drive around town with the kids. We take drives often. We stopped a few places before returning home.
Relief was in sight. My friend Emily called. She was headed my way from a nearby town. She came over, and I explained to her the feelings I was experiencing. We discussed how great it would be to go out for a few hours, just the two of us. After all, as Emily says, social time is important.
How to make an outing happen?
I called two neighbor teenagers who had previously told me they enjoyed babysitting. They were available for the night, so they came over for babysitting duty. I gave them each a ten dollar bill and a five to split. I bought them some snacks and told them I’d be gone no longer than three hours.
Now, what are Emily and I going to do?
I looked online and noticed that my friend, Seth Doud, was performing in town. Seth feels that his soul is exposed when he is performing. I have always felt a great connection to Seth’s music. What a great opportunity to go hear him play!
Seth was standing by an outdoor fire pit when Emily and I arrived at the venue. “Yay, I thought. I get to talk to Seth.” I introduced him to Emily, and they talked about the extravagant outdoor furniture. Seth went inside to set up. Emily and I proceeded to stand by the fire. I was messing around on my phone when a guy approached us. We were both getting anxious, so we started a completely fake conversation. The guy proceeded to raise his voice and said, “I’m sorry for interrupting your secret talk. I’m just out here for a smoke.” Emily attempted to mend the awkwardness by talking to him. I laughed to myself about the moment because I’d never had something like that happen before.
We went inside to get a Red Bull and soda. Loud noises and people make me extremely anxious. Emily and some casual conversations seemed to ease my mind. Then Seth, my musician friend, walked by and smiled. His smile made me feel good, as it always does. When is the music going to start, I thought to myself?
I found a place at an empty table behind a wall. Perfect!!! I wanted to hear the music, but not watch. I felt as though the girl across the way was analyzing me. Seth started to play. His music spoke to me. My soul felt better at that moment.
Seth’s first set was done. He walked outside. I followed to say goodbye. He informed us that he had broken his G-string and needed to fix it. He invited us to hang with him for a few minutes. I asked him for directions home, and he invited us back in.
As he played his second set, many emotions filtered through my body. Silent tears started to flow out of my eyes. I adjusted appropriately. We left as Seth was playing Purple Rain. I often leave at that point. I named my daughter, Raegan Rain, after that song. What a great way to say goodbye.
Sometimes we need a little something to fill our mind, body and soul cravings. What a great outing. It helped me to find a comfort zone. Thanks, Seth!
Thanks for reading. I look forward to highlighting another day in June!