Stop and Listen

Do you ever feel as though you’re on autopilot? There are times when we do things because we just do them. Going through the motions, without much thought…. like brushing your teeth or turning onto the road where you live. I think we sometimes get into autopilot mode with music, too. We love the way a song sounds or how it makes us feel, but we don’t really investigate the message behind it. Eventually, the music becomes habitual. Maybe we even sing along, without letting the words sink in.

I know that I’m guilty of this, and things slide by when I’m not paying attention. I’ve always considered 311 one of my favorite bands, and I’ve heard their songs time and time again. Same with Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers. But I experienced songs by these artists and others, in a different way tonight, after doing a Google search for lyrics about suicide…

311: Beyond the Gray Sky

Red Hot Chili Peppers: The Otherside

Both of the above songs are on my Ipod, and I’ve seen 311 live on four different occassions. As for the following song… not only did I see it performed live, I was sitting on the side of the stage (thanks to a friend’s connection at 98 Rock). But due to a generous supply of free beer backstage, I let these lyrics fly right over my head that night. I did, however, pay closer attention when I heard the song on the radio shortly thereafter.

Papa Roach, Last Resort

It dawned on me that I need to practice the art of ‘listening and learning.’ And if well-known musicians can tackle the taboo topic of suicide, then so can I. There are lots of negative opinions surrounding depression and people with suicidal tendencies. I sometimes worry about that, and I often need to remind myself that this work is much more important than the mindset of asanine critics.

This is the song I heard on the radio this evening, which sparked tonight’s research project:
P.O.D. Youth of the Nation

And here’s one more that resonated, particularly because survivors are heard here…

I’m fucking tackling this shit, and I’m not going to worry about what people may say or think. I’ve stopped reading the ignorant comments posted to news stories about suicide, by people who have no compassion. There will always be critics. There will always be people who don’t agree or people who won’t understand. But if we fall prey to what others might think, then we lose sight of why we are here in the first place. And I am here to write this book.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I need to write about writing sometimes because the subject matter can be so emotionally draining. These blog “pep talks” help me to process thoughts and move forward with the book project.

One Comment

  • Michelle

    Abby–I was so engrossed in your blog that I read all of the posts in one night. Judging from your writing, the book is going to be equally captivating. Challenges and adversity are simply signs showing you that you are getting closer to the prize. Face them as only you know how to intrinsically. You are seriously an inspiration to me, with or without the hoop, just by the kind of person you are.
    Much love & respect, Michelle

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