How 1 Band Helped Form My Recovery

I see the light that I’m chasing
A memory, but it’s fading
When it’s gone I’ll be waiting
Knowing it’s too late

There’s no sugarcoating it: recovery is hell. It’s not easy to make a complete lifestyle change and fight against actual chemical imbalances in your brain every second of every day. Even living in a mental hospital with the best support in the world, there were still times everything was so overwhelming that it felt like I had no support at all. Nothing can prepare you for just how difficult it is to do it on your own, in a different environment with none of the same people, once you’re discharged. Consistency is lacking. When I went through the transition from residential to outpatient, I found myself searching for anything in my new life that carried over from my time in the hospital, hoping I would be able to recreate the healthy environment at home that I had started my recovery in.

She captures her reflection then she throws the mirror to the floor
Her image is distorted screaming, “Is it worth it anymore?”

Ways to entertain yourself in residential are few and far between. Electronics with cameras aren’t allowed, which meant I didn’t have my phone that I could listen to my music on. This quickly became an issue for me, so I caved within the first week and bought an old iPod touch without a camera on Amazon to put my music on. I ended up downloading the audio off of youtube videos, which is a tedious task and I had limited computer time, so my music library for the next few months ended up consisting of some acapella music and the entire musical makings of Little Mix, a British girl band. After that, I gave up trying to download music onto my iPod.

I might be young, but I know my mind
I’m sick of being told what’s wrong or right

Acapella is great, but you can only listen to it so many times before it kind of wears on you. So during my time at Rogers, I found myself listening to Little Mix almost exclusively. At the time, the band had 3 albums out, offering me a wide range of song topics, sounds, and rhythms. I think it’s safe to say that I listened to basically nothing but Little Mix for two months, and it was one of my favorite parts of my recovery.

I’d cross a desert and an ocean
To get away from the pain of your storm
But chase the sunlight, been running from your shadow
So that I could heal and I didn’t breathe

They had songs for almost every mood I found myself. All 4 girls from the band have unique and personal experiences that they write their songs about. Music is a very therapeutic activity to participate in however fits you best. You can sing along, make up dances, sit and simply listen to the words, etc. I found myself choreographing dances to the songs that resonated with me at the present time. It was a wonderful form or expression that allowed me to wrestle with whatever challenge my brain or treatment was throwing at me at the present moment. I not only was able to wrestle with it mentally, but I was able to physically battle against the invisible forces keeping me down through dance. It was also a great way to work out and keep my body fit and healthy. Three times a week we went to the YMCA at Rogers, and I found a small yoga room that I commandeered on each visit to dance in. I ended up choreographing a full dance and shared it with my fellow patients and was genuinely able to bring people to tears with my dance. It was incredibly healing for me, and I don’t think my recovery would have been the same without the dance. It helped me feel empowered because I controlled the story and how the dance ended. I could beat whatever was suffocating me at the moment. I’m forever grateful for Little Mix, and the fact that they wrote the soundtrack for my recovery. I can face anything with them singing me on.

I feel the rain on my skin
Wash away all the pain I was in
I see the sun in the sky
No longer know how it feels to cry

They said I couldn’t, they told me that I wouldn’t
But if they could see me now
They’d see I’m something, that I’m not scared of nothing
And the world will hear me shout
Might call me crazy
But I’ve been thinkin’ maybe you would change your mind
If you could see me now


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