On a mental health break – 2019 and beyond

It’s been a very quiet 2019, of my choosing.

I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on how tremendous 2018 was, and how much I’ve learned and yet to learn. And how much music I’m preparing to make!

I’ve decided to take some time off to work on myself for all of 2019, possibly longer. Namely, getting physically fit and mentally stronger.

Some of you may know I suffer from anxiety developed from complex trauma, and while 2018 has been tremendous, behind the scenes, I was struggling just as much. I write more on this below.

So I’ve made it my goal that for an entire year at least, I’m going to work hard  to get myself fitter and build those important routines, so that I can give more to myself, and music in return.

A lot of the activities I’m undertaking involve going to exercise classes, going for walks in nature, going to see my therapist every week, learning how to de-escalate when I am triggered … learning how to recognise when I am triggered (which can be so so hard to do!).

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Complex Trauma

Trauma is defined as ‘a single experience, or enduring repeated events, that completely overwhelm the individual’s ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved in that experience’ – taken from MTIEC.

Complex trauma is predominantly developed from childhood. The Blue Knot Foundation has more information here.

This is a relatively new way of thinking that is still being researched and written about. The greatest resource I’ve found is in the book The body keeps the score by Bessel van der Kolk. I’ve found invaluable research in it, and it has been tremendous in helping me piece together puzzles of my past. It assisted in my journey of healing and pointed me in the right therapy direction. I stopped CBT and found trauma informed therapy, just to name one change.

Part of my journey is overcoming the debilitation from having triggers. It usually takes me days to sometimes weeks to bounce back from a trigger. And often I find myself having to start all over again, that the week spent in recovery has wiped the slate clean.

Thus it has been really difficult for me to be as active as I would like in my music.