Looking through the rear-view mirror with music

Question: Am I the only one who hears voices in her (his) head? No? I didn’t think so. Wait. Was that just one of the many voices in my head speaking? I’m so confused.

I’m not sure if I am feeling anxious because of the countless voices in my head, or if the countless voices in my head are trying to ease the anxiety I feel. Recently, while watching a program about ADD, I heard someone compare ADD to driving. When driving, the driver needs to focus on the road ahead of him/her, glancing at the rear-view mirror occasionally. However, those with ADD tend to become distracted with looking at the rear-view mirror and are unable to focus on what is ahead of them.

While driving home from work today, I realized the voices in my head are louder when I don’t want look at what is in front of me. On days like today, I don’t want to see the road ahead; instead, I want to look through the rear-view mirror and see what is behind me. I want the option to relive the happy times and reflect on the happy memories. And, by looking through the rear-view mirror, I have greater control with keeping myself in a happy place.

When I am looking back, I find music is the best way to recall the happy times. For instance, I was listening to some incredible music today. The music was off a CD I purchased years ago, consisting of cover songs performed by local musicians. Sadly, I loaned the CD to a friend, and the friend never returned it. Happily, I had friends with the same CD, and they made me a copy of it. Anyway, I found myself looking in the rear view mirror of my life, recalling some great memories, all triggered by the music.

I was in this same crazed-state of mind a few weeks ago, when my friend James was ill and nearing death. When he died, as Rob and I drove to Savannah for the burial, I needed a release from all the voices in my head and all the sadness I was feeling. I found listening to Ozzy Osborn’s ‘Crazy Train’ quite effective. Appropriate, eh? Yes, well, I also found a nice release listening to Evanescence’s ‘Going Under’.

Today, my friend is flying to North Carolina to be with her Mom before her Mom dies. And, as I type, my heart begins to race with the anxiety I felt when I did a similar thing over 16 yrs ago. Please excuse my repetitiveness, because I know I have written about this in a previous post or two…

I flew from Washington, DC to Atlanta, hoping to make it home before my Dad died. To this day, that flight was the longest flight I have ever taken because the time seemed to crawl. As I type, my friend is boarding a plane, carrying with her the same hope I carried with me. And, as I think about my friend, I become overwhelmed with sadness. Cue the music!

Today, four songs off the previously mentioned CD helped me drown out the sadness and/or distract me from the crazy. All of the songs off the CD are cover songs, originally performed by other musicians. The songs, Whole of the Moon, Weakness in Me, Piece of my Heart and The Dutchman, were performed and recorded live at Eddie’s Attic, a music venue in Decatur, GA. Eddie’s was a refuge of mine. A place I would go to hear some of the best acoustic music and hang with the best of friends. Prior to Eddie’s, these musicians, my friends and I gathered at Trackside Tavern. (Eddie managed Trackside before he opened his own place.) Great memories, and great additions to the soundtrack of life.

Have a listen:

 (Whole of the Moon, originally performed by The Waterboys)

 (The Dutchman, originally performed by Michael Peter Smith)

  (Weakness in me, originally performed by Joan Armatrading)

 (Piece Of My Heart, originally performed by Janis Joplin)

Andrea with her Mom, Dad, husband and kids, June 2010

My friend has reached her parent’s house by now. I hope to find out that she made it in time to have several good conversations with her Mom. And, when my friend finds herself overwhelmed with the road ahead, preferring to look through the rear-view mirror instead, I’ll try to help quiet her voices with a soundtrack of happy memories. I’ll probably start with one of Andrea’s favorite songs from the ‘old days’, Seal’s Crazy. It’s a perfect song for the soundtrack of life, because “we’re never gonna survive, unless we get a little crazy.”

2 thoughts on “Looking through the rear-view mirror with music

  1. Wow. I am stunned – I do the same thing. Certain songs take me back in time, some more melancholic than others but they always invoke some emotion or something I was going through (happy or sad) when I listen to them. As I read your post, the song that came to my mind, because it reminds me of times when we were on our way to a bar or Hard Times back in our younger days was….Crazy by Seal. Imagine that. I still love that song today as much as I did oh so long ago and it still reminds me of you.

    And just so you know, I made it to mom’s in time and I think I will be able to have a good conversation or 2 with her. And even though she was almost asleep from the pain meds when I got here, I could see how happy she is that I came back.

    1. “And even though she was almost asleep from the pain meds when I got here, I could see how happy she is that I came back.” Andrea, that is something you can reflect on for the rest of your life. What a wonderful memory!! So glad you made it.

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