I used to have a major problem with anger. My therapist used to tell me I was the type of person who would push down my issues until I let them build up and I’d lose all control I had over my feelings. It’s like consistently pouring water into a cup, knowing it’s about to overflow. Instead of drinking it and resolving the problem, you let it overflow and lose it all. That’s how I was for a long time. I didn’t know how to express my feelings of sadness and anger because I thought I needed to constantly have a smile on my face.
So how did I start dealing with my feelings when I didn’t know how to express them? I started with music. For me, music always finds a way for me to express how I’m truly feeling. I always know what kind of day I’m having by what song, artist, or playlist I put on. So through the songs, I felt like I could connect with the happiness, sadness, or anger the singer was portraying through the lyrics and the melodies. Slowly but surely, I was able to express through my own words how I was feeling. I’m not a great singer (even though I believe my car and shower are the stage) so I turned to writing and poetry. I realized that music helped me find outlets that I could express myself without stumbling over words I couldn’t find in the moment. I was able to sit down and actually try to explain my thoughts and feelings with as much passion as my emotions had over me in these moments.
I still listen to playlists I made in college, or CDs I made for my car in high school. It’s interesting to see how I’ve changed over the years and what music I used to use to express my feelings back then. One thing is for sure though that I still know which songs will make me smile, laugh, cry and scream when I need to release all of the feelings inside when I can’t find the words to describe them.