Growing up listening to heavy music has given me an appreciation for bands that have a clear message in their songs. Many of the bands in some of the more extreme genres, in my opinion, like to link brutal melodies to brutal lyrics. As I have progressed in my recovery from depression and OCD, I have found a new appreciation for less heavy, but more intellectually stimulating bands. Lately, I have grown to like listening to 90’s alternative and grunge, a la “Lithium” on Sirius XM Radio. Some of the bands that stand out in my mind are: Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. As a side note, part of my recovery has been broadening my taste for music and not thinking so black and white. That is, I am ok listening to grunge, whereas before I would not let myself listen to anything less heavy than Napalm Death, which happens to be my favorite band currently.
The aformentioned bands in the grunge genre have great songs that are classic and meaningful. For me, Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box”, Alice in Chains’ “Rooster”, Pearl Jam’s “Daughter”, and Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun”, stand the test of time.
Another 90’s band that has grown to be at the top of my list is the Smashing Pumpkins. Ironically, my first taste of their music was from a Simpson’s episode, where Homer went on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins, only Homer was taking cannonballs to the stomach :). The song that is in the episode is “Zero” off of “Melloncollie and the Infinite Sadness.”
My life is centered around recovery and wellness, as can be noted from my other posts. Trying to keep positive and work my way through anxiety-provoking situations, I have grown to love the song “Disarm” off of “Siamese Dream” by the Smashing Pumpkins. The lyrics that touch me the most are the opening lyric, “Disarm you with a smile”, and “Send this smile over to you.” I am in no way perfect in applying this to my life, but when I am surfing I have applied this and it has helped calm my nerves. Let’s say that I am surfing and I perceive that someone is upset with me, just for existing in the lineup. My “mind-reading” cognitive distortion makes me think this way and I can mitigate some of the feelings by disarming the individual by just smiling. In the cognitive distortion frame of mind, if I can send a smile over to the person, they can either smile back or ignore, but the ignoring could perhaps be for unrelated reasons. Perhaps they thought I was just smiling, not necessarily at them. Most people find it hard to not be cordial to someone that is smiling at them.
This methodology has helped me to feel better during my day. As stated before, it is not easy for me, but like any kind of recovery, you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone to see any results. I look forward to applying the wisdom I have learned from the Smashing Pumpkins in surfing, driving, and any other situation that brings anxiety.
Thanks for reading,