Music as Healing: Chronic Illness Companions

I love music. I always have. I dont play any instruments currently (though I played the flute in elementary school) but listening to music has always helped me be grounded and emotionally in touch. When I was young, my favorite things to listen to were soundtracks and bluegrass. I lived for the RENT soundtrack, though I didnt know what it was about, and I would hang with my mom and listen to Alison Krauss, flowing with the sound of her voice. Then, as I got to high school, I discovered pop punk and my favorite band All Time Low. I wrote my college essay about music and how much I love it. Now as ive been sick, music and concerts are one thing that have not changed. I go to just as many concerts as I did before, just in my wheelchair. Yes, this uses up spoons but music can bring me to a special place that nothing else can. I can sing my lungs out and I can express whatever emotion I am feeling. I think music can also be a way to vent pain. If I am in pain, I can turn on music start to sing and release my pain. Obviously, this doesn’t get rid of my pain but it definitely helps me to lessen it a little and to release the frustration that comes with it. Different types of music are for different things too. My classic pop-punk can help with pain, while softer things can help with emotional turmoil, and soundtracks from my childhood are good for POTS episodes to keep my grounded. I just wish that the bands that helped me so much knew how much they made a difference for me, not just in general, but for real chronic pain and illness. That is something that I feel is so rare. I am so thankful that music exists and is in my life and to my late mother for introducing me to it.

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