Friday, August 12, 2016

I believe when people make a playlist, it is typically a soundtrack to their life and where they are in the present moment.

Well, at least that is true for me. 

Any time I have or ever have had a playlist in my collection it was usually a direct correlation to what was happening in my life. What I was feeling, thinking, hoping for. I always feel like lyrics do a better job than I ever could do putting to words just really and truly what I am feeling.

Enter –Sia.
This artist is my playlist.
Listening to her and her lyrics is finally giving me a lens into my own life.
I read once someone described her album This is Acting, as if you were reading a diary. 
That's why I think I am so drawn to her as an artist. 
She was able to identify where I was in my darkest places as well as my places of greatest strength. 

Her album was a diary into my own life, in a manner of speaking. 

You know how people say it’s hard to see the whole situation when you’re the one right in the middle of the issue. But everyone else around you clearly knows what’s going on and what the problem is.
Well, I feel like now, she is giving me the opportunity to be the outsider looking in on my own life. Her words are like a narrative into where I was when I was in the midst of my disorder, and they speak so loudly to where I am now.

It’s taken me such a long time to sit down and finally try to write this. But it’s really hard to explain how something makes you feel. So, I am going to try.

What I wanted and hope to do with this mini series is focus in on a few songs that speak loudly to where I am presently as well as where my past had been. I hope you all are ready for the ride and that I do this and Sia justice as I jump right in!
I’m literally sweating!
I could have something to do with the fact my car said 104 degrees as I left today. But I think that I just have way too many thoughts that I want to type and my hands just aren’t fast enough!

Track 1- Elastic Heart. 

Elastic Heart was a song constantly in my speakers during a period in my life where everything just felt chaotic and disjointed. I think that’s why I enjoyed the music under her lyrics. The pattern of the rhythm is a movement of ups and downs, and for my life at that time, it just seemed like I was constantly at war.

At war with myself.

With Jake..

My family.

My therapist.

What I like about this song is that it is intertwined with two points of view. I want to approach this with my two selves. First as myself; Alicia. Second is my disorder. 

As I blasted these words through my speakers many a trip home from my therapist’s office, the lead into the chorus always stuck out in my head.

You will not break me
I’m still fighting for peace.

The disorder really liked that first line. 
Something about it just fueled my fire. I was not to be broken. Nothing anyone said at that point was going to change my mind. This was me, it was who I was and where I chose to be. And then there was the second line- I’m still fighting for peace. Because I was! I wanted things to be better so bad. And I felt that being sent to the hospital would be me throwing in the towel. ALICIA wanted to beat this disorder. I wanted the peace. I didn’t want the hospital, or doctors or someone else to get it for me. I wanted to get it myself. And I think that was the voice I was trying to convey, but the disordered voice was so much louder and would not be broken. I just ached for things to get better.

There was so much inner chaos in my life that I don’t even know if I knew it was there. But when I heard this song, it was like she had gone through and then expressed everything that I was feeling in those moments.

And I want it and I wanted it bad
But there were so many red flags
Now another one bites the dust
And let's be clear, I trust no one

These lyrics for me, represent how I almost feel like there were times when I accepted this into my life. I knew it was wrong in the beginning. I had total consciousness of the times I deliberately did things for my eating disorder. I had plenty of red flag moments where things that should have warranted me to turn away from this life, just didn’t. I feel like those were the moments where I just didn’t know what to trust. I knew people were only looking out for me, but I couldn’t always accept that, so I continued to live into the life I knew.

Music Video-

I like that in this beginning. Maddie is the one that is the dominant more intimidating presence. That’s how it could feel mentally, to have two dueling “me” in my head. As I would be there anorexia could tend to have this louder voice. And I would cower to it. I was afraid that I couldn’t stand up to it, and just played into its game all along. Then as the video plays, it’s almost like he’s trying to make peace with it closer to a minute into the video. She kicks him down and continues to be this dominant entity in side the cage.

And seriously.

When I watch it, it’s like a visual of how it felt to be inside my head. Any time I had any opposition to what it wanted, it won. Striking me down. Making me scared of this food, or that snack or being with those people.

It’s exhausting.

And just when I would think that the dragon was sleeping, it woke again.

There were so many ways I tried to fight back. I like that she says I walk through fire to save my life. I wanted my life SO bad. But I just had no idea what that life was I wanted. I tried this and that and everything else to fight against the disorder. When nothing seemed to work I chose to attempt embracing the disorder.

To live in tandem with it.

But it bit me back. That’s kind of when I feel like it awoke with full force. Sort of like the video.
This is where it began to really be an exhausting struggle.
This for me is incredibly laid out in a visual between Maddie and Shia. What I love next is when she actually leaves the cage they’re in.

Taunting him from the outside, he wants that part of his life back so bad.

Up until she gets out, the two selves were fighting with one another. Once she leaves, Shia realizes what’s gone, that old life of mine that I wanted so badly to move out of, I wanted back so bad. It’s hard to let go. He screams in anguish for her to return. And that’s how it felt. Not being able to give that part of my past up even though it was wrong. As she’s teasing him from the outside, I experienced what that felt like as my life began to shift.

That first shift happened in the hospital. They forcibly took that part of my life out of my reach, but I knew it could come back if I wanted it to. And as wrong as it was, I wanted that back into my life.

So I let it back in.
As much as I was afraid of this disorder, I needed it.

She comes back into the scene and as with me, it seemed worse the second time around. Gently she enters and he embraces that. He carries her like a burden on his back while she’s calling all the shots. I welcomed that part of my life back in. I let it have me for so long. And even my first stages into recovery, I feel like I still continued to hold on. And if you watch to the end of the video, he hangs on for so long. She continues to pull and manipulate and toy and he’s physically just so exhausted. That’s what it’s like. Before I truly let go. I wanted to hang on so badly to both of these lives and eventually you just have to reach that point where you let go.

And it’s hard.

I love when she leaves the first time. Like a kid throwing a tantrum. Its scary and uncomfortable to let that part of you go. I screamed. I ached for it back. I love Sia for how she visually chose to portray this part of her life because it spoke so loudly to me. Especially watching it now. It’s like watching what was happening in my head over the last 3 or 4 years.

I hope you can watch this with a new perspective or maybe just a little more intrigue. Let me know your thoughts today and as I continue this mini series!

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