The other day I put one of my all time favourite cd’s on in the car and put it up very loud! What struck me though is no, not that it was loud as give me singing at the top of my lungs any day to release some stress. It was the fact that I picked this cd. It sits in the car just in case but I don’t think its been put on rotation for a few years, yet the album has been playing over and over in the last week. Interestingly, as usual “a sign” popped up and the same band featured on the radio 2 days later, why was it a sign – 1. I don’t normally listen to that radio station and 2. I was only in the car for 5 minutes that day and a song from that album was played within the space of a minute of getting into the car.
So what does it all mean. It came to me that I was in some ways regressing. No not in a bad way by dropping to the floor and throwing a 2-year-old tantrum. I was regressing back to 15 years old. When all the feelings about change, identity and my place in the world were paramount and the only thing that saved me or made me feel safe was music and this album a lot of the time. I then thought back to some of the other behaviours and habits that I had at the time – the food I ate, the company I kept, the activities I completed.
It then washed over me – I was feeling some of those same feelings now and to help myself to cope and feel safe I returned to the same mechanisms that worked back then. This was not a conscious decision. This is imprinted on and in my cells – as the book by Babette Rothschild is so aptly titled “The Body Remembers”.
Cue light bulb.
Yes I know I’m a psychologist and I know all of this theoretically but actually working through these types of moments and associations personally is a whole different experience. It made me aware that my 15-year-old self is my point of reference for coping. Particularly in times of change. Moving forward or changing direction and probably the difficulty in doing so. It’s not necessarily in times of high stress – that’s for another blog post =)
This has been somewhat of a revelation that something so simple as an album from my favourite band can be the calming influence in the choppy ocean of change. Does it or is it working – well I’m not too sure but what I do know is that it makes me feel a whole lot better when I listen to it. It is being my security blanket as the thoughts and feelings come up and its most likely reassuring my cells that you have done this before you can do it again.
So has this made you think about anything you regress back to? Is there a period in your life where factors or items are dredged back up to help you cope in the present? What album or band helps you get through it all each time that road block pops up?
God help The Golden Age Club (That’s for you Grandma C) when the walls are reverberating with the sounds of Sir Psycho Sexy.