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Self Survival and Recovery……a creative reflection.

So let’s just dive in and bring it to surface. This feels like coming back from the brink of death, all the pain, unknowns, brain games, and ever lasting shame. Fighting for your life, hypnophobia, your mind on replay. I love how music is on display, in your darkest hours. The melody touches your soul, like the crashing waves on the coast. My other home, where the sea turns to foam. My feet in the sand, I feel at home. Wishing you were here, to see for yourself, the heaven and hell I’ve been in. My own creation, then invited others in. I write to heal, to have a voice for silenced. To put a smile on someone’s face, changes lives everyday.

It is time to let go and just fly, over mile high. Where the sunset paints a canvas, my star in the sky shines bright. Like falling stardust, a continuous process. Take a deep breath and let the calm descend, if only for a moment, as eyes open wide. Looking back it was a slow ascend to the top, full of clarity, then the bombs were dropped. Like a nuclear attack packed with flashbacks and long lasting side effects. Reflections stare back, unrecognizable to you now. Not sure when you will come back, all those faces to survive. Masks are easy to hide behind, what color defines who you have become inside. Synchronicity begins, its 4:04am, how time never ends. 4:20 is usually my jam, it’s very personal, like a vice. I will talk about it some time, for now I will fix what is going on, right here and right now. Or is this a dream, more like a living nightmare. You awaken and the fog is still there, not like the first time, when everything was so clear. Then it all disappears, cycles away like night and day. Why I am I stuck on repeat, the music in my head writing out sentences. How amazing that would be, put pen to paper, and make history.

Which one will it be? Fear or anxiety……overcoming is never easy. It’s relies on strategy, no playbooks are the same. The mind wanders and misses time, so you play catch up as you try and get by. All you have is today, right now in this moment, amongst the parade. The siren she calls to us all, he is hot on her heels, a game of cat and mouse. Who will win these time? Outsmart the ego and call a truce before they tighten the noose. Suffocation like claustrophobia, crawling within my skin. Poison leaks from the pores, and then the healing begins. A slow speed in the fast lane so to speak. Capeche! Understanding comes with peace, take it from me, seeing clearly is the key. One of many shapes and colors for the locks change periodically. The door stays the same, an imprint on the world, for ALL to see. Even the ground beneath our feet and the trees ๐ŸŽถTwenty One Pilots “Trees” stop and add it to your playlist now!!๐ŸŽถ blurryfaced in the breeze. Like a coat of many colors, I had one when I was 13, how eccentric of me. Anyways its time to go, I will be back soon with another review.

~Jennifer Steen ๐Ÿฆ‰

* I am finally calm now, this is my favorite therapy. The creation of art and using my literary voice. Since my vocal cords only seem to whisper. I wander in this life, all around. I feel quite lost yet found……..it is 5:39am, time to roll over and sleep.

music · Uncategorized

Music, new friends, and the power of words!

Ok so its high time for a feel good story and it is one that is very close to my heart! Anyone who know me well can tell you how much I love music and the stories they tell. There are a few bands who take the top spots in my book and I am going to share with you the amazing experience my family and I had with one of them, Breaking Benjamin!

In October 2015, my husband took me to my second Breaking Benjamin concert with VIP tickets. Our daughter at the time wanted to go so bad but was not able to do so. I promised her that one day I would take her to see them but until then she decided that she was going to record a message for Ben and begged me to show it to him. Alrighty then I said I would do my very best, if allowed. Lucky for me their band manager was kind enough to allow me to show it and Ben was great in answering her question. It was an amazing night and an emotional show. Ashes of Eden live for the first time, having not heard it before, was something I will never forget!

Five months later, I fulfilled my promise and took my daughter, Kaitlyn, to their show with VIP tickets. Wow what a night it turned out to be, one for the record books for sure. I finally learned the name of the man who allowed me to show her video all those months earlier, the bands tour manager, John Phillips. After our meet and greet with the band and a mini emotional meltdown, Kaitlyn was taken in by the crew and we were all treated to an experience of a lifetime!

Five months later, we got to go see them again in Houston, the day before our vacation began. Kaitlyn was so excited to see her bestie, John, and the band again!

John and Kaitlyn

Waiting for meet and greet

Then just a few short months later, we all meet up again in Tulsa for another amazing concert experience thanks to John! I was able to bring my nieces to their first ever rock concert and my mom came too! I would not have been able to give them that experience without his help and it is a memory I hold very dear to my heart!

So now in closing, I have two very important things to say…….

First to John, I can never thank you enough for what you have done for not only Kaitlyn, but for me!(I will explain that part shortly). For allowing us the opportunity to see these shows in a way not everyone gets to and for taking Kaitlyn under your wing and being her friend. She truly cares about you and the friendship you both have developed. It means a great deal to her and after the past year, she needs it more now than ever! You saw something that day in Amarillo, took action, and forever altered both our lives! We are both grateful for that!

And now I get to the hard part and share with you why it means so much to me. In 2009, two years after overcoming an addiction to meth, I began to experience chronic unexplained pain. Over the next seven years, I tried anything and everything to manage and I did well until August 2016. What was once just pain, turned into a health crisis I am still battling today. Here is a page from my journal……

I thought I knew what agony was, turns out I had only known pain. It was not until my pain became sickness that I truly got a taste of agony. Not until I read the burnt pages of my soul did I understand. The days I laid on the bathroom floor screaming into my hands and begging for relief. The nights I dreaded to sleep for fear I would not wake up. The people I lost because they could not handle my suffering for they did not understand. The hopelessness when you beg for help and no one listens or believes you. Living everyday as if it’s your last because you have been so close to death. Grateful for the people who decided you were worth sticking around for, and even more so for the stories that give hope.

I could go on for days explaining all the ways that Ben’s words and story helped me to keep going and still does to this day. How the songs gave me a voice when I was to tired to speak. I will admit, it is hard sometimes to listen too, the feelings are so raw and emotional. I ask myself often why I never said any of this face to face? Four chances and nothing. What do you say? How do you begin? I do not like to live with regret I can do something about but I have to believe that THIS is the way it was supposed to be. I was meant to write it down and share it in written words instead. My first poem was born from that inspiring night and my writings have grounded me as my life imploded around me. I am finally able to express my pain and thoughts and it was inspired by Ben, the band, a few other amazing people who encouraged me to break through fear and find the courage to share my story. So now I have no regrets when it comes to this amazing experience!

In closing I leave you with that poem and one last thank you before I sound like a broken record…..

Sorrow
Go away
Sorrow
Go ahead and stay
You won’t listen no matter what I say
Sorrow
Infects my soul
Sorrow
Drains my mind
Sorrow
Breaks my heart in all kinds of ways
Sorrow
Wash the day away
Tomorrow
I just hope for a better day ~ Jennifer Steen
โค๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿผ๐ŸŽถ

music

Smashing Pumpkins concert July 14, 2018 OKC

I have been trying for days to write exactly how I feel about the show and the emotions it brought out in me. So I am just going to say how I feel, what I experienced and keep it as short as possible.
Coming into the venue and in the days leading up to the concert, I really did not know what to expect. I knew my inner teenage self would be in Mellon Collie heaven and just happy to see them live. I was not prepared for the emotionally charged concert I was honored to witness. Not that I even thought they would be bad, no way that is possible! From the video montage giving the audience a visual of the albums spanning their career and then Billy standing on stage, just a man and his guitar, letting us into his private pain with Disarm. I was speechless, I sat with my heart in my throat but a smile on my face. It was just plain beautiful!

Photo taken by and credited to Greg Easley, who undoubtedly had the best seats in the house!

For three hours I was taken on a journey through 30 years of songs including 1979, Tonight, Tonight, Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Today, and Cherub Rock. I entered a Stairway to Heaven into a musical masterpiece that was so obviously constructed with love, care, a touch of weird. Which is totally my normal! The visuals and stage production did not take away from the sound or the performance one bit, it flowed seamlessly and complimented the story being told. The first example that came to mind was Pink Floyd’s The Wall but uniquely all Smashing Pumpkins. I left there in a daze, just as most people I saw did. Like holy shit what did we just experience? Epicness that’s what!!

Photo taken by and credited to Greg Easley

You can not deny the importance of what the Smashing Pumpkins did for a generation and the voice they gave us! So thank you for taking me back to what I now recognize as a simpler time in my life. The angsty childhood and teen years where I thought no one understood or listened to me. The Smashing Pumpkins did. Music in itself did and it still does as I grow older and witness the distress going on in the world, it is music that heals me! I know I am not alone in that truth.

23 years of waiting and it was worth every moment and the years it took to get there! I got to experience this with my amazing husband who also used to fall asleep listening to them as a teenager, just as I did!
So in closing I will say if you are a fan, you need to buy you a ticket and just GO if you can, you will not regret it!

๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿผ๐ŸŽƒ๐ŸŽถ

P.S. Writer problem #2, I can never seem to keep things short unless it’s a poem, sorry not sorry!