I’ve always had high expectations of myself. I might even say too high. Music has been a struggle from the beginning. It’s difficult to say when I reached a state of personal acceptance and it suddenly felt okay to say that I make music in my spare time (without an adrenaline rush or a blush). That is how it was for a very long time. Not that I was ashamed, but afraid I wasn’t good enough. Ergo not worthy to be titled composer, singer/songwriter or producer. It makes me sad to think about, but I’m afraid that was what nearly drove me off the edge. I struggled so hard with the first album, then with the draft for a second and went to India and when I came home I headed straight into a depression. I wasn’t aware of it, I just felt so tired and everything fun about music had been drained from me. I couldn’t even think about music. This is what stress does to people. I was in my early twenties and completely clueless about how close to the wall I had gotten.
I have come back or should I say, music has come back, but in a different form. The thing is that when you push yourself that hard you also damage things around you. For me it means it’s difficult to even contemplate making a new full-lengt album. It makes me sick and nauseous just to think of it. Nowadays with the digital music era we do one-song-at-the-time-releases and that works fine. Also, I can’t sit in front of the computer mixing for long durations without being struck by anxiety. Mostly that means that Nicko does the mixing and I give my input. These are just two things I can think of at the moment. It’s been 10 years and it’s still hard, but I’ve learnt to listen. Making music and especially recording takes a lot of energy. When energy runs low it’s time to take a break.
So, lessons learnt, listen to yourself and your body. If the body is screaming to relax and take it easy, then you should relax and take it easy. Pushing yourself further will have consequences you may not be prepared to deal with. I kind of wish I had known myself better back then. This will also work, but it’s a lot harder. Not in the sense listening to myself, but to work my way passed and around the scars from what I did to myself. I love music and I really want it to be a part of me. It frightens me to think how close I came to losing it.