Dropping out of school, drumming, and mental health (sort of)
Ok, so here it goes (I'll get to the part about drumming, I swear): My name is Taylor. I'm 19 years old. I graduated highschool in January of 2008. After that, I took some time off from school; I tried some community college classes but anxiety/depression/not knowing how to deal with my father's death when I was 16 (I'm still working on that one) got the best of me and I just stopped going to classes. Then, almost a year ago now, I headed on down to college just outside of Asheville, NC.
I loved it there. Things were going great until I went to a protest with some friends in April; we got tear-gassed. It was my first action; we were all running as street-medics doing eye-flushes and whatnot. Anyway, I can't say I regret it, but I won't be doing anything like that again. I've since dealt with PTSD from the event: I saw a kid, only a year older than myself, get his knee dislocated by a police officer. I was almost trampled by a crowd pushing against the police barricade. It was terrible.
I get back to school and my life (more specifically my mental health)--which had been looking pretty "up" while at college--started to take a turn for the worse. I got a bunch of panic attacks and I couldn't deal with life on a day-to-day level. I went off my meds (Adderall for ADHD) and flunked my chem class. I decided to take some time off from school (again).
I come home. I started playing music with my guitarist buddy; I hadn't been drumming for about 2 years at this point, other than for a 6-month period about a year before. We were playing every day for hours. It was great. I was dedicated to getting an album put together (we had most of the songs; we just had to record/polish). He said he was, but about a month ago he stopped calling/whatever. It's due to his own mental health issues. In the meantime I had neglected to re-apply to school for the spring semester as I planned because we were focusing on music. I will admit to feeling a bit slighted by my friend: I can't hold him completely to blame, but I hate that I'm not i) playing music with someone else every day and/or ii) going back to school in a month.
While we were playing together, I was busting my ass but I still had more energy than I do right now. I work 45-50 hours a week, and I would go straight to his place after work every day to play. I was exhausted all the time, but I was really enjoying life. In the past month I've been playing alone (I bought The Art of Bop Drumming), but it's just not the same. I don't know if it's because this whole process is starting to wear on me or because I'm depressed, but I don't have the energy to play at the end of the day any more: tonight I got off work, came home, ate dinner, and sat behind my drum kit. I found that, after only 10 minutes, I couldn't focus. By this time every day my Adderall has worn off and I've worked 10 hours. I can't even make myself do the one thing that is keeping me happy until I can go back to school, and that's drumming. I would talk to my doctor about getting my meds changed but my health insurance was canceled due to the fact that I'm not a full-time student. I know things will work out but sometimes it seems kinda rough.
Ok, I'm sorry if this seemed like a sob-story. I just needed to vent a little bit; it's nice to believe that someone might be listening.