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  #1  
Old 12-16-2009, 01:04 AM
Knight_In_Tunisia Knight_In_Tunisia is offline
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Default 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.
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2009, 01:11 AM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Dropping out of school, drumming, and mental health (sort of)

Well writing all this stuff out can't hurt. Identifying issues is the first step in resolving them.
Sounds like something that a good woman would be able to help you with. You're not alone.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:00 AM
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mcbike mcbike is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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Default Re: Dropping out of school, drumming, and mental health (sort of)

You should find somebody else to play with, you've got to keep that creative outlet open. Even if it's not a gig your totally into it's better than not playing with other people.

Is there any possibility to work less hours? If there's not maybe you should find a different job that allows you more time to pursue your music. If your not planning on staying at that job for the next couple of years it's probably not worth killing yourself over it.

Keep your head up, take things one day at a time. Time is the only thing that is going to help with your ptsd. I know what it's like, and sometimes you just really need something in your life to take your mind off things.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:50 AM
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dcrigger dcrigger is offline
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Default Re: Dropping out of school, drumming, and mental health (sort of)

I don't know if this will help. But when I'm between playing situations, want to work on stuff, need to pump up some chops before an upcoming gig or just want to play... NOW - I play with CDs. I've been playing for 45 years - and as my only profession for 35 - and I still play with records/CDs regularly. For me, playing with other players is where I honed and polished the skills that I learned and developed playing to records.

At least, it might give you a controllable outlet for your playing until some of the other stuff in your life pulls itself together.

Best of luck with everything,

David
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:36 AM
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gusty gusty is offline
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Location: Australia
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Default Re: Dropping out of school, drumming, and mental health (sort of)

Yeah, play alongs and just any recordings you like would be helpful. Here's a link to a set of play along cds you can download off the net:
http://www.drumfun.com/CDs.html
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