August 27, 2014

30 Day Music Challenge

Hey everybody :)

I know I say this a lot, but I'm sorry I haven't been posting as often as I probably should. I started my senior year of college this week (yikes!) and it seems like I'm going to have a pretty busy year. Regardless, I figured I should post something before the real work begins! 

Before we get started here's a random fact: I sing a lot for someone who can't sing. I'm so incredibly jealous of people who have decent singing voices- I only sing in the car with the volume turned up so I can't hear my own (terrible) voice. 

Anyway, I found this picture somewhere on the internet (probably on tumblr, but I'm not 100% sure...)-

I thought it would be a cool challenge to do. I don't think I've ever really talked about the types of music I like, so this is a good way for you guys to get to know my (really strange) music taste. Instead of making 30 different posts, I'll just add on to this one each day. Sound like a plan? Ok, let's get started!

Day 1, 8/27: Your favorite song
Oh man, I guess we're starting off with the tough questions! It's hard to pick just one, but my favorite song at the moment has to be "Scream" by Avenged Sevenfold. I have a slight obsession with A7X (and when I say "slight" I mean "more than slight" and "out of control"). 

Day 2, 8/28: Your least favorite song
I cannot stand the song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. Every time I hear it, I cringe. 

Day 3, 8/29: A song that makes you happy
"I Want You Back" by Jackson 5. If you saw Guardians of the Galaxy, you'll know why this song makes me happy. Three words: dancing Baby Groot <3

Day 4, 8/30: A song that makes you sad
"What a Catch, Donnie" by Fall Out Boy. I absolutely love this song, but it makes me cry every time I hear it. The lyrics + Patrick's voice = perfection. 

Day 5, 8/31: A song that reminds you of someone 
"Attack" by Thirty Seconds to Mars reminds me of my brother. Not because of the lyrics or anything- it's his favorite MARS song, so every time it hear it, I think of Drew. 

Day 6, 9/1: A song that reminds you of somewhere 
Whenever I hear "Welcome to the Universe" by Thirty Seconds to Mars, I think of the tattoo shop I go to. It was the first song that popped up on my iPhone when I was getting my first tattoo. 

Day 7, 9/2: A song that reminds you of a certain event
"Eleanor Rigby" by The Beatles reminds me of the "Love" Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas. I saw it this past June when Mom and I visited my aunt and uncle. If you ever get the chance to see "Love," you should definitely go! It was absolutely amazing!!

Day 8, 9/3: A song that you know all the words to
"A Little Piece of Heaven" by Avenged Sevenfold. It's kind of a creepy song (ok, it's super creepy) but I love it, and I know every single word. It may or may not be a song about murder. And sex. And sex after murder. Don't judge me. 

Day 9, 9/4: A song that you can dance to
I just recently added "Counting Stars" by OneRepublic to my favorites playlist on Spotify because it's something I can dance to if I'm having a rough day. I can't dance, but whatever. I try. 

Day 10, 9/5: A song that you can fall asleep to
"Lullaby" by Daughtry. It's so beautiful and sweet (he wrote it when his wife was pregnant with their second kid). 

Day 11, 9/6: A song from your favorite band 
I'm gonna cheat a little bit on this question. I cannot pick a favorite band, so I picked a song from three different bands (sorry...)

"The Patron Saint of Liars and Fakes" by Fall Out Boy

"Buddah for Mary" by Thirty Seconds to Mars

"Trashed and Scattered" by Avenged Sevenfold 

Day 12, 9/7: A song from a band you hate
"Chainsaw" by The Band Perry. I'm trying to be more open about bands and listen to different genres, but I just can't stand country music. Hate is too strong of a word, though. 

Day 13, 9/8: A song that is a guilty pleasure 
"Welcome to My Life" by Simple Plan. Not much to say about this one. I really like the song, even though they're not the best band in the world. 

Day 14, 9/9: A song that no one would expect you to love
"Closer" by Nine Inch Nails. I just had this conversation with my tattoo artist over the weekend; he said he would have never expected me to like NIN, much less know the song "Closer." I get that a lot. I guess I don't really seem like someone who would listen to the types of music I listen to. 

Day 15, 9/10: A song that describes you
This is a tough one! I'm not really sure what song describes me... Ok, I'll go with "I Don't Care" by Fall Out Boy, just because I really don't care what people think of me. 

Day 16, 9/11: A song that you used to love but now hate
Ok, when Frozen first came out in theaters, I thought it was a pretty cute movie. I used to like "Let It Go" by Idina Menzel, but now I can't stand it! They play it everywhere (including Walmart) and I'm so sick of hearing it. Sorry, Frozen fans... 

Day 17, 9/12: A song that you hear often on the radio
I don't really listen to the radio at all anymore since I got Spotify, but whenever I'm in the car with my mom, "Maps" by Maroon 5 always seems to play. It's actually a pretty good song, so I don't mind hearing it often :)

Day 18, 9/13: A song that you wish you heard on the radio
Like I said before, I don't really listen to the radio, so they may actually play this song on one of our stations. Anyway, I wish they played "Centuries" by Fall Out Boy!!

Day 19, 9/14: A song from your favorite album
"Waking the Fallen" is definitely one of my all-time favorite albums. I've been listening to "Clairvoyant Disease" a lot recently. 

PS- if you're an a7x fan, you should check out "Waking the Fallen: Resurrected," if you haven't already. The demos are amazing (especially the "Chapter Four" demo). 

Day 20, 9/15: A song that you listen to when you're angry
"Fallen" by Thirty Seconds to Mars. I'm not really sure why, but this is usually the first song I play when I'm angry.

Day 21, 9/16: A song that you listen to when you're happy
I think "Do or Die" by Thirty Seconds to Mars has been my go-to song when I'm happy :)

Day 22, 9/17: A song that you listen to when you're sad
"Young Volcanoes" by Fall Out Boy always puts me in a good mood, so I'll usually listen to it when I'm feeling sad.

Day 23, 9/18: A song you want to play at your wedding
I've already decided that I want my first dance to be to "Warmness on the Soul" by Avenged Sevefold. Unless you know the song, you probably think I'm insane. The piano part is absolutely beautiful (Syn Gates is amazing!), and the lyrics are perfect. Also, M Shadows's voice makes me melt <3

Day 24, 9/19: A song you want to play at your funeral 
I can honestly say that I've never thought about what song I want to play at my funeral. Maybe "Convergence" by Thirty Seconds to Mars? I don't know. 

Day 25, 9/20: A song that makes you laugh
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers is seriously one of the best songs! I love it :)

Day 26, 9/21: A song that you can play on an instrument
I just recently learned "Fiction" by Avenged Sevenfold on the piano. It's one of those songs that sounds super complicated, but once you practice it a bit, it's not so bad. 

Day 27, 9/22: A song that you wish you could play
I've always wanted to learn to play the guitar, mainly because I want to be able to play "Bat Country" by Avenged Sevenfold. Zacky's rhythm is so tight, and Syn's solo is killer!! 

Day 28, 9/23: A song that makes you feel guilty
I'm not really sure what song makes me feel guilty... This is a tough one! "You're Crashing, but You're No Wave" by Fall Out Boy talks about being guilty, so we'll go with that song. 

Day 29, 9/24: A song from your childhood
One year at Girl Scout camp, we did a whole dance routine to the song "I'm Blue" by Eiffel 65.  That's one of my favorite memories from my childhood :)

Day 30, 9/25: Your favorite song from this time last year
I'm not 100% positive what my favorite song was last year, but I know for a fact it was a Fall Out Boy song. I'm pretty sure it was "Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying (Do Your Part to Save the Scene and Stop Coming to These Shows)" by Fall Out Boy

Thank you so much for reading! Check back soon for more awesomeness :)

Keri <3

August 13, 2014

Depression, Suicide, and Recovery

Hi everyone.

As you can tell from the title, today's topic is much more serious than most of my posts. In light of recent events, I feel like I'm ready to reflect on my experiences with depression and suicidal thoughts. Words cannot describe how tragic these types of situations can be- I wouldn't wish it on anyone. No one deserves to feel so hopeless and alone. 

I read an article today entitled "There's Nothing Selfish About Suicide" by Katie Hurley of the Huffington Post. That article, along with the news of Robin Williams' passing pushed me to write this post. This is going to be a long one. 


I am a survivor of depression and suicidal thoughts. Although I never attempted to take my life, I did contemplate the possibility of leaving this world. I was in such a dark place and I felt like no one would understand what I was going through. On top of that, I thought talking about what I was going through would be a burden on my family. My mom struggles with anxiety and depression- the last thing I wanted to do was make things worse for her. 

I kept everything bottled up inside. I stopped going out. I refused to communicate with some of my closest friends. I had issues controlling my anger. I lost interest in everything I loved (music, especially). I self-harmed multiple times. I thought about taking my life just to end all the pain. Looking back on it now, I didn't know these kinda of thoughts/ feelings weren't normal. I thought everyone experienced something similar to what I was going through. I carried on with my life (what was left of my life) and struggled silently day after day. 

My depression hit rock bottom in May 2013. Still to this day, I'm not sure why it was so bad at this time. I had so many things to be happy about- we had a huge family reunion in Disney World that month, my brother just graduated from high school, and I was going into my junior year of college with a 4.0 GPA. So why wasn't I happy? I knew my family loved me, but for some reason my brain made me feel differently. I felt like no one cared; no one saw the cuts on my wrists, no one noticed that I was locking myself in my room for most of the day. Looking back, I realize that I hid everything from my family. Of course they didn't notice anything different- I was acting like myself, for the most part. 

A few months later (around September, I think), I got into a fight with my mom. Nothing physical, just sending angry emails back and forth. I couldn't tell you what we were fighting about. All I remember is writing is something along the lines of "I've been dealing with depression and sucidal thoughts and no one seems to care." Mom and Dad decided that it would be best for me to live at home for the rest of the semester and seek professional help. I agreed to live at home but refused to talk to anyone. Eventually, I gave up and went to my university's counseling center. In the initial assessment and therapy session, Kathrine (who is now my group therapist) told me I was experiencing pretty severe depression, anxiety, and passive suicidal thoughts. We discussed several options, including group therapy or private sessions through the school or another office. I decided to start group therapy that March. 

Through group therapy, I was able to talk about my feelings and emotions without fear of judgement. More importantly, I realized that I wasn't alone. The majority of the girls in my group also dealt with some form of depression or anxiety. Although I don't talk to any of the members outside of group meetings, I feel a strong connection to each and every one of them. 

This is a bit of a tangent, but I feel like it's worth mentioning. I know this sounds cliche, but music literally saved my life. After a few months of self-harm, I realized  that it wasn't helping anything; cutting only made me feel guilty and ashamed. Whenever I got to the point where I wanted to hurt myself, I put my headphones on and blasted Fall Out Boy until I felt better. Sometimes I cried, sometimes I just sat still for hours until my desire to cut faded. The feeling never actually went away- it was always in the back of my mind- but music helped me overcome it. To this day, I truly feel that Fall Out Boy's music saved me life (I know, I'm getting super cheesy, but I'm just telling it like it is).  

Recovery is an ongoing process that may never actually end. I understand this, and I am ok with it. It's been 1 year and 3 months since I self-harmed or contemplated suicide. Regardless, it's still a difficult subject for me to talk about. I'm getting to be more open about it, though. Group therapy taught me that it's ok to trust and open up to people. I feel comfortable telling my mom anything, especially since I know she will always be there for me and will love me even when I don't love myself. Recently, I've talked to my aunt, who had a similar experience to my own. 

I'm not to the point where I can talk about this to people outside of my family, but through this blog I hope to get there soon. This is the first time I've written everything done, and it feels incredibly liberating. I'll admit, I'm still not 100% comfortable with posting this, but I feel like I need to get it out there. 

If someone you know is dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts, remember: communication can be life-saving. I know it's hard. It's taken me over a year of recovery to be able to talk about everything I've been through. Don't push to hard, but make sure the person knows you care about them. In my case, I just wanted someone to talk to me, but I didn't want to initiate the conversation. 

If you're dealing with these thoughts and feelings, remember that you're not alone. Find an outlet for your frustration and anger. Listen to music, play an instrument, color, do a puzzle- do something positive to lift your spirits. It may be extremely difficult, but try to seek professional help. It really does make a world of difference to be able to talk about your feelings in a safe, nonjudgmental place. Also, I'm always here if you need or want to talk. I'm obviously not a professional, but I can try my best to help you through this tough time. 


Here are two of my favorite quotes from two of my favorite people: 

"Put one foot in front of the other. Keep marching forward even when doubt, fear, and failure all come knocking at your door." Jared Leto

"When you have a bad day- a really bad day- try to treat the world better than it treated you." Patrick Stump


I love you for making it all the way to the end of this massive post! Thank you for reading, and I hope to talk to all of you again soon.

I love each and every one of you!
Keri <3