Therapy

September 7, 2011

Therapy. We all need it sometimes.

That’s because we all have those days when we just need to chill. We need a breather. Our minds end up worrying about things that don’t really matter. Hey, even sometimes our minds worry about things that really do matter, but we just can’t handle worrying about it for too long. It’s just not healthy.

Some find help in meditation and relaxation. Some people seem to release their stress out while working out. Others believe that they can just talk it out with a friend or relative. A few might even enjoy doing something creative.

My therapy is playing guitar.

Yeah, I just pick up the old git-fiddle and pluck away. Well, I guess I don’t really think of it as plucking, more of a strumming or brushing manner. Some picking could be involved…but never a pluck.

I have played guitar for many years, but I havent’ really been playing all that much until I have been getting stressed out lately. Work is keeping me pretty busy and I need a release from time to time.

I really do enjoy music. But I’ll admit that my guitar skillz (purposly spelled with a “z” at the end to indicate how sick guitar skills are) really aren’t that flashy. I don’t “shread” or “groove”, I just play. I don’t plan it, it just happens. But the music is really the reason I play.

I do it because it physically hurts to do play. That’s right, it physically hurts me to play guitar.

Why?

I haven’t played this much in such a long time.

For those of you who don’t play guitar, allow me to inform you of the inconvienances of guitar playing.

Callouses. You need them. You really need them. And the only way to get them and keep them is to keep playing. I have been lacking in the maintinece department and have been paying for it ever since.

If I could just play 30 minutes everyday for the next week or two I’m certain my previous dexterity and strength (as well as pain tolerance) would be fully restored. For now, I only end up playing for a few hours every few days. Not nearly enough to build back those callouses.

When I used to play in high school and my early college days (Ha! It’s looks funny to see me type a sentence like that) I had some pretty incredible hand strength. This is due to my previous playing style.

For one reason or another I used to be in a metal band. While I’m not going to comment on the whole band thing (I’ll save that for another post one day), I am going to say this. We played really fast and really hard. I played bass with my string action set waaaay too high. But I liked it that way. I played so hard that I needed that little extra room over the fretboard so the strings wouldn’t bash against it too often.

In short, I could play harder without having to deal with unwanted distortion or “boinging” in my tone.

This meant my hand had a grip that could crush a cinderblock. (This is a very big lie but you get my point).

Now-a-days I end up whining to myself when I play. But that pain reminds me of the past. And I really like that.

I think of how my wrist would get so stiff toward the end of the set. Memories of how I used to get nervous about playing music and not messing up. Daydreaming about the number of hours I would devote to making something sound “right”.

Then I snap back into reality and think…I’ve got a ton of papers to grade.

There it is. My therapy sessions are playing guitar and remembering my glory days.

What about you? What do you do to relieve the stress?

Plucking Picking away the stress,

D.A.

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2 Responses to “Therapy”


  1. You realize you stopped writing mid-paragraph and mid-sentence, right?

    Is it because you’re a hippo?


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