Lifting the Veil of Depression – Peter Gabriel in Concert

Posted: June 24, 2016 in Opinions and Observations, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

There have been many memorable events in my life to date and many more to come.  It might not be apparent at the time the impact any one of them would have at the time.  I have never been diagnosed or treated professionally but I find myself dealing with depression from time to time.  It is impossible to know what triggers those feelings and more difficult to see your way out. On one of those times I could not break the cycle.  I had no motivation or inspiration.  In fact, I did not care at all.  About anything.  I had been through similar situations before so for weeks I kept telling myself it would pass in its own time.  I would get through this one as well.  But that was the only positive thought I had.  Life not worth living.  Nothing made me happy or sad. I forced myself through motions and obligations by shear routine.   I seemed like this would go on forever.  It felt unbearable even though most of my friends had no idea what I was dealing with.

I had tickets to see an amazing show under any circumstances, so I went to see Cirque du Soleil.  It is funny how this affected me.  I watched human beings do what seemed impossible even if you could think of the skills in the first place.  Art and amazing physical prowess seamlessly blended together to tell a story with few words.  Strength and perfection only achieved with years and years of unrelenting practice and sacrifice.  It again showed me the potential of mankind.  Dedication, creativity, trust, respect were all required to make this amazing performance happen.  I realized watching each scene that we are incredible beings when we try. That night I started trying again.  I saw the end of the funk that was created by myself – for myself.  I could see again the beauty of life and the result of hard work when things seem impossible.

History sometimes repeats itself. Funny to think of this after my recent event at a concert to see my musical mentor and hero – Peter Gabriel, performing on tour with Sting.  It is so refreshing to know there are others in the world that struggle to be good.  That work every day to promote peace love and all that corny stuff I could not live without.  In their music and through their lives they can impact so many.  I thought I would never be able to see Gabriel perform.  I have come close, but things did not work out. They almost did not work out this time either.  Of all the artists/people in the world, his music, words and projects affect me like no other person on this earth.  I am who I am with his unknowing help and guidance.  I struggle to be better knowing it is possible.

I grew up listening to Genesis and following his solo career.  I am not obsessed and do not own everything he has.  I do not know every detail of his personal life or career.  But I do think I ‘know the man’.  I understand him as a man and not an idol.  We are growing old together.

Sting was also amazing and sang a number of Peter’s songs, and performing his own tunes and some from the days of The Police.  For me, it was precious, unforgettable and one of the greatest musical experiences I have had.

Comments
  1. tmezpoetry says:

    Mikes, safe hugs for you. I understand about depression, it is difficult. And you are right, there is something so intrinsic in music to our souls, so potent for us as human beings that we are made for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Graciously accepted. I wish I were the only one but I know that life can be difficult at times for so many. Without the personal experience we would be blind to others. Life would be shallow. That does not make it easy for you while in the grip of depression.
      We are hard wired to respond to rhythm and beats. They are impossible to ignore. Melodies and the human voice are so powerful. Add lyrics that reflect our inner and sometimes unknown emotions and I think we border on magic LOL!
      I appreciate your comments and visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Patti LaBelle is the artist who sang me through some of the worst bouts of depression I had in my 20s. It is amazing to me the soul healing power that can come through creative expressions like music, sculpting, painting and the like. Sending a cyber hug and hopes you are feeling more at ease :-).

    Liked by 2 people

    • midimike says:

      If her powerful voice and amazing outlook on life could not help you no one could! LOL. I get chills thinking of times I watched her performances on TV/videos. I am glad you found her talent and message as support and inspiration. I agree about creative expressions of all kinds. I would be so much less without them. Thank you for your comments and cyber hug! Please know you can get many hugs from me if you ever need them!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry you struggle with depression. I know everyone does from time to time but it’s good that there are things out there that help you get out of that funk. That’s what entertainment is for!

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      I appreciate your concern and support. In the middle of it things are difficult. But this and other experiences broaden my perspective and sympathy for others in the long run. I hope to understand life’s challenges and appreciate its rewards better. My lyrics tend to have a dark side but the beauty and wonder in life is always the main theme. As a musician you know how important entertainment is. Whether it is funny, silly, genuine, painful or eye-opening, it is the best way to communicate things words cannot describe. We offer our humanity to others. We share to not only educate others but to free ourselves. Humor is the best medicine!
      Thank you for yours!

      Like

  4. What a wonderful post Mike. Thank you for sharing some of the inner life you have been through, and the hope you have for the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Thank you. As always. Sometimes we experience things and do not fully understand what they mean until much later. First experiences can be confusing and misleading. When it occurs again we begin to understand and eventually we grasp what has truly happened. You know this as well.
      Now I feel it when it starts. I know what is making me feel like I am falling into a dark hole. As an undeniable eternal optimist, I know if I have to, I will tunnel my way out LOL! I also know I have friends and people that care. I know their support and strength even if they are not near. I hope others struggling at times can benefit from that as well.
      Best wishes for your future!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Mike! I love your thoughts here, and yes others can be lifted by what you share! For me one of the things that helped, was recognizing fear, and that it would come in like a cloud, completely surrounding me. For example I was afraid for years my wife would die, of cancer or something else she was dealing with. Over time, seeing that helped to get rid of it. Peace and have a great weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

      • midimike says:

        Ahhhh. The three important steps:
        1) Recognize and identify your fears
        2) Face the fears and do not run away from them.
        3) Own and/or control the fears until they no longer exist.
        Even clouds (fear or doubt) do not go on forever. They are not everywhere and you can bring yourself to a place where the sun is shining. Simple metaphors but I think we can see life a bit easier when we understand how much nature and history reflect back to our reality.
        Add a little bit of time and we open our eyes to beauty. Happy Friday!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! Very encouraging Mike, thanks again! Have a great weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

      • midimike says:

        Quite welcome. You have a well deserved weekend too!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Patrice says:

    You have brought tears to my eyes. You have said so much in just a few paragraphs. LOVE your words!!!
    I remembered a time too, when a musician, a song carried me thru hard times.
    My husband, a musician, had passed away and I was preparing to start anew, to pack everyone, everything up and move back to Ontario from British Columbia.
    Burton Cummings was the one who carried me those dark times. I drove across Canada in July in a car that had no radio or air conditioning. My dog, Shadow was my companion, my devoted partner. So, you could say me and my Shadow crossed Canada together!
    And Burton Cummings.
    His songs ‘Stand Tall’, ‘Break It To Them Gently’ blaring on my ghetto blaster carried me thru road washouts, severe weather, a mosquito epidemic and oil blowing out, all over the engine in billowing clouds after the cap was left off by an attendant.
    His songs, his music promised me there was nothing but good ahead and I could accomplish anything. It was a heady time.
    Thank You for bringing those memories back <3<3
    Think I'll go listen to Burton on my ghetto blaster! – yes, I still have it and the cassette too 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      That is so generous of you. Your comment reflects the intention of my article to the fullest. I am not the only one to have lived through difficult times. I know others struggle even if we as friends or family do not see it. Yet others do help all the time. You and Shadow managed to find the energy needed to survive the challenge and indeed to know the effort was necessary for things to get better. I believe we are only successful when we are working for the goal, rather than blindly ‘dealing’ with life that seems unfair is ‘doing to us’. Life does nothing to us. We decide what to do with life.
      Many artists have had a great impact on so many people in positive ways they may never know. Like teachers, friends and family; they provide us with the tools or knowledge we need to make it through hardships when we might otherwise feel abandoned. As you crossed the country – you were not abandoned.
      We honor them in our remembering, so I appreciate your story.
      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Patrice says:

        Thank You! I wish there was a ‘Love’ instead of just ‘Like’ So well said once again. You have stated it the way I felt at that time – beautifully

        Liked by 1 person

      • midimike says:

        Ha! You just made one! Your experience has helped me and in the telling probably yourself and others as well. I understood your story and the importance of remembering it. I was not sure why the concert reminded me of that time of depression until I read your comment. You completed my story!
        Many thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Patrice says:

        You’re welcome! And Thank you, you brought me to that wonderful, exciting time

        Liked by 1 person

      • midimike says:

        That is what I realized after your post….. During the event we are scared, frightened, full of doubt. The human mind does not want to remember those bad times so we forget (sometimes it is not too easy, but you get the idea) the painful or unpleasant experiences.
        Thinking back on them from a distance we realize how important and meaningful parts of them were. That we crossed to the other side and are better for it! You are more than welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Dionne Bee says:

    I’m thankful you shared this, Mike. I know depression all too well. There’s indeed power in music. It’s been my medicine for as long as I’ve known myself; used to jump start my brain, soothe it or refresh my perspective as needed.

    Sending you virtual hugs too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      I am sorry to hear you deal with this as well but glad you have found something that works for you and helps you climb out of the pit.
      Easy and safe way to self-medicate LOL!!!
      That is kind of you and I feel better already. It is largely about perspective and being able to see past the moment. Best wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Geo Sans says:

    possibility
    in
    full colour
    ~
    an artist’s enthusiasm
    can inspire
    the hearts of everyone
    ~
    keep creating
    appreciating
    the beauty around you

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There are voices, sounds, music, that, to me, teeter on the horizon between real and magical, and sometimes seem to lean more magical. And these magical sounds help me endure the grip of my depressive episodes. My own children’s laughter. Certain musical arrangements or solos. Certain vocalists. I hold on to these and keep going back to them again and again, and somehow it always works. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      I understand that completely. Sometimes it feels like I have a ‘reset button’ that can be triggered by all the mentioned above in your comment. I know that sounds simplified, but it does work. My experiences are mild when compared to others and maybe I have more resources, but children’s laughter can be amazingly effective!
      You are more than welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Nicole says:

    It’s amazing what music can do for us. I understand perfectly, as I often listen to music when I’m in a so-called funk too. And as corny as it may sound…never underestimate the power of the human spirit. We’re all capable of doing amazing things if we set our minds to it and really want to at least try. This may also sound a bit corny too (but you did say the corny stuff is stuff you can’t live without haha), but as difficult as it might be sometimes, always attempt to see the beauty around you. There is so much of it in this world that we often miss. And life is too short to miss out. Thanks for sharing your story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      I regret to music being my life boat when I was growing up and it still is today. We are capable as you mentioned and I do love the corny stuff! Situations demand attention but that requires focus. By Definition, focusing narrows vision and we can lose sight of the beauty around us. We just need to keep in mind the beauty is always there when we need it the most. Thank you for understanding. P.S. hang in there!

      Like

  10. niasunset says:

    Dear Mike I am sorry too. But the music in you, and also the music with itself, is great… You can’t imagine how hard my days in the past, and what did help me?… First me! Myself… yes, and then music, and art, and beautiful people… But it took time of course… Don’t let yourself to feel like that… I love these musicians and they all have a special place and memories in my life too… Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      It always surprises how much we really have in common. How true! We are the ones that heal ourselves and begin to open up to the world. I have no real concept of the struggles you have endured but I agree with you, no one can force us back or fix it for us.
      They can be our life boat, but ultimately it is up to us to reach out and grab it.
      I always knew you had great taste LOL too!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. annamadeit says:

    Glad you are feeling better, and that two incredible performances helped you through your funk. I constantly wonder how I can have such low esteem for humanity in general, when I meet so many fantastic individuals. It’s such contradictory feelings, but they are very much real.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Thank you! This may sound weird but I felt lucky, fortunate and blessed to be able to witness those performances. I was in awe and at the same time humbled and inspired. Somehow that triggered my turn-around.
      Unfortunately, your low esteem for humanity is too often justified. We look and listen to ‘shock news’ all the time these days. It cannot be escaped. I am an optimist and still consider these to be in the minority even though they get major exposure in the media. Keep looking for the fantastic individuals. They (we) are hidden sometimes, but they are out there!
      Again, thank you for your visit and comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      • annamadeit says:

        It’s not weird – sometimes that’s what it takes… 🙂 Funny you should bring up “the fantastic individuals” – I just wrote about my aversion to humanity the other week – after having had three consecutive meetings that day – with the most wonderful people! The closest I got to understanding my conflicting feelings was to draw a parallel between loving your pet rat, versus a rat infestation!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. tom robinson says:

    Mike, I don’t want to repeat myself, but my response to your confession of depression is real.  I will not tolerate “depression denial.”   People suffer depression, and your tribe affirms that.  I never imagined you as occasionally depressed.   You are a strong leader type.  You are no slacker.  But, still — there are empty times. You see a path out of depression.  And others probably do.  The rest are doomed to the “no hope” feeling. Tom

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Thank you. Many people suffer from one form of depression or another. I consider mine to be mild by comparison and fortunately the deep periods are infrequent.
      I think of myself as a sensitive human being. For me “no hope” and “not caring” is almost torture. As someone who was instrumental (pun intended) in helping me find there is a musical path out of my depression you helped provide the tools early in my life I had no idea would help me even years later.

      Like

  13. Music is so cathartic. I remember a funk I was going through several, several years ago. It had lasted much longer than I had ever experienced; just an all-over, low-feeling phase. I was walking through a store and saw an Everclear cd. I wasn’t a huge fan, but I bought it. Something about that music cracked me open and that afternoon I danced in the rain while singing the songs on that cd. I’m sure it wasn’t all the music, but perhaps the music was an impetus to get me moving, singing, being silly, and dancing in the rain–the things that make us humans feel free. I enjoyed this post and the memories it brought up for me. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      This is true for the artist and the listener as well. A way to express deep or hidden emotions words alone may not be able to deal with. I understand the low-feeling phase.
      You also hit on another truth; You can lead a horse to water but you cannot MAKE it drink. You were in a place that allowed you to open up – eyes, heart, mind, soul, whatever you want to call it – so you could see the precious things in life that are always there. To create your own path that allowed you to dance in the rain (another fine medicine we have in life) and enjoy being a silly human. I want to thank you so much for your comment and openness. In my old age I have learned that we need to remember these events later in life when things are calm and the storms are all but forgotten. You are very welcome and your visit is much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. tracihalpin says:

    Hi Mike! I was just thinking of you yesterday. I knew that the concert was in June and I was wondering how it went. First, I’m glad you are feeling better. Depression sucks! Winston Churchill called his depression the black dog that followed him everywhere. I’m so glad you got to have that experience with your mentor. What a great moment in your life. Life is made up of moments and experiences not stuff. Goo Goo Dolls just started their tour last night. The set list is awesome; lots of old stuff, 23 songs, and a cover of I Need to Know by Tom Petty! The opening song is the first song I ever heard in the 90s. I have been wanting to hear this song live forever….August 21st! I have a concert in NYC July 25th that I am so excited about bc after the show we get pics and hugs and he signs stuff too. Then I have Halsey at msg in August, with my daughter. I’m buying myself some new converse this week. Did you know they took the star away from the bottom of the sneaker?? What’s up with that? It’s iconic! How is your music coming along. I haven’t been on my blog for a long time, so I’m just catching up now. Talk soon! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Howdy! I had a great time and the music was really good. Peter and Sting are getting older (and so was the most of the audience LOL!) but they still performed the songs well – as deeply emotional as when they were written. Sting sung a number of Gabriel’s songs ans did a great job. It was an interesting concert and I am glad I made it.
      Life is made of experiences. This was a great one for me!
      I can tell you are getting excited for your next concerts as well. Don’t faint when you get the hugs!
      I am not a slave to fashion and know nothing about the star on the sneaker, but even I understand brand icons LOL! Thanks for keeping in touch and glad to hear you sounding happy and healthy.

      Like

      • tracihalpin says:

        Hi…that’s great you had such a good time! Did you buy a shirt? I always buy a shirt. I met Dalton last night; I didn’t faint. I wrote notes on my hand so I didn’t forget what to say. You can see my pic on my blog; I am holding him tightly! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • midimike says:

        Ha! I need another shirt like I need a home in the head lol. No. I did not buy anything and was glad to afford tickets after being unemployed for so long.
        I am glad you did not faint! That would have been bad. I will check out your pictures! I was not allowed to bring in my good camera so I did not get that many great shots and was lucky to get some good ones. I will post more on line soon.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tracihalpin says:

        Lol…. I hear you; my wardrobe mainly consists of concert tshirts too. Glad you got to go. I hear you; I was saving any extra money I had for months.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. mzpoeticme5 says:

    You express your feelings so well.

    Liked by 1 person

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