Life with Music and Depression

By April 4, 2018Life
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I wrote a post last year to basically open up about some personal issues and admit how they were affecting my work life, and more importantly, my subscribers and my customer’s experiences.

Today, I’d like to give an update of sorts, but more importantly, share my successes and my failures in the hopes of helping others who may be struggling as well.

Please keep in mind, I’m an audio professional and not a doctor. If you struggle with depression or any mental illness, please seek professional help and don’t merely rely on articles from the internet.

Being a “Nice Guy”

For as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with being a “nice guy”. A people pleaser…

I always perceived myself as a “nice guy” and my heart has in fact been to help others and to serve and love people. But recently I picked up a few books on the subject and have quickly come to terms with the fact that this “nice guy” persona is not only fake but manipulative. The very things I’ve tried to avoid (confrontation, hurting people’s feelings, etc.) have become the things I’ve done the most.

On top of the nice guy problem, I’ve struggled to accept myself for who God created me to be. Without being officially diagnosed I always knew something was wrong and can undoubtedly admit that I struggle with depression. Failure in marriage, friendships, business, etc. have all resulted in me shutting down emotionally and physically. This makes things worse and has created even more destruction around me.

Being a mixing engineer with a background in writing, producing, etc. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. With that heart being shattered over all kinds of self-inflicted pain, finding the strength to pick me up and work on art has proved to be one of my most difficult battles.

Today, I’d like to share some things that have helped me deal with depression and overcome life’s most difficult challenges in the hopes of helping anyone else in a similar situation.

Experiences:

Sleep

One of the most challenging things for me to do in life is to make the conscious decision to go to sleep at night. At the end of a long day where I failed to accomplish much of anything, the last thing I want to do is call it quits and go to bed. Making the choice to shut everything down and get some rest is one of the most effective ways to ensure tomorrow is better than today.

Diet/Nutrition

Not a popular life choice for many of us who sit behind a desk all day, but I recently lost 50+ lbs by merely dropping soda, Gatorade and my favorite drink of all time, sweet tea. Yes… 50+ lbs without any exercise. At the very least, cut your sugar intake and your mind will be sharper in the studio.

Exercise

Another not so popular life choice for many of us in the studio life, but I recently started the 100 push-ups per day challenge and it has made a huge difference for me personally. I’m now looking to move onto something more beneficial/challenging, but whatever you decide to do (maybe a simple walk around the block), find something and stick to it. Your mixes and productions will thank you. 😉

Develop a daily routine

This one’s tricky and I’m still working to improve my consistency, but at the very least I begin each day with a room temperature water with a splash of lemon juice and a pinch of Mediterranean salt. I also eat something, anything. Famed clinical psychologist, Dr. Jordan Peterson recommends eating a healthy meal about four times as large as you might normally take in. This has been a proven method for reducing anxiety as well.

Manage your schedule

A few days ago I was outlining this post and when I added managing a schedule to the list of things I wanted to address, I quickly realized that the days I schedule out and plan with intent typically become the days I accomplish more (a lot more!). Something crucial to keep in mind when scheduling your day/time, is to create the type of day you’d like to have. Of course, work and other daily responsibilities will need to be included, but don’t forget to schedule things that you enjoy doing as well.

Here’s a short lecture that I learned a lot from:

Avoid becoming isolated (this is huge for me!)

When the going gets tough I tend to shut down and lock myself in a room. This is extremely counterproductive and the source of most of my failures. I make excuses for calling friends or family and ultimately end up creating an even bigger mess. If you’re anything like me, recognizing that we need each other is a big first step. Just this week I found a couple of church groups to get plugged into and have begun reaching out to close friends to keep accountable with each other. Without a doubt, this is incredibly difficult but necessary and something I’m working to embrace.

Resources:

Self-Authoring Program (Incredible online course / use code “crowder” to save big)

Having something to strive towards is critical in life. Goals, dreams, and aspirations can all work to motivate us, but maybe equally as important is having something to run from (hell on earth so to speak). Establishing a positive/negative vision for what your life could be like with x, y, z behavior may be just what you need to help you. It has certainly opened my eyes. Click above to learn more about the Self-Authoring Program.

12 Rules for Life | An Antidote to Chaos (Amazing book by Jordan Peterson)

Written by my new favorite online personality and an insanely intelligent human being. Dr. Jordan Peterson cuts straight to the point in his latest no bs book on life. I highly recommend his work and his lectures even if you don’t agree with him politically.

NOT NICE (Book by Dr. Aziz Gazipura)

When People are Big and God is Small (Book by Edward T. Welch)

Both books above (Not Nice and When People are Big…) have opened my eyes to the root of most of my personal issues. I’m nowhere close to where I want to be, but I’m learning a TON through both of these incredible resources. People pleasing is a disease that I know has caused hurt to many of those closest to me and I’m excited to be on a path that rids it from my character. I can’t recommend these books enough for anyone struggling with the nice guy syndrome.

Closing

While I intend for this to help others who may be struggling in our industry, I’m also aware that many of my customers/subscribers will be reading this. To close out this post I want to ask that if I owe you anything… An email response, a course you paid for, a Skype call… Anything at all. My goal in the coming weeks is to squash any/all holes and ask that you would please email me so I can make things right. I appreciate all of you and look forward to tomorrow being even better than today.

Here’s to a successful recovery!

God bless.

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Jamain Freeman says:

    Wow! David this is a powerful post. I pray that God will continue to guide you on your journey towards dealing with this. We claim the victory over your life and know that God will continue to prosper you. I had been trying to get in contact with you by other means to no avail and then I was led to come and check out your blog. Your websites are currently down and I have not been able to consume your content for the Mix Academy nor get my free bonus course. Now I understand why some of this may have been going on. Please let me know when things will be back to normal and how I should contact you to get the bonus course.

    Humbly submitted,
    Jay Freeman

    • You’re the man, Jamain! Thanks again for the continued support. I’m pumped to have you in The Mix Academy again and can’t wait to hear your mixes improve. God bless, my man!

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