Dave & Brandi

I’ve been a poet since I was young. I always found respite with a journal, pen and the four corners of my bedroom. I’ve always had my music and my words regardless of how alone I may have felt. They always reminded me I was not alone.  Flash forwards 30 years later and I still find peace in words and music.

There are musicians (maybe in the next life I will be one) that write the words that I can not write. I have walked the walk and felt the pain or joy but just can’t write about it as fluidly as they do. In these musicians I find respite. I find a safety that I can not find anywhere else and a way to speak the words that I can not speak.

In 8 days I will have the opportunity to listen to two of my favorite musicians, Dave Matthews and Brandi Carlile, for three days on the beaches of Mexico. These two musicians are blessings in my life. Angels from far away. Their words have carried me when I could not carry myself. They have spoke for me when my voice was silent. They have loved for me when I forgot how and held me when I felt I was unraveling. In addition to being in the same place at the same time they will be in my happy place – Mexico. This is a once and a lifetime opportunity. Can you add an item to your bucket list after the experience has been booked and paid for because if so this lands at about #1.

What a way to start 2018? Experiencing something I manifested and wrote about coming to fruition – standing on a beach next to the love of my life listening to two musicians who have held my hand and had an impact in who I am today.

| Dave |

When my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I turned to music and Dave’s words wrapped around me like a blanket trying to keep me from falling apart. His words screamed for me and cried for me.

Years later I found myself lost and in the middle of a nervous breakdown – yes they are real. I found myself lost down on Grey Street and day by day I became a Time Bomb ready to explode. My Dreaming Tree was dying and everyday of my life was Halloween. A trigger had been pulled and I was under the table hiding from the wicked thoughts in my head. At times there was no Rhyme or Reason to the ungodly thoughts that ruled my mind and I found myself talking to the Gravedigger more than I spoke to the Bartender.

But the Bartender always listened regardless of how many times I walked away and returned. I learned to Seek Up to a more enlightened power. As many times as I was falling while being crushed under The Stone of pain and judgment, I knew I was still Lying in the Hands of God. This was a very dark time of my life but darkness fades with the rising of the sun. I can’t speak or write about it without feeling the tears come to the surface.

I now know I am So Damn Lucky. I went in the darkness and found my own way out (#41) with the help of those around me and especially my husband. He reminded me to dance in the rain and when the ghosts did come down crashing he would be there for me. He wanted to stay and love me and thank God. One day he shared that he prayed everyday for my healing. Tripping Billies reminds me of what really matters and I strive to live in that moment.  I now have the strength and hope to try new things (zip lining in Mexico although I have a massive fear of heights) and fight harder when the cover of darkness wraps around me. Although I (You)Might Die Trying I am determined to live this life to the fullest and love it. Love my life because it truly is blessed.

| Brandi |

I am truly blessed in so many ways but as Brandi Carlile sings in The Story:

“You see the smile that’s on my mouth
It’s hiding the words that don’t come out
And all of my friends who think that I’m blessed
They don’t know my head is a mess
No, they don’t know who I really am
And they don’t know what I’ve been through like you do
And I was made for you…”

My husband has been by my side every moment of my journey with mental illness. Just like me he doesn’t always know who he is waking up to.  This year we celebrate 10 years of marriage (14 together) and I can honestly say we are stronger than ever.

And let’s not forget that the name of this blog was inspired by her song “The Eye.”

You can dance in a hurricane but only if you’re standing in the eye.

When I first heard The Eye I thought about one of my closest girlfriends who knew me before the darkness took hold. She always told me it broke her heart to see me lost like I was and at times I still am. She knew an Amanda that I had been and wanted nothing but to save me from the pain I was feeling. In this time in my life I learned that I was living in a hurricane (and still am) but in order to survive it I would have to find the calm at times to be able to rest to fight the storm again. With Bipolar the storm never stops but at times you land in the eye and to me this song was an ah ha moment for me.

They say always tell people who have impacted your life how they have so here’s my ode to them. I am thankful for the words of these two amazing musicians and the gifts they have given me.

PS – If you don’t love Dave Matthews then I don’t know what is wrong with you.