Guest Blog: Not Giving In

Written by Young Scottish Talent Young Person Debra

“Sometimes music is the only thing that gets your mind off everything else.”

It’s an outlet. A source of relaxation, a meditation, a medicine healing your heart from drama and chaotic situations. It’s an adrenaline for your emotions and life. It runs in so many different directions of your life, providing you with different options and gives you the power to move on in difficult situations.

I find music a comfort in hard times. It helps me to define and understand what I feel deep inside about various situations like this one. Good or bad. It helps me to define that inner strength within me. I was told by the opticians, about the concern of my sight, this being the root of the entire story. 

Mid-January rolled around the corner. I found myself at the hospital after 8am. An MRI scan had been done on my head earlier that morning and the end result was beyond my belief, beyond my vision within that moment.

As many stories start with a person or an object, mine began with a lump in my head. A tumour in my brain. I reached out to the first thought that came to me – fear. With only my reaction visible in the darkened light of the world filled of people. The emotions spread somehow. 

“What was to happen now?” Was my first thought.

Throughout the darkest of nights and brightest of moments, as I watched my life drain away, I always felt my mum’s voice tickle my ear as she said to me, again and again, “You’re halfway along the long road.” And although we see these as just words, they helped me see light. Those words gave me the same push and courage as music did with its lyrics in songs. The push to take those steps forward, not back. Music did that too.

“Fighting through the war town and turning my life around, pushing through the fears and never being put down.”

Music brought my spirits up and motivated me to keep going. I remember singing my heart out to a different song every day whilst travelling along the long path of treatment. My first stop: chemotherapy. Operations were put in place to help remove the fluid in my brain. Drains were inserted and hearts were broken all at once.

Music helped me in so many ways – it let out emotions, it gave me confidence and courage, happiness and pride, it gave me an understanding of my own life. I remember receiving radiotherapy. The second milestone of my journey. I remember how it felt to lie there, motionless, face down, with music playing behind the scenes of suffering.

The lyrics to Miley Cyrus’ Every Rose Has Its Thorn, sang through the emotional pain and struggle. A lot of those words providing meaning to me at the time. The opening lines a comfort every day I went through the same feelings of fear and loneliness.

“We both lie silently still in the dead of night – my thoughts were silent in my head as I lay there, we both lie close together but we were miles apart inside.”

I had people surrounding me but I was alone at the same time.

“Was it something I said or something I did, did my words not come out right?”

What crime had I committed as a child? Did I do or say something wrong to deserve this? 

“Though I tried not to worry you, though I tried.”

I didn’t want anyone to feel bad, like this was their fault, but they did and there was no way of escaping the feeling of guilt.

“But I guess that’s why they say every rose has its thorn,”

Every good person gets punished whether they deserve it or not, I was one of those people, just like,

“Every night has its dawn and just like every cowboy sings his sad song, every rose has its thorn.”

I knew every problem comes to an end. 

I’d missed the majority of primary 4 so by the time my arrival back to school came, it was a week or two into the next year. There were some familiar faces mixed in with the unknown, my nerves gripped my conscious. The struggle to know what to expect, like every confused pop star sings about, I was living their lyrics and my heart was beating to the rhythm of every song and its melody.

Life has never been a smooth sail down a peaceful river, more like a full on roller-coaster ride filled with challenges, fears and only a short doses of happiness.

Music has played a big part through all of that, where every song has sent a message to my head, where every melody has sent sensations to my heart. I’ve gotten a number of things from music and still do. A shoulder to cry on, a friend, a second chance of survival, a broken yet mended heart. 

Like on my road trip through life, music swallows all the bad moments and negative thoughts while it provokes and brings out the good. It helps me see the goodness within myself and the power I have. I can reflect to many songs that help to relate to situations in my life. It helps me to see and understand myself, what I have and not what I don’t. Because of music I am strong through my journey and through my life.

Looking back, my journey has wound up being the worst, but also the best thing that has happened to me. It has made me who I am today. It has made me stronger as a person but also as a fighter. After everything I’ve found myself writing my worn songs and reflecting on my story with the various emotions I have. This being a way that I can convey and understand myself in a creative form. I am totally and beyond grateful to have made it through such a storm at a very young age and to be here now to reflect on it and thinking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Become a Mentor & Support a young person like Debra

Thank you so much Debra for sharing your powerful story – we’ll be first in line to buy your book! Can you support a young person like Debra to find their talents & share their story?

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