I started this post on Instagram
While I’m still 5 weeks away from being able to make posts with the songs from my new album #IntoTheLight I’m okay to use music from my 2nd album #Shadowlands
Shadowlands was created as an album with music from some of my darkest days of #depression with my #CPTSD
I had no idea that when I started #SabiLewSounds just months before compiling and creating my first album “Here Goes Nothing” that my trauma would be ignited so severely by just doing my job as a creator
The creation itself has always been fulfilling but I didn’t see how crippling the end of a project was for me with my unhealed/untreated/unwitnessed trauma
It’s a pattern I have known longer than I can even remember
Create – bliss – immediately snuffed our by shame, guilt, pain and anger so deep that it turned inward
What was I angry about, you might wonder
I was angry at a world that pits creators against one another, angry that my father blocked me from myself, angry that no one seemed able to fight for me, angry that the one person who did had to suffer because of me.
It wasn’t because of me though. My Mom suffered when she protected me because my father was too weak to see reality. My father was too weak to see me as anything other than his narrative that was I was the proof of the pain he was made to believe. Somehow I was proof that he didn’t deserve love, kindness, compassion or parenting.
That wasn’t true for him. It’s not true for me.
If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever feel joy about my creations for more than two seconds without immediately launching into a trauma response that sunk me into depression, intrusive thoughts of deserving self harm and death I would have told you, you were clueless about my CPTSD.
Hell, I’m still in shock right now as the joy hasn’t worn off. As the infectious bliss from my new album is seeping into everything else I make I am in shock and disbelief. I keep wondering when will it cease?
Last night again I created for my own sake with no agenda. Something I haven’t done since childhood. It’s not even done but unlike the days when my time was limited I have no fear that the moments will come and I will have the room to be me.
I don’t have to push myself beyond my limits when I get a little glimmer of creativity, nor do I have to stifle that energy because of having to be somewhere on someone else’s terms and using my energy for someone else’s goals. When I was slaving away for awful companies that didn’t care if I ended up dead from their treatment I couldn’t dive into my work. I would stop my train of thought and creative flow to look at the clock and wonder how much time I would get to rest, how much energy would I have in the morning if I pushed through and finished the work, knowing full and well that if I stopped the project it could be weeks, months or years before I had that breath of life to create again.
I felt like a bird in a cage, trapped and teased every time I did have a moment of motivation and light in me. I released “Here Goes Nothing” in early 2016. I had already started working on the album art for “Shadowlands” as I was excited and ready to keep going on making music and art and trying to help other creatives know that they don’t “need” anything other than themselves to be “enough” to share their light and voice to the world.
I had no idea that poverty (since I was jobless at first), trauma and eventually exhaustion from 9-5 “jobs” would leave me raw and spent just trying to breathe and wake up in the morning. I had no idea that everything I had recorded and worked on would get left half done. I had no idea that my laptop would break nor did I know that by the time I had the means to replace it in 2017 that my spirit would be broken.
I have spent my life hiding and it never hurt as much as when my soul demanded a witness to the injustice of the pain it was carrying for decades. I wrote songs to try and heal the world but I felt powerless and tiny and broken.
Last year I had a glimmer of energy on Labor Day weekend. For whatever reason I think I had four days off. I had new friends at the time that reminded me of the joy and power of music in my bones. I lost sleep and pushed through the final breathes of creating “Shadowlands.” The release was a happy spec of life but it was very short lived as I felt alone, forgotten and abandoned within seconds. I broke down and I was ashamed of ever having tried to exist. I thought it was because it was in Dalilah’s birth month on the year that I lost her but it was just the same demons from my past telling me I should disappear.
It’s been a battle I have been severely familiar with for years “I’m triggered by self promo.”
I probably still am triggered but I am forcing myself to sink my feet into that little glimmer of joy of when a piece of my art is made. I think, oddly enough, doing commissions and contract work for others and helping them bring their ideas to life has helped me connect to that part of myself. When I made “Ducky” for my friend Davey I felt bliss and excitement that I knew well but this time it was my duty to share because I knew he would be waiting for my art.
If not for my supporters giving me opportunities to create for them and offer my beauty to help them I guess create through me I think I would still be scared and shaking at this next album.
For now, as my life is still chaos because of this unsafe housing, very little funds to live from and fear lurking in every corner waiting to push me to another breakdown… I am leaning Into the Light.
Thank you for reading and as always, I wish you love and peace!