TV Blues

WHEN YOU GOT THE BLUES
DO YOU LISTEN TO THE BLUES?
‘TIL IT GETS INTO YOUR BONES
‘TIL YOU REALLY FEEL ALONE

WHEN YOU FEEL TOO MUCH
WHEN YOU CARRY THE LOAD
YOU TRY TO SAVE EVERYONE
BUT DEEP DOWN YOU KNOW
IT’S YOU WHO’SE GOT THOSE BLUES

CHORUS
SO DON’T TRY TO HIDE IT
WHAT BURIES YOU IN THE NIGHT
DON’T TRY TO FIGHT IT JUST GET THE DAY RIGHT
AND KEEP YOUR EYES GLUED TO THE SCREEN NOW
‘TIL IT CHANGES YOUR EYES
PAVES THE WAY
FOR YOUR LITTLE ESCAPE

WHEN THE DAY IS DONE
AND YOU’VE GOT THE DAY’S REGRETS
THAT YOU TRY SO HARD TO FORGET
BUT YOU’RE A FOOL TO THE REST

AND YOU CAN WASTE YOUR LIFE
WATCHING WHATEVER YOU LIKE
LETTING IT ALL PASS YOU BY
DON’T NEED NO HELPING HAND
WHEN YOU’RE IN TV LAND
AND YOU’VE GOT THOSE BLUES

CHORUS X2

FOR YOUR LITTLE ESCAPE
FOR YOUR LITTLE ESCAPE
YOU GOT THOSE TV BLUES

I wrote the above song when I was going through a bit of a rough patch. But I guess the words “rough patch” imply that something bad happened or things were just going terribly wrong in my life. However in my case….I can’t say that this was true for me. There was no tragedy, there was no break up, and there was no loss. When I come to think of it, there was actually a lot of good in my life, but for some reason, no matter how much I tried to think about the starving children in Africa, no matter how much I tried to think of the homeless, the disadvantaged, the people who had experienced great loss in order to alter my perception of my life, to embrace the positives….I was instead completely and utterly swallowed by my own negativity.

The mind is so powerful. I am marred by its capabilities.
It took me to a dark place and I often wonder what would have become of me if I didn’t seek help.

I became so consumed by negative self talk and self loathing that I no longer wanted to be the person I was. I didn’t want to face reality anymore. I didn’t want to see my friends anymore. I didn’t want to talk to some of my family anymore, and if I did talk to them, they would generally be in a positive mood which would just aggravate me and then I would be angry with myself for being aggravated, and as a result, would feel anxious that I was potentially sabotaging the relationships that meant the most to me. I was desperate to be happy but instead I would cry every single day for which felt like no apparent reason, and felt pathetic, but I just couldn’t help it. So instead I would stay home as much as I could and watch TV or movies in order to escape my thoughts. And the times I did go to work, I would have to take medication in order to get through the day. I would be so anxious about being around certain people that I knew if I didn’t take anything I would potentially act in a way I didn’t want to act and then I would spend the rest of the day beating myself up about it.

Fortunately I’m a creative soul and dealt with a lot of my emotions through my song writing. I wrote a bunch of new songs during this period, (one of these being TV Blues) and performed four of them at one of my original gigs not too long after.

I was also extremely lucky to find a wonderful psychologist who really helped me get back on track. It was he who suggested I do that original gig in the first place. I had abstained from performing for quite some time and was only working two days a week so I had a lot of time on my hands, which for me was quite a foreign feeling. He asked me when I was going to start performing again and I replied “When I get better” to which his response was “People who are depressed think they will start engaging in everything again once they feel better, but in fact it doesn’t work that way. People who are depressed don’t get better until they start engaging in life again.”
His words really stuck with me and I decided to do everything I could to act out these words of wisdom.
Little by little things did start to get better.

Then my audition on a reality TV show was aired.

I will admit it wasn’t my best performance and nerves did get the better of me, as I knew it was the highest rating television show at the time. However, what I wasn’t expecting was the aftermath that followed my performance and my interview.
Unfortunately in my interview I came across as a little overly confident. This is not my personality at all. In fact I was the complete opposite in my interview; I was extremely nervous and felt uncomfortable about talking myself up. But being a reality TV show they wanted me to really sell myself in order to make ‘good TV,’ so of course under the pressure and because I was trying so hard to be more confident for camera, I said a couple of things I didn’t want to say.

I spoke to friends after the airing, and some people said that my interview didn’t seem like me at all, and others thought it was fine, I just came across as sure of myself and what was wrong with that?
I did get a lot of new fans but I think the amount of negative comments I received online far outweighed the good. There were HUNDREDS of them. People not only criticised my voice, they also criticised me as a person. I guess because I came across as confident they tried to say everything they could to bring me down. They said some incredibly nasty things about me and I remember when I was reading those comments for the first time, I was completely shocked and was almost brought to tears so I had to just stop reading. I was experiencing cyber bullying for the first time…and it wasn’t happening amongst school children, it was happening amongst ADULTS, and it was happening to ME. I guess people think that because they are sitting at a computer they are bulletproof and can say whatever the hell they want. It absolutely disgusts me and I find it extremely hypocritical that as a society we are trying to put an end to all the cyber bullying that’s happening amongst our youth, when as a matter of fact, adults are often the perpetrators too. It’s such a shame, as we should be the ones setting a good example for our youth. We shouldn’t be engaging in such cruelty.
What I did find after the airing though was that a lot of my new fans were children or in their teens, and many of them said that I inspired them to be more confident, and that they hoped to be confident like me one day.

I guess it was at this time in my life I really felt like I had a choice. I could either let these people’s comments swallow me whole or I could rise above them and be an inspiration to all those kids out there who have experienced bullying or cyber bullying in its darkest form.

Although it all felt like terrible timing (as I felt I was finally on the mend, my self esteem was finally improving and I really didn’t need to be kicked back down to the ground again) I knew that I had to search for some iota of strength somewhere within me, to not let those little ones down. I thought of my little cousin who had experienced the brunt of bullying, online and offline, and I thought about what I would say to her when she confided in me and turned to me for advice. I wanted to be able to tell her my story and how I refused to let these people get to me. I wanted to encourage her to find her own inner strength and find solace in the fact that she wasn’t alone. I wanted to inspire her to rise above the situation and I knew the only way to do this was to lead by example.

It has been two months since the airing and I am feeling stronger than ever. I made the right choice, and I have continued to keep in touch with my teen fan base. My little cousin was having trouble again and I was really able to counsel her through it.
I am trying my best to stay positive and I am keeping very busy and I am engaging with life. Every now and then I still get nasty comments on my youtube videos, but now I read them, have a little chuckle to myself, and get on with my day.

 

By Vanessa Raspa

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