I was born on a Wednesday, 39 years ago. Wednesday’s child, so the poem goes, is full of woe. I am sure that not every single person who was born on Wednesday suffers with clinical depression and social anxiety, but the “full of woe” thing certainly has been true for me due, in part, to those very things.
This past week was my birthday (10 July, to be precise). I took this picture the night before. Miserable, eh? Definitely the picture of woe. I’m not keen on aging, and I really didn’t have high hopes for a “happy” birthday.
Enter my Beautiful Man, Jamie. Allow me to sing the praises of a thoughtful and listening husband. On my birthday (which, as it so happened, fell again on a Wednesday this year) totally surprised me with the gift he got for me.
This is a djembe. It’s an African drum. My birthday present. My precious.
As I say, Jamie getting me this came as a total surprise; I had not requested it. The first time I had ever played one was a few weeks ago when rehearsing for a gig I was doing with a friend of mine (it was her djembe that I played). I enjoyed it immensely and mentioned to my husband how surprising therapeutic it had felt to me. Even though I obviously have rhythm to be able to do what I normally do (sing, play piano, write songs), I am not a percussionist (or, at least, I wasn’t one), and I had given up on the idea of playing drums years ago (too much multi-tasking for me). But, the djembe is different: if you have rhythm, you can play it. And, as I say, it is marvellously therapeutic. It’s a beautiful instrument.
What a thoughtful gift, and it’s the thought here that certainly does count.
Jamie said he didn’t know what to get me this year until I had mentioned how much I liked playing Beck’s djembe. He picks up on little things like that…sees them for what they are.
Am I bragging about my man? Well, yes, I guess so. But everyone of us has the ability to listen and to give attention to the hurting and “woeful” in our lives.
What Jamie has done is to alleviate some woe, in the gift itself (of course) but more so by showing me how much he cares for me – showing me he listens to what I say, and (sometimes, even more importantly) what I don’t say. No, I didn’t ask for it, but he instinctively knew this is exactly what I need at this time in my life.
I can lose myself in the rhythm as I play. I can literally beat some of the toxic thoughts from my head. It’s a powerful thing. It’s as much medicinal as the tablets I am taking for this condition. But, it took my Love Doctor to prescribe it for me (forgive me, I know, that’s a bit on the cheesy side…but, true nonetheless).
While I play, the roaring lion of despair sleeps. I’d recommend one for anyone with depression, as a form of music therapy.
My happy place.