Chronicles of a Songstress #5: "When the Rain Comes" (2017)
A few years back I was visiting a friend in New Orleans, and we decided to challenge one another to write ten songs in ten hours. No devices, no leaving the space, and meals planned ahead. She stayed at her house while I set up camp in her sister’s vacant loft, a fantastically old (and pretty sure haunted) beautiful loft in the Marigny. About an hour in, a classic Louisiana storm blew in, with thunder and aggressive rain, wind whistling through the old windows, and then... the power went out.
I began to wig out and reached for my phone to call her, then remembered the vow to turn off our phones for ten hours when she didn’t answer. Feeling the need for a breath of fresh air, I went to step outside and look at the rain only to realize that, out of habit, she had locked the door from the outside. I was stuck.
That is when I really started panicking. I felt trapped.
I'm one of the many who struggle with panic and anxiety when unpleasant things from the past are triggered. Feeling trapped is a thing for me. When I get into that trance, or what you might call a panic attack, the best thing for me to do is totally distract myself. Snap myself out it. Cut to, how music has yet again saved me. It wasn’t easy to do but I really had no choice.
With hands shaking and tears streaming down my face, I picked up the guitar. Then I picked at the strings. I mumbled some words. And in that moment, I wrote “When the Rain Comes.”
I had no idea that this very song would become a victory for me two years later. After a feature on the television show Criminal Minds, my fan base grew significantly and I was able to open up more sincere conversations with everyone than ever before. To me, this is the spark of light at the end of a dark and scary tunnel. It is the blessing that awaits when we choose to walk into and move through what scares us— embracing it, rather than reaching for the quickest fix. For me, that could have easily been drinking or taking pills. One of the best tools to manage anxiety is music. Other things are yoga, meditation, books, and amazing, supportive friends. Sometimes I just get swallowed by fear for hours, but I know what the other side looks like. I can pick myself back up, dust off my knees, and know I’m still a warrior.