Tuesday, March 4, 2008

From Behind Bars, Part XI, On Evening Snack and Music Therapy

Evening snack was always something that could be easily pulled out of a box or a wrapper because the cook’s went home after dinner, so it was something that didn’t require really any cooking or time. That, of course, meant that it was usually a bakery item, or maybe popsicles. If you’re thinking the fruity kind of popsicles, you’re sadly mistaken. I once had to eat two Haagen Daz chocolate ice cream bars AND a fruity popsicle in fifteen minutes. I had like the worst brain freeze ever. The only thing that gets me through evening snack is that it’s almost time for bed, and this means that I won’t have to eat anything else that day and can go to sleep and preferably die or have something equally horrible happen during the night so that I won’t have to wake up to face another day of weight gain. It didn’t work out as I planned, but I still prayed to burst into spontaneous combustion or get abducted or something so that I wouldn’t have to wake up in my sad prison. And obviously, nothing paranormal happened, other than my fast and significant weight gain. But, you know, I’m over it. Obviously.

Our last group of the night was music therapy (or, at least, it’s the group I’m going to talk about on this lovely afternoon). I usually loved music therapy. The therapist leading the group was an absolute sweetheart, and aside from being a wee bit too thin, I was a complete and total fan of hers. But for the purposes of this series, I am going to write about an incredibly painful music therapy session that we had to participate in once every six weeks or so: karaoke. And yes, you heard me right. Karaoke.

I am not a singer, just as I illustrated in my previous chapter that I am not a dancer. God left me sadly bereft of these two talents – or any, really.

So, picture this: On my first, yes, first day of treatment during my second stay, Karaoke Torture Night happened to fall on the same day as my admittance. I was sick – really, really sick. I had been in the hospital the entire week prior, so I was weak and slightly homicidal and a tinge yellow. Really, I was. Yellow I mean. It was weird. So I’m in no mood to go to any therapy, let alone friggin’ karaoke.

So, the music therapist’s only rule for this sacred ritual was that you had, absolutely had to sing. Naturally, I thought I was the exception to this rule, so didn’t bother choosing a song, like all the other girls who were huddled around the CD’s choosing the shortest song, or at the very least trying to avoid a painfully high soprano song. So at the end of the group, after everyone’s already sung, there’s me. And everyone’s waiting for me to sing. I keep stubbornly thinking to myself that I’m not going to give in, that I’m going to stick to my guns (albeit small ones) and not sing. Yeah, didn’t work. So I get up, and I’m singing a song by No Doubt, Hella Good. Have you ever heard this song? It contradicted every single thing I was feeling and thinking that night:

You got me feeling hella good
So let's just keep on dancing
You hold me like you should
So I'm gonna keep on dancing keep on dancing

A performance deserving of standing ovations
And who would have thought it'd be the two of us
So don't wake me if I'm dreaming'
Cause I'm in the mood come on and give it up

I’m feeling Hella Good so I’m going to keep on dancing? Um, I don’t think so. A performance deserving of standing ovations? Yeah, why don’t you just call me Beyonce or Shakira and we’ll call it good? Yeah, right.

So, needless to say, the experience was mortifying. More than mortifying, actually, but I can think of no other adequate synonyms to describe my experience. As soon as the whole fiasco was over, I was desperate to find a corner so that I could promptly sit in it and begin rocking like an overgrown autistic child. But CFC doesn’t allow rocking. I checked.

Apparently this exercise was to to help us get over our anxiety and our fear of life or whatever, but the only thing it gave me was a fear of another six weeks rolling around so that I’d have to do it all over again. Once I had to endure a girl singing a song from Phantom of the Opera, and she was not an opera singer. Or a singer, period. So, I mean, it was interesting. Just as Rachel’s sole motivation to recover is so that she’ll never have to go back to treatment to do Nia, (Recovery now! Nia never!) my motivation is to recover so that I’ll never have to unleash my vocal styling’s on innocent bystanders ever again. I’m sure you’ve all seen My Best Friend’s Wedding, yes? Well, Cameron Diaz’s singing was almost (but not quite) as bad as mine. And that’s the truth.

Okay, okay. I said this was the last chapter, but I have a bit more to say, so I’ll conclude tomorrow.


aLana said...

i'm so sad this theme is coming to an end! its sadly nostalgic, but let's be honest, the days run together and you do pretty much the same thing day after day, so what more could one possibly say? nevertheless (i'm practicing my scripture talk for the upcoming spiritual event), i am excited to read the final installment!

KC Elaine said...

NO talents? What?!! Come on, you're a beautiful and amazingly talented writer!

Brandon said...

Trust me audience, she isn't the best singer in the world, but what she lacks in talent, she more than makes up in heart. Who cares if she makes up her own words as she goes, at least she belts those made up lyrics the best that her sickly little lungs can.

aLana said...

okay brandon, you said "Trust me audience...what she lacks in talent, she more than makes up in..." and i was honestly waiting for the word bed to come at the end of that sentence! sorry if that's kinda inappropriate to say on a blog comment, but i thought it was kinda funny! :) we heart brie!!!

brie said...

Well, he also meant to say that, OF COURSE he did. I am a tiger between the sheets - MEOW!!!

And Lana, it'll be the final chapter, but I think every once in awhile I'll write a bit more, because I forgot lots of things, like all the boring classes on RTC, and RAD, and individual meetings with dieticians...maybe one day I'll write a series on life on RTC, cuz it's pretty different. :)

Stacy said...

tmi. an usher song somes to mind :o) something about a lady ing the street.

karoke is like death even if you can sing. unless you are drunk and then you don't care... but that ends up bad too. uggh.. i am glad i don't drink anymore and sing... or ride bulls in a dress.

SO ditto ky
and I think you should sing and post a video so we can get the full effect.

I mean no harm but I evidently don't have the capacity to be very nice this evening... sorry...
you are great. write more :-)

Emily said...

Although I have never heard you sing, I can just see you doing karaoke... I think it would be rather funny. Painful, perhaps, but funny. :)

And, if you want, you can check out my blog here on blogspot- it's www.ethereal-red.blogspot.com and I just started posting a couple days ago. I was on diaryland but moved.

Jamie :) said...

For some reason I just thought of Sister Harline singing that one song that we used as black mail against her. Remember that? "Take it! To the Limits!!" Anyway, I love reading your writing. THAT, my friend, is a talent indeed because unlike you....I (dare I say it) hate to read. Please don't hate me. :) But with your writing, I am always intrigued and enjoy it very much. So thanks...

Loni Kennington said...

Well miss Brie! Great to see you in the land of blogging! I think you're great! Keep it real (lol-you know you miss me as a tech ;)

brie said...

Loni I for realsies LOVED you as a care tech. You kept it real. :)

Anonymous said...

What about Friday night "intuitive" snack? Family week and the Ropes course? And I'm dying to hear your take on the infamous "Unit Freeze" drama.

brie said...

Who are you, anonymous-person-you? I MUST know!!

Anonymous said...

I am one of those totally ridiculous blog-stockers, and a fellow CFC-er, though I was never there at the same time as you. I found your blog the other day and I love your CFC installments. It's great to be able to laugh about some of those things that seemed so traumatic at the time. I have a blog myself and I can email you the link if you're interested.

brie said...

Yes, I'm absolutely interested!! My email addy is


Savannah said...

I loved music therapy!! I even loved karaoke, but I love it even out of the prison of doom. Yes, I'm a freak. :)

I think I heard you sing once...did you ever have to sing upstairs in ceremonial? Or was that Erin the tech...hmm..don't remember. I'm lackings cells..necessary ones.

Brandon said...

Yes, Sav, I had to sing in Ceremonial. Dr Hardman made me sing When You Wish Upon A Star, and it was horribly traumatizing because I've never seen Pinnochio, and believe it or not, did not know the tune to that song. So, trying to sing a capella a song I've never heard, combined with my unfortunate screeching vocal chords, made it quite the scarring experience. I cried for the rest of the day. :) And yeah, I was also there when they made Erin the tech do it too, it was actually the same day, and she cried too. Ceremonia was always so traumatizing, but I think that was the point.