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Endometriosis Blog: “Almost Rosey” — The Healing & Supportive Power Of Music And Other Relaxation Techniques (Video Clip Included)

I thought it was time to lighten things up a bit. Sometimes taking a break from information-gathering, doctor appointments, and stress can help us cope better with endometriosis & other chronic illnesses.
I’d like to start by sharing a gorgeous photo I found awhile back:

Photo used with permission from Mimbrava – www.Flickr.com

This red rose photo ties together nicely with a post I’ve been wanting to write for awhile now. As many of you are already aware from what I have written previously I am a huge fan of Tori Amos, the musician.

It just so happens Tori has endometriosis. So I’m using that as my excuse to write a post featuring some lyrics from her song: ‘Almost Rosey‘ (from the American Doll Posse CD).

Before I get into any lyrics or my interpretation of them and what they do to inspire me and to give me strength during the especially tough times, I just want to lay the foundation for WHY I’m writing about this here on the blog… (other than my love of Tori Amos’ music).

Over 7 years of facilitating a local endometriosis support group, I have noticed that MANY of our support group members share a common thread. For some it has to do with upbringing. For some it’s a personal philosophy. For others, it’s the only way they know how to cope with this challenging illness.

The common thread I’ve noticed for most endometriosis patients is that they often:

  • Put others first before themselves
  • Forget to practice self-care on a frequent enough basis to maintain their health (or progress to a greater state of wellness)
  • Often they “run themselves totally ragged”
  • Let me be clear that I don’t sit in judgment of anyone (!!) and I know how very difficult it is to balance home/personal life, work life (for those still well enough to pursue a career outside the home or those who manage to work from home), social life/obligations, chronic illness(es) and the many other commitments that take up our precious time nowadays. There never seem to be enough hours in the day!

    An endometriosis patient may be:

  • employed in the traditional workforce
  • disabled
  • unemployed
  • a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM)
  • a work-at-home-mom (WAHM)… [I know — all moms work at home. By WAHM, I’m referring to women who work in the home via telecommuting, running their own businesses, etc…]
  • I have observed that ALL women nowadays (that I know) are feeling the pressure of many demands on their time and this typically just becomes much *more* challenging for the chronically ill.

    OK… back to some of the music that gets me through some of my roughest days! I should point out that the music that works for me may not be most effective for you for coping with illness, stress and/or anxiety. The important thing is that most of us have SOME sort of music we find relaxing, inspirational, supportive, or even cheerful. Sometimes the lyrics really strike us and provide extra comfort. Sometimes it’s the melody, the beat, or maybe an outstanding vocalist. Many times it’s all of the above.

    OK. It’s time for me to list the lyrics for “Almost Rosey” and explain what they mean to me personally. They may certainly mean different things to different people but I’ll talk about how the lyrics strike me. Obviously this is just one interpretation.

    *Let me give just a bit more background on why I’m including lyrics for this particular song.*

    Many women I know (from my local endometriosis support group, healthy friends & relatives, former co-workers, blogger friends, etc.), myself included, have times when they really push their limits physically, mentally, or both! Self-care is key. A support network of some kind is key.

    You may have heard phrases like “grin and bear it” or “put on your happy face” or “be strong/don’t let ‘them’ know they’ve gotten to you”.

    While there are certainly times in life when we all need to do things we don’t want to do, to even do things we’re concerned may cause injury or exacerbation of existing illnesses, and to do things that are simply necessary for basic functioning… there are definitely other times when it’s in our best interest (and/or that of our loved ones… whether they know it or not!) NOT to push too hard and NOT to overwork! Knowing when to back off and when to push ahead is a tricky balancing act. Taking pains NOT to overdo can prevent suffering & sometimes even permanent pain afterwards, etc.)

    Many women have a REALLY tough time slowing down, pacing themselves, and saving precious energy for the things that REALLY matter!

    OK. Here’s where this song is one of my favorites to play when I need a pick-me-up.

    Here is a video clip of an amazing live rendition of this beautiful song:

    Below are the lyrics to “Almost Rosey“. I have bolded portions I find particularly helpful to me for insights into how people (women and men) sometimes “put on a happy mask”, isolate themselves from support when they need it most, etc. My comments are in italics.

    I should note that simply reading the lyrics off the page may sound anything but “rosey” or cheerful. However, knowing Tori’s body of work for over 15 years, reading between the lines of the lyrics, knowing she is about as far from a “phony” or “fake” person as can be, and hearing the beautiful melody and soothing sound of the music on this song softens it immensely. Tori is a complex person and her lyrics can be deceiving. For example, her talk of putting rose colored glasses on to cope with things is NOT, in my opinion, implying that one should stick his/her head in the sand!! Quite the opposite… Tori bravely faces things head on! My comments on the lyrics will be in italics next to the lyrics I’ve bolded in the song…

    +++

    » ‘Almost Rosey’ Lyrics

    [This Section features Lyrics of the Song ‘Almost Rosey’ from the Album American Doll Posse]:

    Just a minute of your time
    Yes I’ve been known to delude myself
    So let me put those rose colored glasses to the test
    (I believe this is her way of saying let’s cope with these problems rather than avoiding them).

    Now is this real enough for you
    ’cause blondes here don’t jump out of cakes
    If that never impressed you much
    Come board this lun
    atic express

    Just why do they say
    Have a nice day anyway
    We both know they wouldn’t mind
    If I just curled up and died
    Let’s not give that one a try
    (I think this section is Tori’s way of observing how fake people can be when they exchange pleasantries they don’t mean, when they act insincerely, and when they generally disregard -too often – others’ well-being).

    Chin up put on a pair of these roseys
    Raise those blinds
    Chin up a happy mask was never
    Your best disguise
    Chin up put on a pair of these roseys
    In no time you will feel almost fine
    (I believe Tori is offering coping skills to either herself or someone else. She seems to be trying to fight the urge to isolate and “close the blinds”. She recognizes that stuffing emotions and putting on a “happy mask’ is not healthy. She wants things to start looking up and believes things WILL get better).

    Almost rosey

    Now some girls here will huddle with
    No not footballers that are rich
    But will confide in small white sticks
    He bats as The Virginian Slim

    Then I tried once to comply
    With an authority that would
    Subsidize my wild side
    But at this altar was sacrificed

    Yes you can laugh a femme fatale
    In a bride’s dress now married to
    The effortlessness of the cracks
    That lie now in between the facts
    (Here again I believe Tori is speaking out against dishonesty in any form… including being phony/fake or insincere).

    Now about when violet died
    The cause still unidentified
    She thought her love would be enough
    But you can’t seduce seduction

    Her tentacles of endless want
    Reach through my corridors
    And tempt me to taste of her power
    I sober with the witching hour

    And when I hear of one more bomb
    Yes we have all been robbed of song
    And nightingales who throw their arms up
    When is enough enough?
    (To me this passage is pro-peace, for saving the Earth from irreparable harm caused by war and environmental issues. Obviously birds don’t have arms but I think the point is clear that she’s concerned about the condition the Earth is in and wants very much to improve it).


    [ Almost Rosey Lyrics @ http://www.toriamoslyrics.org/ ]

    Tori Amos
    Almost Rosey lyrics are copyright by it’s rightful owner. This Tori Amos Lyrics
    site (http://www.toriamoslyrics.org/almost-rosey-lyrics-tori-amos.php)
    in no way takes copyright or claims the lyrics belong to us.

    © 2008 Tori Amos Lyrics.org, All rights
    reserved.

    See my post: Sunday, June 15, 2008 – What is My Connection to Tori Amos??

    This article was posted by Jeanne via “Jeanne’s Endo Blog” at www.endendoat.blogspot.com.

    This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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    Reading: Endometriosis Blog: “Almost Rosey” — The Healing & Supportive Power Of Music And Other Relaxation Techniques (Video Clip Included)

    6 comments

    1 Shauna { 09.05.08 at 12:52 am }

    Jeanne,

    What a beautiful and relaxing post!! From the gorgeous flower to the song….I actually kind of floated away from the problems of the day, focused on the wonderful cool feeling of the Icy Hot Patch my son put on my back for me, and RELAXED!! THANK YOU DEAREST FRIEND for that time, however short or long…it was time “off”. You know what I mean.

    Jeanne, I never had a chance to tell you that my best friend lived with the horror of Endo for years, dealt with it as a very young girl, was laughed at and shunned by many doctors, only to have 3 beautiful children, my handsome nephews and darling niece!! You never know what life will throw at you…first, “You will NEVER have children”, to “IT”S A BOY!” x 2, and, “IT’S A GIRL!” x 1.

    I am giving her your blog addy and encouraging her to come and read and connect with you. You are a wealth of information Jeanne, you and I both know that if we suffer from it, we know a hell of a lot about it!

    Thanks for being you…
    Shauna 🙂

    2 Jeanne { 09.05.08 at 2:41 am }

    Shauna,

    Thank you for your kind words! As you may have figured out, Tori Amos' music is one of the most relaxing things I've found to get me through the difficult times. I know exactly what you meant by "floating away from the problems of the day" because that is exactly what Tori's music does for me. It sounds like between the music and that Icy Hot patch your son put on your back, you got a few moments to relax and that is GREAT!!! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the music. Tori's music is soothing to me more than any other music. Her music has helped me get through so much! I'm so glad you were able to get that "time off" while listening to one of my favorite songs of all time… "Almost Rosey".

    I once read Tori was voted the 5th Best Live Performer of ALL TIME by Rolling Stone magazine. Having seen her perform live 4 times and having felt her felt her positive energy, met her backstage, heard her amazing musical talent in person, and appreciated the opportunity to "take in" the music of an absolute genius musician of a generation… a woman who began playing the piano at the age of just 2 & 1/2 years… I just adore Tori.

    In 1968, while living in Rockville, Maryland, she won a full scholarship to the Preparatory Division of the Peabody Conservatory of Music at the age of 5 years old! (Tori had begun composing instrumental pieces on piano and at age 9 started to add lyrics to her pieces).

    From her days as a child prodigy learning classical piano instruction to her sometimes rebellious/somewhat more controversial musical style as an adult, Tori is a strong and authentic woman who follows her passion and her convictions. Her music causes me to "float away from daily problems" just as you described!

    Shauna, you had mentioned, in passing, awhile back that you have a best friend who has endometriosis.

    You are correct that endometriosis can truly be a horrific illness for young girls and women to deal with. My symptoms began at age 13 and I will never forget the turmoil, hurt, pain (physical & emotional), and confusion that endometriosis caused me before I even had a name for it! (I was diagnosed at 23 years old).

    Like your best friend, I was laughed at and shunned by doctors who were not properly trained or equipped to deal with this common illness! The stats are 5.5 million women in North America are diagnosed with endometriosis and some 89 million women are diagnosed with endometriosis worldwide. Since this is an under diagnosed illness that can only be properly confirmed by surgery, those are staggering figures indeed!

    I am so happy for your friend that she was able to conceive not one but 3 children… your nephews and niece! Unfortunately, not all endometriosis patients are as fortunate as your friend was to be able to conceive even once.

    The infertility statistics for endometriosis patients are troubling. I know I spent many years mentally preparing myself for potential infertility since I had had 4 surgeries for endometriosis before I even got married. I was very concerned that I might never be able to conceive. It caused me great anxiety.

    My heart goes out to those endometriosis patients who do more than simply worry they someday won't be able to conceive. I have met MANY women who have been trying to conceive for YEARS. Those infertile endometriosis patients who did eventually conceive were at higher risk for miscarriage. Sadly, I personally know too many women from my local endometriosis support group who have had one or more miscarriages. I cannot fathom withstanding miscarriages and have such respect for women who find a way to move forward after such profound loss(es).

    Tori Amos had 3 miscarriages. When I read her autobiography, I went from knowing she had miscarried to comprehending that she went through it 3 times. While her miscarriages were attributed in her book to factors other than endometriosis, the risks of miscarriage are higher in endometriosis patients than in most women… and Tori does have endometriosis. I feel a deep connection to Tori. She has been through some great adversity in her life but she is a STRONG woman.

    I’m happy to hear you’re giving my blog address to your friend and I’m looking forward to her comments here on the blog! 🙂 I find that networking with fellow patients is inspirational, informative, supportive, and healing! I don’t know about being a wealth of information. All I know is that I have been dealing with endometriosis for 26 years now and I have picked up a few things along the way. I absolutely agree with you that those who suffer from adversity (illness or otherwise) are more informed than most patients, “get it”, and are more empathetic than our healthier peers.

    Thanks for being YOU! Your kind comments made my night. My overriding goal with this blog is to help people. If going out on a limb once in awhile to write “random” blog posts about musicians that soothe and inspire me to relax and “let go” helps just one person… then I think it’s worth it!

    I was a bit concerned that this “Tori post” was long-winded even for me… but I’m so happy that you like it. I absolutely adored that video clip of Tori’s live version of “Almost Rosey” and just felt compelled to share it. I finally realized that mimbrava’s breathtaking rose photo would be an appropriate introduction to my “Almost Rosey” post.

    I’m thrilled that this post gave you some time to “float away” and get some needed relaxation. That’s what Tori does for me too!

    I hope your friend will check out the blog and give me her feedback. I’m looking forward to hearing from her! 🙂

    Success stories like hers (conceiving multiple children after going through uncertainty about whether that might even happen) give hope to other women struggling with infertility.

    Thank you again for the positive feedback. You honestly made my night!

    Jeanne 🙂

    3 Mckay K { 09.05.08 at 1:10 pm }

    Jeanne I think this post is definitely in line with your blog. It is helping readers who might be stressed out to calm down and take the time to relax.

    Of course I loved the beautiful flower and the video was so relaxing, that my tired body almost fell asleep.

    I love the new look of your blog.

    4 Jeanne { 09.05.08 at 6:41 pm }

    Mckay k,

    Thank you for you kind and supportive words… as always!

    I was hoping that since this music is so relaxing for me that it might be for readers too. I’m so glad that both you and Shauna enjoyed it… and found it relaxing too!! 🙂

    Yes, ‘mimbrava’ has some stunning photos on the http://www.flickr.com website. If you like flowers (which I know you do!!), I highly recommend searching the Flickr website for mimbrava’s pictures. She is an outstanding photographer and many of her pictures are of flowers. (She also took the tulip picture that’s on my blog).

    I’m sorry that you’re tired but I’m glad the video relaxed you. I know one of the first things I always do when I need to relax is pop in a Tori Amos CD!

    Also, thank you for your kind words about my blog’s new look.

    Jeanne

    5 My Endo Journey { 09.07.08 at 2:08 pm }

    Learning to cope with stress and anxiety is a huge part in battling chronic illnesses! Thanks for the post! I’ve recently been listening to “spa type” music on my satellite radio on the way home in the evenings after work to help unwind. I love it! I love music and being able to connect.

    6 Jeanne { 09.07.08 at 8:49 pm }

    My endo journey,

    I totally agree about the importance of coping with stress & anxiety! I'm glad you liked the post. 🙂

    Isn't relaxing music while driving the best?! I love driving to relaxing music. It makes the drive seem shorter, makes me less irritated with bad drivers around me, and lessens my pain. Music is a huge coping mechanism for me!

    I don't get satellite radio but everyone I know who does have it swears by it. 🙂

    Music is so powerful. I truly find it to be healing and relaxing!!

    Jeanne

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