Drum. It. Out.

Three words. Drum. It. Out. Seems like a fairly simple phrase implying the obvious concept of ‘drumming out one’s whatever … angst, negative energy, bad mood, bad day at school, bad day at work, bad day at … well you get the point.

For me, the idea of ‘drum it out’ goes way back to middle school, when life was shall we say less than idyllic.

I know what you’re thinking …. ‘What could possibly be so tough for a kid growing up with a mom and dad plus two ok sisters, living in a nice Miami suburb on a nice house on a lake. How bad could your life be that you had so much tween sadness or trauma or whatever that you needed to drum it out just to get through the day? Eh, Scott?’

And I understand your point, whomever you might be. But what you and the other readers do not know is precisely at the very heart of what is now one of the most important and salient topics in our world these days.

Mental health.

And what you do not know now is what I also did not then. Had I known then what I know now and have spent the past 20 years learning and doing a deep dive into my own mental health experiences, going back to my earliest memories through my tweens and well into my early 40s is this:

What I did not know then was just how important our mental health is to our success in life .. at home, in school, on the playground, and everywhere else we live our lives. Mental health was a mystery to me back then. And my lack of knowledge and awareness of how specifically mental health was impacting my efforts in all areas of my life certainly made my tween years as a middle schooler at John F. Kennedy Junior High in North Miami Beach less than a bed of roses or walk in the park as it where.

Chronic sadness, anxiety, fear, social phobia, panic attacks, sweaty palms, memory and concentration challenges were all the norm for me.

Except in band. Where I was a percussionist. A good one, who by 8th grade became section leader, and went on to perform at county contests and perform as part of a local youth symphony by 9th grade. Thanks to my love for and affinity for drumming and all things percussion, I was able to carve out a small slice of joy and happiness in between the darkness that followed me before and after my time in the band room with Mr. Hoffman and my fellow band mates.

Drum it out I did. In band, and at home. My brain certainly liked when I drum, which explains my healthy drum practice regimen. Not only did I sense playing rudiments over and over and learning and perfecting challenging snare pieces for the fun of it was a good thing for me to be doing in my spare time, my brain and body were constantly telling me so.

So, I continued to ‘Drum it Out’ well into high school. And I can say with the highest degree of confidence that if were not for drumming then I cannot imagine surviving the incredible social shark tank that was my high school years.

To be continued.

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