Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
the Rock Doc
By Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr BLT, psychologist
* Details contained in the original correspondence, or inquiry have been omitted or otherwise altered to protect the confidentiality of the inquiring party and to make key spiritual/psychological points.
Dear Dr. BLT: I heard about your column in Phantom Tollbooth because I hang out with a lot of Korn fans, the ones who have found Christ, and apparently the ones who have found Christ are either into Brian Welchís music or yours.
Itís also very cool that I Christian recording artist like you is on a music video by another band I admire, Cake.
So thatís how I heard about you, through fellow Korn fans who became Christians through Brian Welchís testimony who also happen to be Cake fans.
I feel like I havenít slept for years. Actually, now that I think of it, I havenít. I havenít really slept that is, to the point of feeling rested when I get up.
Iím 19 years of age, but Iíve been a runaway, on the streets since I was 14. I finally found a place to live and work. Up until now, Iíve been playing my guitar on street corners for money, and, until recently, Iíve made money selling dope as well. Thatís all changed since I found Christ.
Now I go to a church where things are pretty wild for Jesus and folks engage in active worship. Iím off meth and I donít listen to Korn anymore. Itís too dark, and too hard core. But I do listen to Christian speed metal and nu metal-type acts with lyrics that are more palatable.
I know work part-time at a record store, and I share a house with 5 other dudes. But Iím getting off topic. The real reason Iím writing you is that I canít freakiní sleep and Iím sick of it.
I wake everybody else up at all hours of the morning with my pacing. Iíve tried everything other friends have recommended, and it hasnít worked so Iím ready for some professional advice.
Korn Bread Ted
Dear Korn Bread Ted
My best guess, or hypothesis is that you are addicted to being constantly stimulated. Thereís no actual professional diagnosis for stim addicts, apart from ones who are addicted to meth, but itís becoming an increasingly common phenomenon these days.
This tendency to become bored easy, and so uncomfortable with the boredom that we constantly seek out artificial ďstimulantsĒ is reinforced by a culture that has become steadily more gadget-oriented, technology-focused, and less people-oriented (apart from social networking sites however, which represent a sort of artificial community in many ways). Being a Korn fan on top if it, puts you in the category of what I call in this original song, among those I call:
For stimulant, or ďstimĒ addicts as I like to put it, Korn, and many other forms of speed metal and nu metal amounts to a sort of legal meth for the ears. Donít get me wrong, Iím not saying that there arenít speed metal and nu metal groups out there worth listening to.
But for an insomniac, Iíd recommend exploring more mellow forms of music and entertainment.
Learning to slow down can be immensely difficult. Now I may be jumping to conclusions here, but since your musical diet appears to be filled with ďstimulantsĒ I would venture to guess that your diet also includes lots of chocolate, carbs and energy drinks.
All of this amounts to super-charging your brain and body to the point in which you have a hard time slowing down. By the way you describe your church, itís also a stimulant church where everybodyís goal is to drum up energy in the name of Jesus.
These types of churches may serve a role for the sluggish in Christ, but for the over-stimulated, they tend to add insult to injury. It sounds to me like you need to be grounded. Many of these churches that youíre describing are not grounded, but ďwired.Ē So people make reckless decisions, assuming itís the result of God speaking directly to them. They climb aboard emotional roller coasters mistaking such roller coasters as following in the footsteps of Christ.
After years of meth, you may have developed mental health problems that are the result of damage to your brain. Some of this may be reversible, and some of it may have permanently altered your brain chemistry. Furthermore, you may have used meth to self-medicate for depression and/or related psychological problems.
I canít offer a definitive diagnosis or a definitive solution, but what Iíve presented are preliminary hypotheses. Check them out by visiting a psychologist who can further assess you.
In the meantime do what initially wonít feel natural to you---surround yourself with peaceful people, peaceful sounds and peaceful sights. Slow yourself down, and allow yourself to embrace some of the boredom in your life.
Let me know how it goes and if youíre successful in slowing down this speeding train. It wonít get you to your destination unless your destination is the land of going around in circles.
Take it from me, Dr. BLT.