On My Own Time – Emily Stone

On My Own Time – Emily Stone

In high school I struggled with really major anxiety, I also struggled with depression a lot. And I also struggled with – I had some suicidal thoughts that I was having to deal with. So that was really tough for me to deal with. But after my senior year I got help and was seeing a therapist. But transitioning into my freshman year was hard for a couple reasons. My parents didn’t want me to come here. I was – they didn’t think I was coming for the right reasons And it was very complicated and messy in our house. And so I committed to Eastman on May 1st at 5:00 p.m. not knowing if my tuition was gonna get paid for, at all. I worked a full time job and then I worked a weekend job where I was working 20 hours a weekend the summer after my senior year. To try and just, you know, make a small dent in what I was gonna have to pay. And then August rolled around and I was coming into school And my parents and I figured our stuff out, we really hashed it out And so we’re in a much better place now but it was just very complicated at that point. Because they were not very excited about me coming here. I mean, as any parent would be When you send your kid off to music school, there is that fear of like “Well what’s gonna happen? Are you gonna graduate with a music degree and then not have a job?” “Are you gonna be living in a refrigerator box?” There is that and I totally recognize that and I see that. But I got here and I was in a really toxic relationship at the time And so it made it really difficult for me to adjust to being here And so, I was still going to therapy and trying to figure everything out that was going on. As a catalyst, I actually gained 30 pounds my freshman year. And it was really tough and it was really hard And I spent a lot of time struggling with that aspect of that. Because it was just like, from this toxic relationship To feeling like my parents weren’t supportive of me Which was not true, I just couldn’t see that they were just scared. And it was just a maturity thing that I totally recognize And all I remember is just feeling so hopeless. And my teacher knew I was feeling really down My mom picked me up my freshman year from school And I just remember feeling this sigh of relief that I was leaving. It was just, like, this overwhelming feeling of “Oh my God…” “I finally get to leave. I get to leave this toxic relationship, I get to leave this place that has felt so hard.” And so I really spent that summer trying to figure out, what do I want? And I ended up ending that toxic relationship and I was able to get out, which was really awesome. And then I got to spend that whole summer healing. And I’ve really gotten to spend the last couple years getting to heal, Which has been so amazing, and I get to heal on my own time. And this is, like, one of the first times in my life where I’m really happy. I’m really solid. I know exactly what I want to do. I’m really open for whatever comes my way. [harp music begins]
But, now I still deal with the anxiety a little bit, I am still in therapy And taking care of myself and all that kind of stuff. But kind of the goal is to get a masters in Harp Performance And do a doctorate in Clinical Psychology Because no one talks about the mental health aspect of musicians enough. It’s such a hot topic but it’s such a “We’re gonna throw it in the closet and not really talk about it” Because the ‘starving artist’ thing? That’s real. I have friends that I automatically think of when someone says oh, the ‘starving artist’ stereotype The guy who’s like, really skinny and practices all the time and is really high on drugs Like, sadly, I know people like that And the reality of the situation is people don’t talk about the mental health of musicians enough And I’m just, I’m really grateful that I’ve had such a support system who have just been there for me. You know, I said earlier, some of my best friends are here They’re the people who were there for me through the thick and thin And I am so grateful for that because I would not still be here on this campus if it was not for them. [harp music continues]

One thought on “On My Own Time – Emily Stone

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