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Listen to the Music

By Jesse Frewerd, Guest Contributor

This article is also published on Medium. Used with author's permission.



I have had several episodes since that first one, with the most recent being in 2014. It took me roughly seven years to accept the fact that something was wrong. At first, I hated the thought of taking medication for the rest of my life, and I was in denial for the longest time, thinking I could manage these symptoms I was facing all by myself. Nevertheless, it finally hit home for me that something wasn’t quite right, and that’s ok! I originally didn’t think anyone could understand what I was going through, so that’s when I really turned to music again to express how I was feeling. I eventually started opening up about the things that were so hard for me to talk about. And that’s the really cool thing about music — sometimes it’s ok to express yourself without saying anything.

I have now been playing, writing, and performing music for over 15 years. I also have an amazing and growing career helping veterans. I volunteer and run a chapter for a remarkable nonprofit, and I am engaged to be married next fall. Had you told me five years ago where I would be today, I would have laughed you out of the room, but that was when I was going through the worst of my problems. Without finding music again, I don’t know where I’d be. It has been paramount to my recovery, and it’s been vital to expressing myself freely. If I have learned anything about my experience it’s this: persevere. Some days it may seem impossible, but persevere. Recovery is possible. Life will be different, yes — but it is most certainly not over.

Jesse Frewerd is an Army combat veteran and Milwaukee native. He is passionate about veterans leading successful, fulfilling, and positive lives. He helps accomplish this through his writing and music, as well as volunteering within the community. Jesse’s music was featured on “If You Have to Ask: Warrior Songs, Vol. 1” and Milwaukee’s TMJ-4 The Morning Blend.