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Hi, I'm Crazy and I Want to Be a Musician

The struggles of being an aspiring singer/songwriter trying to make it in Nashville, and simultaneously dealing with bipolar disorder.


I'm going to start by going deep... back when I was 15, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Hi, I'm Sonee and I'm crazy. 

Now, I can feel someone reading this article getting offended at my use of the word "crazy." But that's the thing, I don't think I'm crazy because of my mental illness, and I don't think you need to be clinically ill to be crazy. All I know is that I am crazy... and I'm proud of it.

I think in ways that make me different than others around me, and this causes a lot of problems in my everyday life, but also causes me to experience some beautifully unique situations not everyone will understand. For example, when I was nine years old I had touched a piano for the very first time. As I pressed down on the keys, I saw colors emerge in the music (this isn't metaphorical, I literally saw colors as I played... the technical term for this is synesthesia, as I learned years later), this caused me to fall in love with music in a strange way. 

Both my parents were oil painters. My mom went to art school, and I have no idea what my dad did in college, but in my early memories I remember he was always painting our walls. Especially when we moved into a new houses (which happened very often before I turned four and my parents separated). For a long time I associate the smell of wet paint with memories of my father. Anyway, art and colors were always a prominent part of my life; so prominent that as a child I wanted to be an artist. I loved painting and drawing and coloring so much that it never crossed my mind that my life would one day be based upon sound and not (directly) upon vision.

As I played piano, I fell deeper and deeper in love with music, more specifically songwriting. I fell in love with songwriting the way a lot of people fall in love with... people. In middle school, I thought about it all the time, I got butterflies thinking about it, when I was around a piano all I wanted to do was play and write... and this continued onto adulthood.

Music would one day be what I built my life on. I transferred from Hawaii Pacific University into a small liberal arts school in Nashville. I still studied psychology but I wanted to be closer to the music industry... point is I literally left Hawaii to live in Tennessee and pursue music; a decision that literally no one I ever meet EVER understands. But I keep thinking to myself, if I don't give it my best shot while I'm young I will regret it for the rest of my life. So here I am...

All of this would be such a beautiful story... if nothing bad ever happened to me. But, yeah when I was 15 I became severely depressed and suicidal. I wish this was one of those "music got me through it all" stories, but it's not. I stopped playing and writing for around three years. I wish I could say that the whole time all I thought about was music and how much I missed it, but thats just not true. I forgot about it. Almost entirely. I was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder and putting on a cocktail of medications that were constantly changing in names and doses until I found one that made my life livable— and I'm still on them today.

Eventually I started writing again and the colors reminded me of who I am at my core; some kid who's socially awkward and doesn't know how to communicate with other humans, so she writes songs about it. But now I have to deal with bipolar disorder. Anyway, I don't want to write a whole story about that because honestly... everything with my illness I try to forget because if I think about it too much I start experiencing it again. So I think this blog is going be more about everyday struggles, how I deal with anxiety, my hopes and dreams, and my need to be understood. 

If that sounds boring to you feel free to not subscribe (or whatever it's called here), I just thought I'd give more people the chance to get to know me if they really wanted to,

Love, Sonee

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