Thursday, May 10, 2018

Down, Then Up, Then Down Again

After my "I don't hate how I sing anymore" post of a couple of days ago, I'm now thinking of quitting choir.

I went to choir practice last night and had a panic attack. I was trying to sing, but I could only get out a squeak. I couldn't breathe.

A couple of things led up to it. I'm being super-sensitive here, but I'm going to write it anyway.

When we get to choir practice on Sunday morning, I usually put my purse in a chair and then go to put on my robe. Several times (at least four times that I've noticed), the person who would have been sitting next to me had gotten up and moved to another chair by the time I got back. Coincidence? Possibly. I mean, new people come in and people want to sit with certain people, or talk to certain people, so they'll move. But after this happened a couple of times, I thought, "Are they moving so they don't have to sit by me?" And once that seed of doubt starts growing, it's like a weed out of control.

Another thing I've noticed a few times: The person who is sitting next to me subtly moves their chair away so that they're closer to the person on the other side of them. And it wasn't because they needed to share music.

Another coincidence? Why would someone do that, unless it's because I was singing so off-key that it was distracting them?

Both of those things happened last night. And the weed of doubt was more like a vine wrapping my heart in a death-squeeze.

So we were doing this one song, and I lost my place. My mind started reeling, and I wasn't able to find where we were, even after someone showed me twice on her music. So I careened into a panic attack and I had to get up and leave. I waited until practice was over and most people were gone before I went back in to get my purse. No one noticed me, thank God, so I was able to leave without talking to anyone.

Am I that bad of a singer? I know I'm better than I was. One problem, though, is that I have trouble hearing myself when that many people are singing near me, so I can't tell if I'm hitting the right note or not. Even if I sing louder than is comfortable, I can't hear. I don't know if that's normal, or if it's related to my hearing loss.

I do know that I've gotten a lot better at singing on pitch. When I can hear myself, I hardly ever miss, and if I do miss, I know I'm missing. And it's usually because I got lazy and wasn't focusing. But in choir, I can't tell if I'm missing or not.

Of course, no one gives me any feedback, so I have no idea if I sound good or bad, or if people can even hear me at all.

All in all, the panic attacks seem to be coming at me from left and right, and I need to eliminate the unnecessarily stressful things from my life. Sadly, choir has become stressful, and I don't think it is a good fit. So I'm going to quit, at least for a while. I'll continue taking voice lessons. I'd like to join the choir again once I get past all of these anxiety/panic issues.

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