Hello friends, time for another post on Blake's Blog...
I am just about to complete my 54th year of existence, and it has been quite a year.
I don't know if this was my favorite year ever, or if it was my toughest year ever.
Maybe it was both of those things. My 54th year has certainly been my most profound year
thus far, full of unexpected surprises, challenges and changes.
It's been two years since my brother Doug's tragic death and I'm still working through the grief.
I can't help but ponder my brother's life, and his struggles during his 54th year.
Sadly, he didn't make it to his 55th birthday.
If I can make it another week or so to my 55th it will be a milestone of special significance for me for this, and other reasons.
Several months ago I was diagnosed with clinical depression, anxiety disorder and some other
trauma-related issues. It was a surprise to me when I received this diagnosis as I had been unaware of it, or simply wasn't able to recognize it. I know that Jaco and Jimi both suffered from depression and mental health concerns, as do many people. And when I discovered that these are some of the same things I also have been experiencing, it really helped to explain some of my lifestyle choices and my state of mind in recent years. The diagnosis of my condition was a surprise I didn't see coming, but I'm glad it happened so that I could address it and improve.
Since then I have been enthusiastically pursuing treatment, and making changes to my health care regimen. I have been working closely with my doctors and also with an excellent counselor to get things moving in a better direction for myself. Things are indeed getting better with the help of these professionals as well as support from my friends and family. My wife has been very understanding and compassionate (and patient) during this time. So grateful for these people.
One of the best things to come from my counseling sessions is a renewed focus on my career.
I have not actively worked to advance my career or my artist-profile for many, many years.
I have simply taken whatever gigs came my way and have not really tried to improve my standing.
I am finally making changes in this area, including publishing my website and advertising my bass tracking services to a global clientele. I have further plans to finally begin posting my artistry on YouTube and to have more of a visible profile on social media and within my industry.
I am ready to actually put effort into my 'brand' which is:
bebass.com and Blake Eberhard Bass Studio.
So, my 54th year is almost behind me and I'll definitely celebrate when that day comes.
My sense of self and my emotional health really took a hit this past year, and it was difficult to experience that. Fortunately things have improved and are looking very positive for the future.
There has been a noticeable increase recently in awareness of mental health issues, especially for teens and for men. Bruce Springsteen addresses the topic in his new Broadway show, trying to help remove the stigma surrounding men and their mental health and well-being. Good job, boss. Lots of news and media coverage as well about this stuff lately.
In a future blog post I will address this topic again, including suicide awareness and prevention, and mental & spiritual health. I will include information about resources and support for these issues.
My next Blog post will be more fun, I promise. I am going to tell you about some of my most memorable gigs. You will be entertained.
In the meantime, let's all be kind to one another and give support and encouragement to each other. Peace,