Music As a Coping Skill and Why It’s Okay If It Doesn’t Work For You

Music, in my opinion, is probably the most widely used coping skills. My experience in the mental health field thus far has had me meet a lot of teenage and young children. I’d say with confidence that about 90% of them used music as a coping skill. Hell, I’ve definitely used music to get through a shitty day. Music can not only improve your mood on a gloomy day or soothe your soul in a time of grief. I’ve seen its effectiveness in action on countless occasions. Check this out…Music-Therapy-Graphic

When people say music is powerful…they mean it. However, that doesn’t guarantee it’s the solution for everyone. Every person’s mind and body are different and thus need different things to keep them together.

I gathered up the courage to leave my emotionally and verbally abusive ex the day after this past Christmas. Christmas night, my mom and I had a conversation about making a plan for me to leave in the near future. Unfortunately, the following day escalated to the point where I couldn’t even function at work and I knew it had to be right then. My mom drove up that night. My mom wasn’t going to get to Massachusetts until very early morning, so I went home to pack a bag, get Albus, and went to stay at a close friend’s apartment. That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. He was there and was not happy because I had stopped responding to his verbally abusive text messages earlier that day. At first he acted confused, saying that he didn’t know why I was leaving. I told him that if he didn’t know why, then that was part of the problem. Then he did what he always did. He got angry. In came the name calling and the insults. That, in my mind, just reassured why I needed to leave. I needed to leave while I could before things continued to get worse.

On the ride back to Pennsylvania a few days later, I had a panic attack in my car going 75 down the highway. I managed to call my mom and pull over. That was the first time my mom told me to turn on some music and it will get better. So I got in my car and turned on the radio. You know what I heard when I turned to my go-to stations? A shit-ton of love songs. Songs about new love, past love, lost love, and true love. The exact opposite of what I wanted to hear. I couldn’t listen to hip hop because that’s all my ex ever listened to. So turning on the radio only made me think more about everything…made me cry even more than I already was.

For the first month after leaving, I didn’t listen to any music at all. In the car, I would listen to Harry Potter audiobooks. After that, the only music I could stand listening to was Disney music. I love singing to Disney songs in the shower. I think it was easier for me to listen to Disney, even though they are quite a few love songs, was because my ex would always put me down and tell me how childish I was being when I sang to it and that I needed to grow the fuck up.  And let me just say that I have a wide variety of music that I listen to…pretty much anything except country music. Not exactly sure why but I just can not stand country. But when I want to sing in the shower to de-stress after a long day, I turn to Disney. And I have absolutely no shame in that.

That’s pretty much still where I’m at with music. However, I’ve stopped getting uncomfortable when music is playing while I’m in other people’s cars. I am confident I will get back to jamming out to whatever suits my fancy on my way home from a hellish day of work because audiobooks just don’t cut it some nights and I end up going to sleep stressed out and anxious. At first I would get upset and mostly angry when someone would tell me to just put on some music. I’ve pretty much gotten over that, too because it happens much less frequently. My mom said it to me several times in the beginning, but I expressed to her my feelings towards the topic and she hasn’t since. It wasn’t just my mom who had done it, just the most frequent so unfortunately my frustration come out on her a little bit. She and I have had an up and down relationship since I came home, but we’ve patched it all up and are doing very well.

So right now, music just doesn’t work for me as a coping skill. And that is perfectly okay. Even if for some reason I never listen to music the same way again, that would be okay too. Maybe a little frustrating, but okay if I need to avoid it best I can in order to have a healthy mind. I still and will always continue to encourage the use of music as a coping skill if that is what works for the person. I’ve seen it work wonders with some of the kids I’ve worked with and could never doubt it’s ability. But not everything is going to work for everyone and that is perfectly okay.

Until next time.

Love always,



Once you get a cat…you never go back

Therapeutic companionship at it’s best…meet Albus!

Few statements have ever been so true. My trusty companion is this guy! Meet the other half of Just a Girl and Her Cat, Albus!


Albus, however, is not my first cat. I had a cat, Oreo, for 11 years before having to make the incredibly hard decision to put her down. She had a tumor wrapped up in her belly and she was suffering with very few treatment options. She was my first cat…the one who got me to truly love these wonderful creatures.


I rescued Oreo as a teeny tiny kitty when our dog found her in our neighbor’s tree in 2005. She was a small little fluff that was very sick. We nursed her back to health and then my mom wanted to TAKE HER TO THE SHELTER!!! I simply could not let that stand. So what did my 13-year-old self do? I cried…for about 3 days. I cried for my mom to let me keep this little baby kitty that we had saved. Needless to say, it worked. My mom loved Oreo. Probably mostly because Oreo secretly wanted to be a dog and thus acted like one. She was the worst beggar out of her and my moms’ numerous dogs! She never missed meal time, human or otherwise! She was also notorious for stealing whole peices of chicken from people’s plates.

I met Albus as a newly born kitten when a roommate’s cat had kittens. This was August of 2012. He would follow me around in the mornings as I got ready for class and he’d be waiting for me when I came back. So basically, he chose me. Oreo was still living at my moms’ house because that was her home and she would be more comfortable with the dogs she grew up with around. Long story short, I took a break from college shortly after adopting Albus and took him home to meet his sister. Oreo and Albus didn’t quite hit it off at first. He was a rambunctious little kitten while she was proper lady who had put her rough play days behind her. However, as Albus chilled the fuck out a little bit and realized he had a bunch of dogs he can play with when Momma wasn’t home, their relationship got better.

I am a huge fan of having a pet as a therapeutic companion. That is what I considered Oreo and what I currently consider Albus. He isn’t just a pet to me. He is my fur child (if someone asks if I have a kid, I usually say yes!) and he is my confidant. He’s the one who snuggles me when I cry and the one who lays with me as I vent aimlessly about life. Albus and I have had many fun adventures together and I hope to have those adventures get so much bigger in the future.

Believe it or not, cats provide several health benefits to us humans! Some of those benefits are as follows (Source):

  • Reduction in stress and anxiety
  • Boost in immunity
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decrease risk for stroke, heart attack and heart disease

The list goes on and on. I can’t technically speak to the medical benefits, but Albus has certainly been a huge part of lessening my stress and anxiety.

This has been especially true these last few months. He greets me at the door every night after work and is usually right there when I wake up in the morning. He is very attentive as well. He knows when I need a little extra lovins and is happy to provide. He also lets me know when he wants some alone time. For example, I know that when he is laying on the top of his cat tree, he doesn’t like to be pet or bothered. Since moving back into my moms’ house, we have settled into a routine that works well for us.

I won’t say that Albus doesn’t have his asshole habits, because he certainly does. His most annoying one is eating/chewing through phone charger cords. He loves the shit out of phone cords. If I had to guess, he’s cost me around 15 or so cords. So while he definitely is an asshole sometimes, his strengths far outweigh his weaknesses.

I have three main self-care components and spending time with Albus is right in that number one spot. Nothing is better to me than laying in bed with him sprawled out next to me purring up a storm!

My other two self-care components are gaming and singing in the shower. Which, even when I am doing either of those, Albus is never far from me. He has easy access to the downstairs of the house through a cat door in the stairway door, so he goes down to visit my moms and the dogs quite often. I spend a considerable amount of time down there with them as well, however, the upstairs is my home base for now and where I feel most comfortable.

More on that to come so…until next time!

Love always,


Introductory Nonsense…

**Disclaimer!** If profanity isn’t quite your thing…this blog definitely isn’t your thing either. Thanks for stopping by!!

Glad that’s out-of-the-way! I’m Caitie and welcome to my blog!


I’m just going to go over the basic introductory shit that will give you the rundown on my life thus far. First things first, I suppose would be the purpose of my blog. This blog is going to be a daily life/lifestyle blog following my personal life. I am aiming to use this as a therapeutic experience. My therapist (I’m a huge fan of self-care) keeps suggesting that I write in a journal. I’ve honestly tried journaling before, and I never seemed to stick with it. I got to thinking one day after therapy and thought that if my experience or story could resonate with or help someone else, then maybe it’s worth putting out there.

Current Situation:

  • Left an abusive fiancé
  • Moved myself and my cat back in with my parents
  • Filed for bankruptcy
  • Working as a direct care staff at a psychiatric residential program

Might as well go in order. After college, I moved to Worcester, Massachusetts for a change of scenery from central Pennsylvania. Shortly after, I met a guy. One thing led to another and boom…in love. I fell fast and I fell fucking hard. He knew all the right things to say and all the right things to do in order for a gal to swoon. I had a shitty landlord and ended up moving in with this guy way too soon. Fast-forward a year and a half and we’re engaged. In that time, his true personality came out and it was not a good one. More on that to come, though since I’m such a nice person, I will respect his privacy (Full disclosure being that I know some people who read this will know who he is and will ask that they do the same). 

Finally said no more to the fiancé and moved back to Gettysburg, PA. I now live in the upstairs of my moms’ house with my fur child, Albus. It’s definitely had its struggles but the setup is nice. I have the whole upstairs to myself with Albus and have everything but a stove. My mini fridge from college is getting good use. My mom’s wife comes upstairs to shower on the weekdays before work because its easier for the two of them to get ready in separate bathrooms. I just go with it.

Not even going near the shitty bankruptcy part. I’m going to wait until the process is completely done then post about my full experience.

My job can be stressful as hell! However, it can also be very rewarding. While I can’t go into too much detail when talking about my job due to HIPPA laws and such, it’s such a huge part of my life so it will inevitably make its way into the blog.

I am on my way to healing my heart and my soul. I know it will not be an easy or a short journey, but I know I have great things ahead in my life. Not at all sure what, but who doesn’t love a surprise?!

While this is a basic rundown of my current life, I do hope you come back for more. Throughout my blog journey I hope to delve deeper into my soul and bring out my past experiences while relating to what’s going on out in the world. Which is a world I very much want to go out and see. Hang tight with me while I work to build a successful presence within the blog community!

Also, it took me about 5ish hours to write this due to getting distracted from catching up on The Walking Dead.

Love always,