Re: My tribute message from almost 9 years ago.

This is the forum for all Steve Vai-related discussion including Steve's albums, videos, performances and frequently asked questions.
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Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:54 pm

I'm not sure why exactly I am doing this, it probably has something to do with the anonymity that comes with a forum post and the notion of hundreds of miles separating myself and those who will read this. Back in 2005 I suffered the beginnings of a psychotic breakdown leading me down an incredibly dark path and I posted a message here in the hopes that by admitting to myself that there was something magical in the bond which I had formed with my guitar (Fire), my music and the inspiration I received through the compositions of Steve Vai I would somehow be able to emerge victorious over my psyche. It wasn't long after posting a message that I received a message from Steve Vai himself telling me that he had actually read the message and that it actually had an effect on him; it felt impossible: how could the man I had practically turned into idol, the individual who had affected me in such a positive way without saying a single word directed at me, actually find "inspiration" from the words of a 15 year old adolescent bogged down by depression. As far as most onlookers were concerned I was no different than any other 15 year old.

It was December 15th, 2005 when I received his message and believe it or not, I actually remember reading that message and running up stairs to announce to my mother that I actually received a personal message from Steve Vai. Thinking back on it now, it was evident that part of her excitement for me, was just seeing a smile on the face of her child who she had so doubted any genuine happiness still existed within. I remember that on that weekend, when I went to visit my dad, I not only could show off that I had been acknowledged by a man I revered as "great" in every sense of the word, but I actually for once had left my older brother speechless. The impact that message had on me back then made me realize that if my words could be a supposed source of inspiration for a man such as Vai, then maybe I could feel better, maybe I could pull myself out of my depression and do something with my life.

Unfortunately self-realization doesn't come so easily. The doctors called it major depression with psychotic symptoms imitating schizophrenia. Basically, I was so depressed, so broken, that my mind found it easier to create things that didn't exist (and continues to do), to blend dream and reality, than to cope with the real world. I could go on for pages about why that was/is the case, but I'm not trying to use the forums as my own personal shrink. Rather, I am simply looking to build on my post from 2005.

Steve, your words meant something incredible back then and I am ashamed to admit (but proud that I now have the strength to), that I squandered your gift of acknowledgement. This isn't to say that I place you on a pedestal (though, in a way I do), but rather to say that I squandered the fact that you acknowledged a 15 year old boy who was looking for help and he, after experiencing the high, like an addict, failed to realize that the only step forward would be self-realization and self-fulfilment and to be completely honest, I most likely still don't understand this at 23, despite being able to express it. In a sense, I am both grateful for your words, and sorry to disappoint.

By the time I was 17 my depression had gotten so bad that one morning, while looking at the myriad of pills I was taking, I decided enough was enough: I was sick and tired of living in the haze antidepressants and anti-psychotics put you in, I was tired of feeling lesser than society, I was tired of feeling empty, numb and insatiably miserable. I skipped class with my closest friend and got more stoned than I had ever been, I waited for the lull in my medication, that down moment where you remember that the haze is caused by the medication and that, in fact, the depression is still there and nothing is resolving the issues, and I popped a pill of amphetamines. It wasn't the first time I had taken them (maybe the third or fourth time), but I had never taken a drug to escape reality (other than marijuana, which, frankly, I don't consider a narcotic, but that's a tangent I'll avoid here). And that's when it began to happen: I forgot Fire, I lost my drive, my passion and began to plummet, falling into the abyss that was my mind and my masochistic obsession with self-destruction. The more drugs I did, the more depressed I would feel, so I would take more drugs to escape the depression and thus found myself in a vicious cycle that would take me almost 3 years to kick.

I recently asked myself if I regret taking those drugs, which brought about a moment of clarity, where I came to the realization that: if I could turn back time and stop myself from taking the drugs and instead continue with the concoction of medications, I wouldn't take the opportunity. Yes, my decisions ended up causing me to drop out of school, yes they caused my 3 beloved instruments to sit and collect dust for almost 5 years, yes they caused me to make horrible decisions, do horrible things, hurt people and stagnate in a life of mediocrity for so long, but they shaped me into the person I have become today.

That's not to say that I am cured of my depression. The sad reality is that I will most likely never be "cured" of it, which is something I have come to terms with, but instead I can learn how to cope with it a little better. Alas, despite the progress I have made over the past four years, despite being in a stable relationship, rekindling family ties and getting accepted into university, my depression is back and has been gradually creeping back to the surface for the past 2 years. To make matters worse, just last year my father got diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer which is now causing him to wither away.

I am not searching for pity, life has never been easy for anyone, nor should it be; if it were, it would be far too boring. I am saying these things to help illustrate my point, which I will highlight very soon.

Over the past few weeks I have been going back into my music repertoire, something which has been neglected for quite some time. I am ashamed to admit that I had forgotten the power which music once had in my life, more specifically the music of Steve Vai. Most songs have left an imprint in my mind as far as rhythm and melody are concerned, but it's hard to say if I actually remember the entirety of the music which I once played by so many other artists in the past. However, every song I had ever learned or attempted to learn by Vai not only left an imprint in my mind for rhythm and melody, but quite literally every note I ever played was remembered with perfect timing and every single damn note I remembered stirred up all sorts of emotion. My hands felt like they were literally going to jump off my arms if I didn't pick up a guitar soon.

I watched Steve's recent interview with Faceculture tonight and I felt a release I haven't felt in quite some time. To be completely honest, I cried.

To Steve:

The impact someone can have on the life of another is surreal and I think that no matter how experienced in life one becomes, they may never truly understand the extent of such an impact. I doubt that amongst all the people you have come in contact with you can recall the message I posted without searching for it, but that doesn't matter at all. What matters is that you took the time to say something to a depressed 15 year old kid who didn't understand that every life is precious in some way. The important thing is to let the people who have impacted a life know just how powerful of impact they had was. While watching your interview with Faceculture I took a moment to think back on what my login information to your forum was and it didn't take long to remember it all.

So here I am at 2:30 in the morning writing this up, gripped by the uncontrollable urge to express my gratitude. Although I let my guitars collect dust, although I let my music repertoire stagnate, although I still feel as though I float in that same abyss, I realized today that I had given up an immensely important part of myself and I only realized this through listening to your words and your music. The instant I come home tomorrow I will be replacing the strings on my guitar and playing until my fingers cry - the first time in what feels like a life time.

Thank you, Steve. There is so much more I would like to say, but I am losing my ability to focus on the perspicacity of what I'm trying to say as I am now incredibly tired. I think, however, "thank you" is the only thing I can say to express my gratitude; after all, that combination of words, though simple, is powerful and poetic.

And thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read all of this.

With "Warm Regards",
Jacob MacKinnon
Jenn Pix
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:34 am

I wish I could come up with something more, but I'm at a loss right now...
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 3:45 am

much respect to open up your heart in public as it take a lot to do that at any age .
I for one wish you well Jacob

take care
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kyle am I
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:19 pm

Wow. I don't know how to say it in any other way but wow. I really do hope Steve sees this.
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:54 pm

Thank you guys for your replies. I will admit, it was not easy to write that; bearing ones soul is never an easy thing to do, however, the anonymity of a forum and the facelessness of a username (even if I sign my name at the end) certainly helps and was, ultimately, incredibly therapeutic.

Once again, I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read this message as well as taking a moment to reply.

Thank you,
Jacob M.
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 4:50 pm

acob , I can not even imagine all the pain and suffering you've gone through your mental illness (condition would sound better?), But I can tell how hard it is to see someone so close to you (in my case my wife) fall into in the pit of depression. My wife 5 years ago was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (after our honeymoon she started with the most severe symptoms). Is painful to see the woman you love fall deeper and deeper each day and see when despite all the care and tenderness that you can deliver, finished doing a suicide attempt. Fortunately (like you) she could go foward but is a disease that never end and in my case all I can do is keep supporting it and loving her until the day I die.
Man, I wish you the best of luck in the rest of the journey we call life and I'm glad that Steve's music is supporting you in the day to day, believe me it was him who suports mine every day since I was fifteen, I for all that we share in this forum Vai of one form or another is part of our lives.


Juan Alvarez.
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:25 pm

Hi people, I don´t want to cry, but It´s me, I want to help you with something, I´ll tell you the truth. Doctors career is created by the farmaceutical industry and this mental disorders aren´t real, is only an invention for earning money and controlling the mind of the people. I can´t remember the name of this boy, I think that it was Brandon. Brandon Im not Steve Vai but Im connected with him and Im a special person and great composer too, Im a romantic and baroque pianist of Spain, maybe you´ll like my music. I want to tell you about my history, doctors are destroying the life and health of teenagers and special people with false ilness that are invented by the system, mental disorders aren´t real. Im a spiritual master, I had a real bad time, like you Brandon. I was a teenager with high peception and they diagnose me something similar, psicotic eschizofrenic trastorn, they put me in the jail, when Im saying jail Im saying the psichiatrist, they gave me drugs that destroyed my brain, risperdal, cypexa , prozac, all of this, I was depressed, I didn´t know why but now I know it. I have psiquic powers and this is real Im not an ill girl and someone special with an opened third eye and a medium. I used to talk with dead people they wanted me with them, they wanted me dead going with them, I wanted to die sometimes, I tried to suicide myself four times that I was dying, I was four times at hospital dying, I had a muscular ill, brain ill and heart ill that destroyed my social image and life ,after I went to some holistic terapy where a woman said me that I was a light reencarnation and that I didn´t know they power that I have and what I can do for helping other people like me and that things that I saw were real and this people wanted my energy and stole them because I was rich in energy , dead people was inside me , more than 40 and this was real, someone healed me too with hypnosis but after I discovered something better, the secret for being happy and for knowing ourselves, we have this problems because we aren´t trained for controlling our lifes, minds, energy, thoughts and for healing us, I learned meditation and reiki, you should learn reiki and meditation for being happy and healed and you´ll learn from yourself you´ll be healed, please search a reiki master and learn reiki and meditation and heal yourself you´ll see how wonderful is all and how special you are and you´ll be happy,Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words - Rei which means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy". So Reiki is actually "spiritually guided life force energy."

A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. Many have reported miraculous results.

Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.An amazingly simple technique to learn, the ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is passed on during an "attunement" given by a Reiki master and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of "life force energy" to improve one's health and enhance the quality of life.

Its use is not dependent on one's intellectual capacity or spiritual development and therefore is available to everyone. It has been successfully taught to thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.

While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not. Because Reiki comes from God, many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it.

While Reiki is not a religion, it is still important to live and act in a way that promotes harmony with others. Mikao Usui, the founder of the Reiki system of natural healing, recommended that one practice certain simple ethical ideals to promote peace and harmony, which are nearly universal across all cultures. You all need this, I healed steve with my reiki and I talked with him by telepaty and we made love, he gave me love and understood me and felt my energy, he liked the reiki that I sent to him, I healed him too, we are connected now and he likes me helping you know with this, Im doing this for him and for me, I should tell you what doctors will never say to you.During a meditation several years after developing Reiki, Mikao Usui decided to add the Reiki Ideals to the practice of Reiki. The Ideals came in part from the five prinicples of the Meiji emperor of Japan whom Mikao Usui admired. The Ideals were developed to add spiritual balance to Usui Reiki. Their purpose is to help people realize that healing the spirit by consciously deciding to improve oneself is a necessary part of the Reiki healing experience. In order for the Reiki healing energies to have lasting results, the client must accept responsibility for her or his healing and take an active part in it. Therefore, the Usui system of Reiki is more than the use of the Reiki energy. It must also include an active commitment to improve oneself in order for it to be a complete system. The ideals are both guidelines for living a gracious life and virtues worthy of practice for their inherent value.

The secret art of inviting happiness
The miraculous medicine of all diseases
Just for today, do not anger
Do not worry and be filled with gratitude
Devote yourself to your work. Be kind to people.
Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer.
Pray these words to your heart
and chant these words with your mouth
Usui Reiki Treatment for the improvement of body and mind
The founder , Usui Mikao If you don´t become spiritual you´ll never be happy, If you want to concentrate your mind being happier etc you should learn meditation and pratice it everyday, Im healed with all thisf stress has you anxious, tense and worried, consider trying meditation. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace.

Anyone can practice meditation. It's simple and inexpensive, and it doesn't require any special equipment.

And you can practice meditation wherever you are — whether you're out for a walk, riding the bus, waiting at the doctor's office or even in the middle of a difficult business meeting.

Understanding meditation

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Meditation originally was meant to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. These days, meditation is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction.

Meditation is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind.

During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.

Benefits of meditation

Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health.

And these benefits don't end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and may improve certain medical conditions.

Meditation and emotional well-being

When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.

The emotional benefits of meditation can include:

Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
Building skills to manage your stress
Increasing self-awareness
Focusing on the present
Reducing negative emotions
Meditation and illness

Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress.

While a growing body of scientific research supports the health benefits of meditation, some researchers believe it's not yet possible to draw conclusions about the possible benefits of meditation.

With that in mind, some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:

Anxiety disorders
Heart disease
High blood pressure
Sleep problems
Be sure to talk to your health care provider about the pros and cons of using meditation if you have any of these conditions or other health problems. In some cases, meditation can worsen symptoms associated with certain mental and physical health conditions.

Meditation isn't a replacement for traditional medical treatment. But it may be a useful addition to your other treatment.

Types of meditation

Meditation is an umbrella term for the many ways to a relaxed state of being. There are many types of meditation and relaxation techniques that have meditation components. All share the same goal of achieving inner peace.

Ways to meditate can include:

Guided meditation. Sometimes called guided imagery or visualization, with this method of meditation you form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing.

You try to use as many senses as possible, such as smells, sights, sounds and textures. You may be led through this process by a guide or teacher.

Mantra meditation. In this type of meditation, you silently repeat a calming word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts.
Mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation is based on being mindful, or having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment.

In mindfulness meditation, you broaden your conscious awareness. You focus on what you experience during meditation, such as the flow of your breath. You can observe your thoughts and emotions, but let them pass without judgment.

Qi gong. This practice generally combines meditation, relaxation, physical movement and breathing exercises to restore and maintain balance. Qi gong (CHEE-gung) is part of traditional Chinese medicine.
Tai chi. This is a form of gentle Chinese martial arts. In tai chi (TIE-CHEE), you perform a self-paced series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner while practicing deep breathing.
Transcendental meditation. Transcendental meditation is a simple, natural technique. In transcendental meditation, you silently repeat a personally assigned mantra, such as a word, sound or phrase, in a specific way. This form of meditation allows your body to settle into a state of profound rest and relaxation and your mind to achieve a state of inner peace, without needing to use concentration or effort.
Yoga. You perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind. As you move through poses that require balance and concentration, you're encouraged to focus less on your busy day and more on the moment.
hope that you like it and hope that you´ll start doing reiki as soon as posible, you are lucky now, steve will never give you this tip.I´ll send you my music but I´ll change the pics of the songs my piano teacher didn´t like them, it´s bad for my image, they were bad pics I´ll take with my piano for using, you´ll like me but I don´t do rock I play relaxing romantic and spiritual piano Im not a star but Im genius with music, search raquel palomo arroyo on youtube or I´ll send you a link when I´ll change the pics, maybe you were special and not psicotic if you are good with music as me :)
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:25 pm

sorry yout name was jacob and not brandon, maybe you´ll like to talk to me
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