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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Disappointingly Satisfying


After graduating high school, I moved from Amarillo, Texas to Aurora, Colorado – having previously resided in the latter between fifth and seventh grade. While trying to figure out what I was going to do after graduation, I used rap as a means of coping with disappointment I experienced in regards to my irrational beliefs about life.


During that time, I tuned in to hip hop shows on MTV and BET. When discovering new artists to whom I hadn’t been exposed when living in the South, I’d jot down the names of various rappers and songs.


Although the Internet was out by that point, it was still in its infancy. Livestreaming wasn’t available, nor was the ability to download musical content to the degree by which one can acquire full discographies in modernity.


In order to get the latest and greatest tunes, an individual was limited by monetary resources. If I couldn’t afford an album or cassette single, I’d face the challenge of finding alternative means to fulfill my desires.


Even with that, I was disappointed by my unhelpful beliefs about how life shouldn’t have had barriers to accessing my main source of coping. Still, I could’ve waited patiently by a boombox in hopes of recording non-explicit radio versions of songs.


My unproductive beliefs about that option also led to disappointment, because I wanted the album version of songs and not tracks with explicative words bleeped out or faded over with the sound of a record scratch. Fortunately, I discovered another method of getting what I wanted. 


There were a number of DJs who operated out of record stores across Aurora and Denver. Taking my list of artists and songs to a local DJ, I negotiated a deal whereby I’d pay a set amount of money for a mixtape that included each of my desired tracks.


After about a week, I returned to the record shop and spoke with the DJ. He informed me that while none of my requested songs were featured on the mixtape, he was certain I’d be satisfied with his selections.


“This is terrible,” I thought, “How can he take advantage of me like this? I paid money for an agreed-upon track list. Ugh, I can’t stand people who back out of deals!” Given my unfavorable beliefs, I was more than disappointed – I was angry.


Because I’d already paid for the first installment of the DJ’s Milk & Honey mixtape, and he assured me I couldn’t get a refund, I begrudgingly took the tape home. After my anger subsided, I was once again disappointed by my self-disturbing beliefs.


“I wish people honored their word, though I’ll give this Milk & Honey garbage a listen,” I thought. Grumbling as I inserted the mixtape into my Walkman, I discovered artists I’d never before known existed.


Lyrics from artists such as Bahamadia, O.C., Fat Joe, Raekwon, and Heltah Skeltah filled my mind and challenged the boundaries of my rap preferences. Milk & Honey was the mixtape I’d never known that I wanted, though it was precisely what was required at that time in order to broaden my musical perspective.


Disappointment quickly gave way to satisfaction – which was also a consequence of my beliefs. I told myself, “I was wrong about this Milk & Honey mixtape! I likely wouldn’t have heard of these East Coast rappers and lyricists, if not for a DJ who refused to give me what I wanted.”


In short order, I returned to the record spot and requested another mixtape. The DJ laughed and told me to be patient, because he was already working on Milk & Honey Vol. 2.


At that time, I was delivering packages for the United Parcel Service during the day and sorting bulk mail for the United States Postal Service by night – both seasonal positions. To help keep me awake and motivated, I listened to mixtapes from the record store.


The personal anecdote described herein relates to a perspective shift used by the ABC model of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). Essentially, this model maintains that when we believe something unhelpful about an activating event, our assumption leads to unpleasant consequences.


By disputing the inflexible beliefs we use – or, at minimal, when we unconditionally accept these occurrences – our adaptive beliefs can then produce more desirable consequences. In my case, receipt of the Milk & Honey mixtape was disappointingly satisfying once I shifted my perspective.


If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.


As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.


At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!



Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW




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