Terri was diagnosed with Epilepsy in 1989. In 2003 when she was recording “The Art of Removing Wallpaper” she was not at her peak. “I was on medication for my seizures,” she said. “I was overmedicated and had flulike symptoms constantly. I was singing too hard, I developed vocal nodes, and I was never satisfied with my vocals. I was proud of the songs, but there were some, such as ‘Judgment Day,’ where I wanted to redo some lyrics. I felt like this record was the result of me not being in the driver’s seat because I didn’t have my wits about me.” She is quoted as saying in the December 24, 2012 article by Jim Beal Jr. in My SA, the San Antonio Express News. She continued in the article: “There’s definitely still a stigma about it, (epilepsy)” she said. “At a show in New Mexico, a sound man told the light guy, ‘Don’t flick that light or Terri will flop all over the stage.’ I tell kids with epilepsy, ‘You have to own up to the problem, and you can’t drive, but you can still have a life.’ I want to work so the stupidity will decline and empathy – not sympathy, empathy – will rise.” And rise she has. She had used music, writing and the arts to help her overcome her health challenges and thrive.
Own Your Own Universe is a 501 C3 nonprofit that Terri Hendrix Founded in 2012. It gets it’s name from a line in Terri’s song “Wallet“. Based on her “belief that all things are possible with a sense of purpose, a work ethic and a mission greater than ourselves.” Back in 1992, she taught guitar lessons as a volunteer to inner city teenagers at a juvenile detention center in New Braunfels, Texas. “Teaching a troubled child how to express their emotions through music has also had a lasting impact on me.” Terri explains on the OYOU website. Her mission she continues, “is to bring music, painting, pottery, dance and nature to those who would otherwise be unable to participate and enjoy the arts.”
The OYOU (“Own Your Own Universe”) is a community arts center project based out of Hays County, Texas. With roots in San Marcos, it’s a “Get-It-Done” grassroots operation that strives to get music and all things art into the ears and hands of folks that need it most. She explains in the My SA article: The mission of OYOU is “to develop and implement educational and therapeutic programs related to enhance spiritual growth and expression effectively and creatively in all media.” “OYOU is well in motion,” she said. “For me, it all started in 1989. I would get so angry when I had an episode. If there had been some kind of support system, it would have helped. “Now I’m trying to hook people up with other people who have the same condition, whatever it is, so the two can start talking to form a support group. With the center, I want to use music as a way to break down barriers. OYOU will be 100 percent handicap accessible. It will be small: capacity about 100 people.” Right now, she is looking for land to build the center in Hays County.
Want to help? Here’s a link so you can donate.
Teri uses her life’s experience to help others on their path, help them not only to succeed, but thrive. This song sums up a lot of things about being a woman she had learned when she was younger. Here’s what you missed if you didn’t attend the Unplugged on the Front Porch’s May 15, 2014 concert. Thank you Live Music Capital Foundation for this recording. If I had a Daughter.
How do you deal with adversity? Care to share your story or that of someone you know?