It breaks my mother’s heart to see me sobbing or agitated. She has always done her best, my pillar of strength and favorite person in this world. It made my sister and my father uncomfortable if I showed too much emotion, they are logical and practical and it was disconcerting to them that I felt so much.
There was this part of me that always knew I suffered from depression. I didn’t easily show it because to me it was a weakness. On top of that, I wasn’t ALWAYS depressed. You see, I had such an enchanted childhood, how could I possibly be miserable? Sure school was hard, kids are mean sometimes. But the worthy friends I did manage to find and most importantly my family were able to make me smile.
I guess this is also why there was such a heavy denial. Not just from myself, but the people that surrounded me. When it came out that I did indeed suffer from depression and anxiety, not only was it dismissed as untrue, but everyone that found out commented on what a happy person I was, how bubbly and lively I was at parties.
During the years I didn’t understand what was happening to me, I turned to art. Mostly words, lyrics, poetry, music (in every possible way). I turned to any form of expression to explain the hollow feeling I felt in my soul. I could not relate to anybody, no one truly understood if I burst into tears late at night. I don’t think it was a conscious decision to hide it, but that’s what I did.
I couldn’t figure out why no one could really see me. My own family refused to believe my mental state was anything to worry about.
Once I fully explained myself, the little details I never wanted my family to know about me, there was an understanding I never thought I would ever feel. An acceptance that I wasn’t depressed I just had depression.
But you know who kept me company whilst I indulged in my melancholy state, even to this day? The music. The words. The books. The art and anything similar I was able to access. Any time I got my hand on a pen and paper and any moment I pushed play, any afternoon I could escape into a good book, the uneasy feeling would pass and my heart felt a little less peculiar.
This post is not nearly enough to explain how grateful I am, to every artist, writer, poet or songwriter that showed me how to breathe through the confusion. Thank you for your words, melodies, and images and mostly for your passion.
I only hope to one day be able to save, if only one person, from absolute destruction by their own mind.
-Alex Turner, Arctic Monkeys
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
– Mos Def