MAWD's open letter
Dear mental health,
I've stared over the edge of the balcony. I've stared at pill bottles wondering how many it would take. Intrusive, depressive, and suicidal thoughts that plague my mind more often than I'd like to admit. The cycle seems endless: Depression. Anxiety. Feeling stable. Depression. Anxiety. Repeat.
Thinking the world would be better off without me. Thinking how much of a burden I am because of how my depression and anxiety effects those closest to me. Thinking I'm not good enough. Thinking I'm not pretty enough. Thinking I'm not cool enough. Thinking nobody cares about what I do. Nobody cares about my music. Nobody cares about the things I post on social media. Why do I even try? Thinking about thinking too much... and then getting anxiety from that. It's a vicious merry-go-round of destructive thoughts.
But there is always one thing I come back to that keeps me sane: Music.
From teen angst, to heartbreak, to real life full throttle depressive episodes, music has saved me and healed me from it all. Music, the thing I always forget about how much I truly love more than most things in this world. That is, until I finally pick up my guitar again and sing those first few notes.
In this last year, the songs I've written have had a huge shift in content. I've been struggling with depression more than ever and suffered from some major health problems that left me unable to do a whole lot last year including work a steady job or simply hang with friends. Thus, depression set in and while the health problems have now almost been laid to bed, my mental health has progressively gotten worse. But music, sweet music, has kept me going.
And just when you think nobody can relate or cares or you feel so incredibly small and unimportant on this planet... I'll play a show and someone will come up to me after or send me a message and tell me how much they related to my song. Whether it's about their own health problems or battles with depression, or that they appreciated my vulnerability to share my struggles so openly, it always is that extra kick that wakes up my motivation again. And I realize that all of those destructive thoughts are just a side effect of my depression and anxiety. They aren't real. Someone cares. And even if they don't, I care. And fuck it, music makes ME happy.
Music business can be a cruel world for sensitive and passionate people. People will tell you that you're not good enough. People will tell you that you need to sound this way or that way. But, worst of all people will tell you that what you're writing about is "too heavy" for the general public. That you should be vague or tone it down so that the average listener can relate to what you’re saying on a less depressing level.
But that's bullshit. Music is meant to make you feel. Music is your truth. Music is meant to be created from your heart. Songs are born from your worst and best times. Music is meant to heal not only you, but those that listen to it. Music is our solace. It is the place we go to in our darkest times to lift us up again or let us release those pent up tears.. And without that creative control, what is the point? Music is the freedom we all have and the unifying force that brings the world together.
And when I think about those times that my destructive thoughts get the best of me, there's always something in the back of my mind whispering "don't give up yet, you've got some music to play". And so once again, music saves me.