Depression is a reality for me. When I was younger it was hard to get people to understand. The reoccurring argument went “Why can’t you just make yourself go to School?” “Because I can’t” isn’t an explanation that anyone can understand. But that is what depression is. It’s not being able to explain why you suddenly cannot stop watching Angel reruns and get out of bed, or why you got on the bus to go to school but ended up sleeping all day on your grandmas couch. It is having the best intentions but being betrayed by your brain. I am not medicated, and the one time I was I got so anxious and low that I couldn’t function. So I have found other coping mechanisms that work for me. A big inspiration for me even writing this comes from a friend of mine who has a mental health issue and asked how I manage my depression. I went through my brain and made a list of what I do to try to stop it before it happens or how to live through the dark to get to the light… I work hard to fill my home with things that I love, and that make me happy. I have walls of books and movies, posters of art that I love, photos of friends and family. My fiancee is a big part of that. He is the thing in my house that makes me that happiest. But to be honest, the thing that really helps is my pets. They need me to take care of them. And having someone who is dependant on me for their well being has been what has kept me away from the darkest corners of my emotions for a very long time.
But something that I haven’t been leaning on for a very long time is music… I stopped exploring new things or seeking comfort in old favourites. I feel out of love. My phone is filled with podcasts, not playlists. I used to be the girl who made playlists for every occasion and every person in my life. I have had people tell me they still have cds I made them. And that friend I mentioned earlier told me how helpful the cds I gave her have been. She asked for another playlist to help with difficult time in her life…. at first I was hesitant to agree. Because I didn’t immediately have a list of songs to rattle off like I used to.
I don’t want to get to hippy dippy, but it has been an amazing journey of rediscovery. I forgot just how much a song can affect me. I also forgot just how deeply it goes… how a piece of music can become a part of my identity. Some things just feel stitched into my soul. Suddenly only being able to pick 5 songs for the dj to play at my wedding became a huge problem. I have more to say about the happiest day of my life than 5 songs Mr DJ-With-A-Light-Show-Guy. Having everyone I love in one place requires so much more joy than that.