Pop for Mental Health
Life has not been easy on me over the last couple of years. I say on, not for, on purpose. Some of the difficulties have been caused by my own choices, but then there has also been a bucketload of horse manure dropped on top that had little to do with me and a whole lot more to do with the decision made by other people. There has also been a heck of a lot of what I can only assume is karmic retribution for some horrible crime in a past life.
I let all of this wreckage drag me down into a stupor.
Most days I sat in an airless, stale apartment staring at the ceiling fan. I allowed these problems to dictate my personal sense of self-worth. Bad idea all around. It was as though I kept trying and trying to dig myself out of a hole I had a lot of responsibility for creating, but I felt like I couldn’t.
Here is the truth though, it was not that I couldn't climb out of the darkness, it was that I had never had to struggle that hard before. In my life it had felt like everything came easily, good grades, decent jobs, wonderful child, etc. The reason my experiences felt easy was because they were based in my refusal to make choices. By not actively making decisions, I was still passively choosing to let it all wash over me and take me out to sea.
Those weeks, months even, that I spent staring at that ceiling fan were a choice too.
At some point, something clicked in my brain and I realized how far down I had let myself go. For a woman who had never had to fight for anything, I realized that I now had to fight for everything.
Learning to fight for yourself isn’t easy, especially if you come from a comfortable, secure childhood. But now I was 29, living essentially like a child but without the indulgence or the ease I had before. Getting out of my hole has been a two-steps-forward, one-step-back kind of a deal.
In the beginning, when I would take that one step back, it could take me a week or more to get going again. Now, I rarely slide back, I know myself, who I am and who I want to be; and a lot of that strength came from two different songs I fell in love with that helped me get to where I am now. And now is a happy place, a content life.
I was introduced to Ida Maria and her song Oh My God. when I heard it for the first time, I felt an instant connection. With lyrics such as:
“Oh my god
oh you think I’m in control
Oh my god
oh you think it’s all for fun
Find a cure
find a cure for my life…” and
“Oh my god
oh you think it’s all for fun
Is this fun for you?”
In Ida Maria’s lyrics, I re-discovered a power I had forgotten, and the song pushed toward finding a cure for my life. I had Oh My God on repeat from March until June 2014, when I decided it really was time for me to take charge again.
Ida Maria’s song helped me find the part of myself that needed to be in control. But the lyrics also started to drag me down a bit again, without the personal power Ida Maria desperately asks for, I stopped feeling the same pull to listen.
Then I discovered Ellie Golding’s Anything Can Happen. And I realized that she was right.
“After the war we said we’d fight together
I guess we thought that’s just what humans do
Letting darkness grow
As if we need its palette and we need its colour
But now I’ve seen it through
And now I know the truth…”
“Yes since we found out
Since we found out
That anything could happen
Anything could happen…”
Credit — directlyrics.com
She was right; anything could happen if I stopped letting darkness grow. From August to October 2014, I played this song everyday, multiple times, and I stopped letting the darkness grow and began believing in my ability to determine the life I wanted. Anything could happen, I just needed to start making it happen the way I wanted to.
I can’t make everything I want in life happen perfectly; there are so many other factors, people, choices, in the equation. I can embrace my own authority though and that is all the power I need.