In the last six months I lost a lot of things that were very valuable to me. My freedom of choice, my mode of transportation, and my romantic partner were paramount among these. Forgive me for being vague as it’s a very personal matter and I’d rather not focus on the details. But do understand that these things were taken from me because of mistakes and/or choices that I made. So when the guilt, anxiety, and depression hit, it was monumental. In general, we metaphorically look at mental health as a spiral that we tumble down or crawl out of. Before this situation I found myself in, I was already a few steps down that curved staircase with a rather loose grip on the handrail.
At present, I’m largely on the other side of this, yet still (and always will be) crawling through the muck of life. Here and there I catch a break, though ever so fleeting. I’m closing in on the top step again with sweaty brow, tears streaming through dirt on my face, and bloody knuckles but, goddamnit, I’m almost there. When I wanted to do nothing besides lay in bed with the lights off and my brain shut down, I still had to trudge through life.
Books, music, and friends who pulled me out of my apartment looked like distractions, though they were actually emotional medication. Some days it takes every bit of energy I can muster to pull off a passable smile. The first half of these songs are dark—they’re the ones I’d want to listen to under blankets with my eyes closed. They’re the wounded friends who say “Show me your scars and I’ll show you mine.” You can always count on them to have a cigarette and a shot of whiskey ready for you.
The second half belongs to the friends who pulled you out of your self loathing cave. They can look at you, not say a fucking word, and somehow manage to make you double over in laughter. These ones make you see a teddy bear in the shape of the clouds instead of a rainstorm. And both of them are incredibly important.
Remember to check in on each other. Get out, tell jokes, ride bikes, and just cry sometimes. But above all, find what makes you feel. For me, these songs do the trick.
Crusades, “The Signs of the Times” Perhaps You Deliver This Judgment with Greater Fear Than I Receive It (No Idea)
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Shit Present, “Evaporate” Shit Present (Specialist Subject)
Arms Aloft, “doubledranopercocetnoice” Sawdust City (Kiss Of Death)
Western Settings, “Old Pain” Old Pain (La Escalera)
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Apologies, I Have None, “Love & Medication” Pharmacie (Animal Style)
The Creeps, “Cancer” Eulogies (It’s Alive)
American Steel, “Shrapnel” Jagged Thoughts (Lugosi)
Dilly Dally, “Desire” Sore (Partisan)
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Drakulas, “I’m Getting Out” Raw Wave (Dirtnap)
Bully, “Trying” Feels Like
Martha, “Ice Cream and Sunshine” Blisters in the Pit of my Heart (Dirtnap)
The Lippies, “Hot Air Balloon” Self-titled (Red Scare)
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Dead Bars, “Funhouse Mondays” Self-titled (No Idea)
Pinned In Place, “Radium Girls” Ghostwritten By (Razorcake / Avocado)
toyGuitar, “Human Hyenas” In This Mess (Fat)
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Toys That Kill, “Times We Can’t Let Go” Sentimental Ward (Recess)
*If you’re interested in what I went through and you’re not a dick, email me through the Razorcake site.