…I gave up doing a number a day, because I’m horrible at being consistent.
11. What song would you pick to be your anthem?
I don’t know for certain that I can pick a song that totally encompasses me and every facet of my life. I am a lover of music, so it seems like a slap in the face to something I love so fiercely to just pick one. However, I will go with what speaks to me today, in this moment, as I reflect on my life the last few years.
This song… Bones, by Young Guns.
The last few years have been really hard for me. I struggle with chronic depression. I was diagnosed with it when I left high school. Sometimes I’m fine and function just as normally as you do—better, maybe. I have really wonderful days where I am in love with my life. Other days my illness gets the best of me and all I want to do is stay in bed. 2013 was the worst year of my life. During that time, I lost my 16 year old dog… I watched as she was put down. I was inconsolable and when they asked if they could cover her up or put her in a body bag, I lost my shit. I angrily told them absolutely not and carried my baby home. My dad, bless him as he tried to comfort me the only way he knew how, tentatively asked when we got to the truck if I wanted to put her in the tailbed. No. I held my baby the whole way home until we put her into her “casket” and buried her.
I lost my grandfather to cancer. I can’t really talk about this much. But I watched one of the strongest men I knew apart from my own dad waste away to frailty and nothingness, to a man who didn’t know where he was half the time. I was in the room when, for the last 15-20 seconds, he looked at my Aunt, Dad, and Grandma, with a look that said it was time… and drew his last breaths as he left us.
I lost my best friend. No, she didn’t die, but I lost a huge part of my heart. A girl that had pledged her friendship to me (and mine to her) for 10 years. From ages 16-26, we grew up together. And it was mental illness and secrets that drove us apart. She left my life on my brother’s birthday.
I lost my job and apartment soon after in November. I felt like I’d lost my independence. I had to move back home to live with mom and dad, and took my frustrations out on them. At one point it got so bad that my mom threatened to kick me out with nowhere to go. Mental illness will tear apart everything that you love. I was lucky that I got my shit together enough to make amends.
So… this is a glimpse into my hell. In regards to this song? Well… I’d like to sample some lyrics:
Down under the night sky, I lay in wait
Praying to whoever will listen to me
I’ve fashioned my own cross,
Been crushed by its weight
There’s no stronger message
Than dirt in you face
We’re all architects of our own private hell
No one can hurt us like we hurt ourselves
But somehow… I managed to slowly pick myself up with the help of a few very patient, loyal, and loving friends. Friends that I owe a lot to. My new best friend probably helped me the most… not only for initially being there for me, but by introducing to a group of women that changed my life. There’s so much support and love in it… I can’t imagine how alone and lost I would’ve felt otherwise.
I know in the past I’ve said that I owe my success to a certain guy, or my best friend or other friends… but they’ve all said the same things, and they are right: I did this. It is because of me that I’ve turned my life around. And no… it’s not perfect. I struggle with my problems everyday. But I fight to win. I’m in another slump at the moment, in fact… but I’ll be damned if I let it beat me. I have everything I need inside of me to fight it.
They say the spirit’s willing
But the flesh is always weak
I found everything I needed
Right beneath my skin, oh