If Only You’d Love Yourself

If Only You’d Love Yourself

by Dustin Paul

 Music helped me through some of the toughest times of my depression. I’m a young adult now and I’ve been clinically depressed most of my life. Things got dark and weird when I was about 8-years old. I’d be on the floor in anguish, crying, saying I wanted to die. My parents would cry with me. I mean, looking back, how does someone deal with that? It’s not the first thing to come to mind, that your child of 8 or 9 is suffering from clinical depression. And while I felt different, I didn’t know why or what it was. My parents eventually took me to a professional and I got help but I also discovered that I could help myself.  

Music was, and still is, my safe space. I’ve been playing music since adolescence. As a teenager, I spent a lot of time on my own playing video games, secluding myself after school, where I was often bullied. My parents were worried and made me take guitar lessons. Despite my hesitation, I soon found my calling – as well as one of my important mental health supports.  

For me, each song or piece of music that I work on is a kind of support tool and in the same way that I make sure now to encompass myself with encouraging, loving people (like my parents), I surround myself with the supportive sounds of music. 

My depression comes on like a pair of distorted glasses placed on my face, perverting my view, and making everything feel clouded and hopeless. When I’m struggling, a part of me – perhaps that part that shows love and compassion – is able to step outside of that murkiness and look forward. My new song, If Only You’d Love Yourself, touches on self-love and how it’s important to let go and give yourself grace. 

To get the picture, to see from afar 

Whatever’s holding onto you 

You’ve got to cut it loose 

 The song is an exploration of mental health, my own and anyone else’s. The video features everyday people holding placards that say things like: ‘Sometimes I feel worthless’ or ‘I’m always anxious’ or ‘I have too much rage’. They’re things we think and feel but don’t always express because of social norms and expectations. We come across these people every day and don’t even realize the pain they are in.   

While I collaborated with other people on this song, it really hit home for me, for my brand and what I want to represent with music. The lyrics are meant to be hopeful, inspiring and uplifting. And I realize how the concept of the song – if only we’d love ourselves things would be great – is kind of ridiculous but at the same time it’s a true, simple statement that I believe resonates with everyone. 

Cause with a love like that 

You’d change the world and it would love you back 

And with a love like yours 

You’d save somebody who could save one more 

I suffer from depression and anxiety and while I haven’t been hiding my condition all these years, I felt it was time to open up and write and produce a song like this. It seemed like the right moment to share and by writing this personal story for ADAA and releasing this track at a time when the field of mental health needs so much support, I hope I can make an impact. One song at a time. 

The video premieres at 5:45pm EST on February 7. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BMtrWCDCSQ

Read the full lyrics here: http://www.dustinpaulmusic.com/if-only-youd-love-yourself-lyrics/

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