I used to believe that I was alone. That every day was 3 am, with no one around to see me through a hard time. No one could possibly understand my inner turmoil. This is a little snippet of my story to discovering how wrong I was.
Last fall while watching the tree outside my window shed its last leaves, I sat down on my living room floor. Moments passed, my eyes watered. A stillness began to hug me and a willingness to listen arose in me. Then everything changed.
Asking for help doesn’t come naturally to me as the youngest sister to 2 brothers. It’s in me to want to be tough, but when I sat down and took off my armor, I realized that perhaps the most courageous thing I could do was in fact seek help. So I began doing the work. I researched. I started reaching out to communities and people who were sharing a similar story of self care and healing. I began meditating. I began forgiving myself and others. I began to release my attachment to measurable progress. A childlike curiosity rose in me that had been suppressed for so long. My music changed. I stopped writing songs that were forlorn and started writing about my experience of healing, simultaneously wanting to spark that same fire for others.
Since that day, my relationship with myself has become much stronger, more tethered to compassion and acceptance. I used to censor my feelings of sadness and anger thinking that I was protecting myself, but what I’ve learned is that in order to find peace we must listen to suffering. It is a teacher and a friend. I am still learning this balance. It is ok to be sad, it is ok to be happy. It’s all part of the ebb and flow of being human.
In pairing up with ADAA I want to speak to this dichotomy of sunshine and shadow. I don’t believe that anyone should feel ashamed when experiencing anxiety, or falling into depression at times in their lives. There is so much research that is being done by organizations like ADAA that are leading the way with care that is personal and powerful.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month this May, I’m releasing a song I wrote called Tides on May 3rd. It tells the story of my journey through these contrasting moments in my life. Through my music and the work that ADAA is doing I hope we can further normalize mental illness and create even greater spaces in our communities for healing and support. I am honored to share my music with such an incredible organization and if you decide to take a moment to listen to Tides, I hope it reminds you that you’re truly not alone, and that healing is possible.
Check out ADAA's Songs That Inspire and Soothe website page for a list of songs that helps the ADAA community with their anxiety and depression. Have a song you would like to add to this list? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.