Realizing The Beginning
The summer before my freshman year of high school, my family moved from our home of 13 years in a small Montana town to Austin, Texas. I went from living in a place where almost everyone had known my family for years, to a big city with a drastically different environment. As my sophomore year began, my whole life started falling apart without the support system I was used to having around me. In the early fall of my sophomore year I was diagnosed with depression. As a child growing up with a mother who was clinically depressed, I had started to resent sadness. I began to perceive it as nothing but a weakness, and to this day, I still struggle with that false belief. Up until sophomore year, I had been a happy-go-lucky person, filled with joie de vivre. Going from that to forgetting what it felt like to not be filled with despair was difficult to process. It felt as if my whole identity had been taken from me. I had turned into a person I no longer recognized as myself.
Being a good student was something I had been taught was essential, but throughout the course of my sophomore year I began to learn that sometimes you have to put your own health and wellbeing before grades. If I hadn’t turned my attention away from my own sense of pride in being a great student and onto my health, I doubt I would have pulled through as well as I did. However, throughout all the turmoil of that year, every time I found myself seriously considering ending my life, I would either listen to music, or work on my own music.
I’ve been writing songs since 2009, a few years after I held a guitar in my hands for the first time. On an especially difficult night, I reached out to a good friend of mine at the time, and she quickly caught on to what I was afraid I might do to myself. Standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes and feeling so incredibly alone, in so much pain, that you’re brought to the point of considering ending your life just so it can all go away is a horrible, and frankly terrifying experience. She urged me to do something to distract myself, and suggested I write a song to get it out. I began writing for myself, but ended up also writing for the people I knew felt a similar pain.
I know sometimes
it gets hard out there
don’t feel safe
nowhere to go
when you feel like you’re all alone
and you’re staring at the phone
praying someone will remember
you’re on the other end
That song was my saving grace, and it was that night I recognized the true power of music. It is by far not one of my best; it doesn’t rhyme really well, the lyrics aren’t very catchy, and the melody doesn’t have a memorable riff that stands out and gets stuck in your head. What Don’t Fall does have, is a picture. A picture of someone who has had so much pain thrust upon them it overwhelms them, yet still they find a way to stand up. The impact that song had on me was all the more personal because I wrote it, but there are thousands of people who come across artists and find a sanctuary in their music. There are multiple boy bands who receive fan letters telling how the band’s music pulled them through a difficult time. I’m not a huge fan of boy bands, but what those letters demonstrate to me is this universal quality music has of bringing people together. It is this quality that makes me want to write music, share it with the world, or work in the music industry, and make an impact on someone’s life.