The Song That Perfectly Captures How My Chronic Illness Makes Me Feel

Music is my “thing.” Different songs speak to me at different times, and I’m currently stuck on a fabulous song called “Life Is Long” by Laura Stevenson, who is one of my favorite singer-songwriters.

Like all of the songs on her latest album, “Cocksure,” it features honest and sometimes startling lyrics. The verse that really speaks to me, though, is when she sings:

It’s not the last time that I quit
I don’t want to be sick
I don’t want to be sick no more
This is something that I’m used to
I don’t want to be sick no more

I had the privilege of seeing Laura live at a tiny concert in New Jersey recently. I already knew the song since I’m a huge fan of the entire album, but it was only when I heard it live that the words sunk in. Laura writes raw, emotional songs and doesn’t shy away from singing about relationships, depression or physical illness.

She is most likely describing challenges with a mental illness in this song, but I think it also speaks to being “sick” in the physical sense as well. To me, this song perfectly captures my feelings of being tired of feeling down, both mentally and physically. When I’m having a bad day with my esophagus, it also tends to be a bad day mentally. I’m more anxious, jittery or depressed. 

When Laura sings, “This is something that I’m used to, I don’t want to be sick no more,” she, like me, is identifying as someone who has faced challenges with being “sick,” in either sense of the word, for some time. She is used to feeling this way, and it is part of her everyday life. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want to get rid of that sickness. She’s used to it, but she’s over it.

This line is especially empowering for me. While I obviously can’t just snap my fingers and have my esophageal issues fixed or no longer be affected by my depression, I can choose to change my outlook. There are days when I just want to curl up in bed with a good album, such as any of Laura’s (really, check her out) and some tea. There are other days when I just don’t feel like being sick, so I go out, push myself and deal with the consequences.

Yes, I am able to get all this from a short little song. It’s funny how a songwriter can be writing about one experience, while the listener interprets it completely differently. This is just how the song speaks to me personally. It’s my own interpretation as someone managing my health, both physical and mental, along with my everyday life.

To me, that’s what the song is about, and I’m grateful to Laura for making music that is both personal to her, while still be incredibly relatable for her listeners.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

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