Famous musician Elton John once said, “Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” Music has definitely been a constructive outlet for me to help get me through a rough day. There have been playlists for songs to get you through depression, songs to get you through anxiety, songs to get you through chronic illness, and many more. But I have never seen a playlist of songs to get you through the struggles and doubts of living with Apert syndrome. And trust me, they exist. Here are my top songs when the reality of living with Apert syndrome brings you down.
1. “Born This Way” — Lady Gaga. Gaga says it all. “Whether life’s disabilities, left you outcast, bullied or teased. Rejoice and love yourself today.” This song has been a mantra to me ever since I first listened to it. With its catchy tune and uplifting lyrics, the song speaks out to the truth the world has to see. We are all human and we are all born this way. Gaga’s self-empowering anthem has definitely helped give me the strength to see that our differences shouldn’t matter.
2. “Brave” — Sara Bareilles
I wish this song was around more during the period when my life was consumed with surgeries. Even if it wasn’t, it still provided as a useful boost. I listen to the song and I can feel what Bareilles is trying to say. You can be whoever you want to be and be able to speak your mind without having to worry about what anyone thinks of you. Let your voice be heard and fill yourself with the courage to be brave. Most of all, fill yourself with the courage to confidently say, “I have Apert syndrome and I’m proud.”
3. “Fight Song” — Rachel Platten
Again, this song wasn’t there for me when I had my surgeries. But it still counts. The lyrics are enough to motivate anyone and give them a purpose to keep going. After all my surgeries, they’ve given me full power to move forward from it and carry the strength and endurance left to never give up, no matter if people are still judging you.
4. “Part of Your World” — Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”
Everyone needs a little Disney in their life, right? Although I am not, nor have I ever been, a mermaid, I feel I can relate to this on a bit of a similar level. When I was little, I’ve always had a bit of yearning to be just like my peers. I knew I was different from them, and the reception I’ve been given all my life because of my Apert syndrome has made me feel like I was from a different world.
5. “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” — Kelly Clarkson
Although Apert syndrome is certainly not life-threatening, living with it has felt on some occasions like you have been beaten down and wiped out. People with Apert syndrome go through a fight every time they have to go in for a surgery and also during school when they’re trying to find acceptance and kindness among their peers. It’s a struggle because anyone with Apert syndrome can probably tell you they fear the inevitable time when they have to be wheeled into the operating room for a surgery, or when they’re trying to look for a good group of friends to sit with in the cafeteria at lunch. This song gives off the positive and inspiring feel that no matter what, we can become fighters and through every surgery we’ve ever had to deal with, there is a chance we become stronger.
There are definitely more that I can think of, but these are the top five that have helped me through some trying periods when my Apert syndrome makes me feel inferior from my friends.
If you have Apert syndrome and you feel inferior or are struggling with an upcoming surgery, just take a listen to any of these songs. They can really help lift you back up when life knocks you down!