The Song That Helps Me Forgive People Who Didn't Help Me Face My Mental Illness


The song Tassez vous de d’là” from the Québec band Les Colocs helps me understand how difficult it can be to support a loved one with a mental illness. The song goes like this (my translation):

Move out of the way I need to see my friend
I haven’t seen him in a while
He was gone he wasn’t there
Last time I saw him
His heart was badly turned
His head was in a vice he didn’t look pretty

He had cocaine in his eyes
He had heroine in his blood
His whole body was leaning forward
He wanted to puke
He wanted to die
What does one do in this situation?
I wanted to run away

I left him alone on the edge of a catastrophe
Forgive me, forgive me
I didn’t mean it I didn’t mean it
I didn’t mean to abandon you in the roughest moment
I am the weakest of the weak
Not the toughest of the tough

(singing in an African language from Senegal)

I’m making my way though the crowd
Hoping for one thing, to see your face
Or to hear you scream
With your immense voice and your exploding heart
Help me, help me

I’m making my way though the crowd
Hoping for one thing, to see your face
Or to hear you scream:
I’ve had enough but it’s not yet an overdose
Help me, help me

These words get to me because though I have heard this song a million times since I was a child (it came out in 1998) I never realized the depth of the lyrics. The person feeling bad is not the one abusing drugs, but the one who should have helped but didn’t. Through my struggle with mental illness a lot of people could have done things differently, but instead of resenting them, I should rememberer they are only human.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via SergeKa


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Mental Health

Girl at the psychologist hugging a pillow and sitting on a couch

To the Psychiatrist Who Told Me I Should 'Find God'

Dear Psychiatrist, You were the very first psychiatrist I saw. I was young and in the early stages of my diagnosis. Just getting in to see you was no easy feat. Despite having a referral from my GP, I still had to endure 20 questions from your receptionist and many phone calls before she actually [...]
split screen of three poets

8 Brave Poets Who've Put Mental Health in the Spotlight

To honor National Poetry Month, we wanted to celebrate modern poets who’ve put mental illness and mental health in the spotlight. They say out loud words we’re used to hearing in whispers, and give us permission to tell our own stories — however we chose to. Thanks to these poets for sharing their words with [...]
hands in the middle

7 Mental Health Advocates Get Real About the Pressure to Seem 'OK'

When I heard about Amy Bleuel’s passing on The Mighty, I found myself frozen staring at my semicolon tattoo. I will never know exactly what was on Amy’s mind at that time, but I was stuck thinking about how we make it hard for our advocates to succeed. We are the people changing the mental [...]

Ways to Be a Good Friend for Someone With a Mental Illness

People with a mental illness explain how to be a good friend. Read the full version of 21 Ways to Be a Good Friend for Someone With a Mental Illness.