I’ve never been a huge Kesha fan. I liked “Tik Tok” in middle school, but that’s about it. When I saw the article on The Mighty about her new song and its astonishingly close ties to mental illness, I immediately looked it up and fell in love with it. I actually had to double check and see if it was the same Kesha who wrote “Tik Tok” because the sound and message was so drastically different. All the same, I loved it.
I listened to it on repeat for about a week — I even pulled out my keyboard and guitar and learned it. I’ve always loved playing music, but I’ve been so busy this summer and my depression has kept me from gathering the motivation to pick my guitar back up. Because of this, I haven’t really played much at all — until this song came out. And when I played it, I remembered how much I love to strum the chords and sing the words (even though I really can’t sing). I remembered how much I love music and I remembered how therapeutic it can be for me.
As I was listening and playing, the pre-chorus instantly became my favorite part of the song:
“’Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell
I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell
I’ll just say this is I wish you farewell” — “Praying” by Kesha
I resonated so closely and hung on so tightly to each word. But, the part that made me want to fight my mental illness was:
“And we both know all the truth I could tell.”
We both know all the truth I could tell.
I have a lot of support, but no one has seen it all. No one but depression himself. Suicide himself. Self-harm himself. Eating disorder himself. They know that part of me best because they are that part of me. They are there when I’m sitting in the bathtub with my knees curled to my chest, shaking and crying. They are with me through my constant war with numbers — calories, weight, etc. and when I’m crying next to the toilet on my knees. They are with me when I pull over in the car because I can’t stop crying or shaking due to a panic attack. They are controlling my hands when I’m laying in bed with something sharp, whispering to myself over and over that I don’t need to hurt myself. And they were with me in the hospital when I tried to let them win. They know me. And I know them. We know each other very well.
And we both know all the truth I could tell.
They know all my secrets, as I know theirs. And when I hear that lyric, I don’t want to let my mental illnesses win. I don’t want them to get away with this. They know the truth I could tell. They also know I’m going to have to put up one hell of a fight if I want that truth to be told. But, I won’t be silent. I can’t be silent.
So, I’ll just say this: I wish you farewell.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.
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Screenshot via Kesha’s YouTube channel.