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The Line in Kesha's New Song That Makes Me Want to Keep Fighting

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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.

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

Screenshot via Kesha’s YouTube channel.

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How My Depression Makes Me Feel Awkward in Social Situations

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It’s the pink elephant in the room. It’s the black cloud that covers me everywhere I go, and I feel it, even if others don’t. I’d like to be able to forget about it. Sometimes I try to pretend it isn’t there, but it’s sneaky and strong and always finds a way to make its presence known. What is it?

Depression.

How does my depression manifest itself in social situations? Well, it happens in several different ways. Some of those ways are blunt, while others run the gamut from mildly noticeable to quite subtle. The determining factors are my current mood and the comments other people make.  The more nervous I feel, the more likely I am to blurt out something that is much closer to the blunt side of things. For example, at a cookout with people I’d just met, I told them I’d recently been hospitalized for suicidal thoughts. I knew they were aware I had depression, so I felt it was best to “clear the air” and see if they would still like to be my friends, even after knowing the full details of my “dirty little secret.” Also, I have a dark sense of humor and will sometimes make jokes about depression at my own expense. I can tell it makes others uncomfortable, but I keep doing it anyway. It’s as if I am testing them to see if they truly care enough about me to stick around for the duration. My level of bluntness is directly proportional to the amount of nervousness or perceived judgment I feel.

Sometimes I’m around people who don’t know I battle depression or that I was hospitalized for a near suicide attempt. They will say things about “crazy” people or “lazy” people who refuse to “just snap out of it,” or they will talk about some “selfish” person who took his own life. Then I give them quite an earful, which, in all actuality, they deserve. Yet still, it makes for an awkward situation. I end up being the one who makes people uncomfortable, yet again.

Then there are the times when I’m with friends or at a social event in which I don’t talk at all. Even though people try to have a conversation with me, I find it too difficult to converse back. This happens on days when fighting my depression has gotten the best of me, and it’s taken all my energy to just get out of the house. When people try to talk to me, and I don’t really talk back, well, let’s just say that makes for some very awkward silences.

On my worst days, I turn down invitations to go places. That’s when I find it too exhausting to fight the depression and also keep up appearances. This leads to isolation, which only makes things worse when I finally do go out again. Plus, if you keep turning down invitations, eventually people quit extending them.

Being socially awkward as a result of my depression has been difficult and painful. It has cost me some friendships. Sometimes it makes me hate who I’ve become. I am working on it though, through therapy and with the love and support of the family and friends who have stood by me. I am learning to be patient with myself, and I am also learning to reach out to others who appear to be struggling. I’ve gained empathy for other people, and that’s all I ask for myself as well. After all, I feel awkward in dealing with my own depression sometimes, and I could use a friend.

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.

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

Thinkstock photo via IG_Royal.

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5 Reasons Why Depression Can Trigger Anxiety

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It is known in our modern society that mental illness isn’t just a fling or a phase someone goes through, but rather a real condition just like any other visible illness. Yet the fact it’s almost always invisible comes with a price in the shape of anxiety. But how does it relate to depression?

1. The stigma around mental illness.

People who haven’t faced mental illness tend to mistake depression as someone exaggerating a certain feeling, rather than actually acknowledging it’s a real illness. This actually drives people to be cautious regarding who to open up to about their struggle, when it should be totally fine to talk about it with anyone in your orbit.

2. Not everyone can handle someone with depression.

While it may be just like any other illness, it can be hard to deal with someone who’s going through depression. Mainly, this is because those with depression tend to curl into their own bed for days and might end up not answering calls. That can be when people start to leave. This makes your friend circle even smaller and makes you stress even more about any other decision you’re about to make.

3. The good days.

Now don’t let the title deceive you; the good days might actually be a helpful way to fight depression, but sometimes it simply doesn’t work because of the constant pressure you might feel to “act OK.” You might see people genuinely laugh, something you can’t do that at the moment, which leads you to ask: “Why can’t I be normal, just like them.”

4. Work/School/University.

While achievements can make you feel good about yourself, no one can deny the amount of pressure that comes before it. For a person dealing with depression, missing a deadline or getting bad grades might affect their mood, which eventually adds more pressure and keeps your mind buzzing with ideas of how you feel like a huge failure.

5. Insomnia.

People with depression sometimes experience insomnia of some kind, and while it can sometimes trigger creative thoughts, that’s not the case every time. Sometimes it can be a reason for negative thoughts, leading to falling into anxiety.

Depression can hit anyone, and it’s the fact anxiety can follow depression that makes it even more painful to deal with. So if you or someone close to you lives with depression, don’t hesitate to help or ask for help.

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

Thinkstock photo via SanderStock


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My Depression Is Like a Sun Shower

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What is depression?

I’ve heard it described a million different ways by a million different people. It is a “crushing sadness” for some yet an “overwhelming numbness” for others. It’s a “pessimistic attitude that can easily be changed” and also “complete apathy you have no control over.” It feels like loss and pain and nothing at all.

For me, depression is a sun shower… the cool rain on a warm, sunny day.

Have you ever experienced a sun shower?

Rain falls from a clear, blue sky. The sun shines and there’s not a cloud in sight, but you feel the mist on your face and watch the droplets flash as they fall. That smell, that beautiful smell of damp earth fills your nose and the flowers sway in a gentle breeze. The world around you is warm, light, summer and peace.

But it’s raining right over your head. You know there are clouds just beyond the horizon –the dark, looming storm clouds that send rain and thunder on the wind. And you feel their presence even on a perfect summer day. While everyone else enjoys their picnics and casual strolls through the park, you sit alone in a bubble… a snow globe where it only snows on you.

So when people ask, “What do you have to be depressed about on this beautiful sunny day?” tell them it’s a sun shower. That when all you see is sunlight, you can still feel the rain on your face.

And when all you feel are rain drops… remember to look up at that bright, bright sun.

Depression has a way of convincing me that all I know is rain.

But hope is my ever-present companion, like a shadow to a flickering flame.

You can’t have a sun shower without both the sun and rain.

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Thinkstock photo via phive2015

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The Symptom That Goes Hand-in-Hand With My Depression

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I was just laying in bed with my husband, when I got a sudden feeling of “awakeness.” I told him I wasn’t tired and that I was probably going to go do the dishes. He immediately knew what that meant. “Why aren’t you tired? Are you depressed?”

His questions instantly made me cry. I’m so not willing to admit I am already depressed again. I have spent the past year, being absolutely consumed with it. Sure, I had those “good days” here and there, but most of it was just a mask. I consider myself to be “high-functioning,” so a lot of people don’t even know I’m depressed. I have been depression-free for a little over a week, and I’m just not ready for it to be stripped from me.

But I only experience insomnia when I’m depressed. The two always go hand-in-hand. Never, ever fails.

You see, I saw a Facebook “memory” yesterday about my daddy. My daddy lost his battle to depression 18 months ago. Seeing something happy about him, threw me backwards, with immense force. I busted out the wellness tools, to no avail. My mask game was so strong, I even had myself convinced that it wasn’t going to happen. It’s most definitely happened. I successfully fought it off yesterday and most of today, but now, I’m sinking — fast.

I stayed in bed, in a state of denial. I impatiently waited for my husband to fall asleep, so I could go cry alone. He held me and said all the right things, but that solo crying time is so important for me. That is when all the depression magic happens. That ugly cry that soothes my soul. That much needed breakdown, after holding it together for almost two whole days.

A week of actual happiness and having the will to live, is not nearly long enough. Especially when you’ve just returned from an extended stay in the “Darkness Inn and Suites.” I’m desperately grasping at the rim, trying not to fall back into that black hole. The black hole that will eventually turn into poor hygiene and questioning my existence. I hate this, but it’s all I know anymore. I do not want to go back to that yet. It’s just too soon.

I’m about to wash my dishes, and think of nothing but those dishes. The sponge will be my saving grace and I will forget my brain is an asshole, if only for a little while. Perhaps a nice zoning out session will snap me out of this. I will eventually find my sleep and get some rest.

Tomorrow is fresh. Tomorrow will be better. I hope.

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.

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

Thinkstock photo via openeyed11.

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What I Want the People I Love to Know on My Dark Days With Depression

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The main thing about depression is, it affects everybody differently. Everyone is different. Every brain is different. Every time is different.

For me, sometimes I just sob. I sob for hours, I can’t breathe and the pain in my chest feels like it will crush me it’s so overwhelming. Other times, I just fucking hate myself. I hate the way I look, I hate the way I feel, I hate that I have no control over my thoughts and just want to fuck everything up. And then sometimes, I just have no energy or motivation to do anything. I don’t want to go to work, I don’t want to talk or eat or wash. I don’t want to leave the house. It’s not because I’m an “awful person.” I just have no energy at all to do anything that most “normal” people wouldn’t even think twice about. Today it is the latter. Last week was the second. I wanted to destroy every relationship with the people I love because, why the fuck would they love me anyway — or because they don’t love me the way I need them to or because I am in love with them and they don’t love me back in that way. Which of course logically, is absolutely their right and they should never be forced to. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt like hell or not make me feel like it’s my fault. The reason I think it’s my fault is because my brain tells me it is. I sometimes think, who would want to deal with this fucking disorder in my brain that makes me an uncontrollable mess.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have definitely felt myself slipping back into the darkness. I’ve stopped sleeping again, I’ve lost my appetite for real food, I’ve become angry and negative and I’ve lost my excitement and passion for my upcoming trip. I know it will pass. I know I will feel buzzed and excited again, but I know I won’t get there without you, the people I love.

When one or all of these types of episodes hits, it really puts a strain on the people around me. I am fully aware it can be extremely difficult to be around me when I am in a bad place. I really struggle to ask for help and to open up about what I need. Even if it’s just a hug or a night in with you, I automatically assume you will say “no,” because you hate me, because I’m hard work and being negative and angry and sad and tired, etc. It is a vicious cycle. Sometimes you will say, “Pull yourself together Cair” or “ Just don’t think those things.” Which I’m sure in your own way, is an attempt at being helpful, but if it was that fucking easy, I would just flip the switch and not feel it. I do not want to be living with this. No one wants to feel so incredibly full of emotion that they just want to scream and claw out these thoughts and feelings that are drowning me. This is one of the reasons it becomes difficult to open up, because you never really know what kind of reaction someone is going to give you and mostly for me, I hate to feel like a burden.

The main thing I want you know is when I’m going through this — no matter how quiet or angry or mean or unsociable or stinky I get — I love you. Please don’t give up on me. Please know I really am trying my hardest at that moment in time, even if you don’t think I am. Please know deep down inside I appreciate you so much and you are the reason I am still here, still trying to find the happiness in every day. You are the reason I am still fighting this, because you believe in me — even when I don’t believe in myself.

Lastly, I want you to know I am sorry. I am sorry you have to deal with this, but I am so glad I still have you by my side. You mean the world to me and I couldn’t do this without you.

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.

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

Thinkstock photo via Liga Lauzuma.

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