How a Song From 'Hamilton' Relates to My Depression


Maybe it’s just me, but when I listen to a song, I listen to the lyrics the closest, desperately trying to relate to them. While I am well aware the song “That Would Be Enough” from the musical Hamilton is about Hamilton just coming back from the war to find out about his and Eliza’s son; when I listen to the lyrics, in my mind, I hear someone finding out about a friend or family’s depression, self-harm habits or other mental illness. I see conversations I’ve had in this song. Beautiful conversations.

Here’s how it plays out to me, with “you” being the person confronting “me,” the person with depression:

“Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now.”

You: You are alive. I know it’s hard, but you’re alive.

“‘How long have you known?’

‘A month or so.’

‘Eliza, you should have told me.’

‘I’m not sorry, I knew you’d fight until the war was won, but you deserve a chance to meet your son.’”

Me: How long have you known about this?

You: I’ve known for a while.

Me: Why didn’t you tell me?

You: I know you wanted to try to fight this on your own, but you deserve a chance at joy.

“Would you relish being a poor man’s wife, unable to provide for your life? I relish being your wife.”

Me: You don’t want this. You don’t want to get involved in this. I won’t be good enough, I won’t be able to support you from my end.

You: I don’t care about any of that, I just care about being your friend.

“Look at where you are, look at where you started. The fact that you’re alive is a miracle.”

You: You have been through so much. Look how far you’ve come. Look at where you started over five years ago. I know it feels like you’ve gone nowhere, but you’re a long way from where you started. The fact that you’re still here is a miracle.

“Just stay alive, that would be enough.”

You: Just keep going, just stay alive, that’s enough.

“And if this child, shares a fraction of your smile, or a fragment of your mind, look out world, cuz that would be enough.”

You: If one good thing comes of this, if you can touch one person’s life — that’s enough. The world better watch out because you’re going to come out on top of this.

“I don’t pretend to know the challenges you’re facing, the world you keep erasing and creating in your mind.”

You: I’m not saying I know what it’s like. I can’t imagine all that you are going through — all of the intruding thoughts and endless catastrophes that you can’t get out out of your head. The nights you spend hours ruminating and the days you can’t get out of bed.

“But I’m not afraid. I know who I married.”

You: But I’m not afraid of that. I’m in this until the very end. I know who you are, I know who my friend is. You are not the bothersome, too far gone replica of your illness that you think you are.

“So long as you come home at the end of the day, that would be enough.”

You: As long as you come home, as long as you make it through the day — that’s enough. I’m so proud of you.

“We don’t need a legacy, we don’t need money. If I could grant you peace of mind.”

You: You are not defined by doing something big, the amount of money you make or what you look like. If I could just show you that, if I could take this away, if I could just bring you peace.

“If you could let me inside your heart. Oh, let me be a part of the narrative and the story they will write someday.”

You: I know people have let you down, I know you have walls built up on every side, but please let me in. If you could open up to me, I’ll be there. I want to be part of your story and I want to see you all the way through this. I’m in this with you.

“Let this moment be the first chapter where you decide to stay.”

You: Things have been bad. You want to go. You want the pain to go away. But let this moment, here with me; let this moment be the moment you decide to stay. To fight one more day.

“And I would be enough. And we could be enough. And that would be enough”

You: And I will be that person for you. I will help you through this. You — right here — is enough. And I’m staying until you believe that.

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Image via Hamilton: The Musical Facebook


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