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What It Meant for Me to Go to a Twenty One Pilots Concert as a Person With Anxiety and Depression

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I’m a rather big fan of Twenty Øne Piløts (TØP), mostly for the meaning of their songs. Tyler Joseph, the lead singer, sings along with upbeat instrumentals, but with deep lyrical meaning.

Most people know them as the band behind the hit songs “Stressed Out” and “Ride,” but others know them for their message. “Fairly Local” is about knowing what it’s like to be in the depths of depression and having to be there for enough time to be “local.” “Stressed Out” is about insecurity, and wishing for the childhood innocence we had before the stress of having to make money. “Ride” is about how dying sometimes seems easier than living, but having something or someone to live for is the challenge of life or “ride.” “Ode to Sleep” is about dealing with the demons that keep you awake at night. Their songs all have strong meanings, which some people may not understand.

I found out about them when I heard the song “Oh, Miss Believer” from their first album, “Twenty One Pilots [Self Titled]” released in 2009. The song hit me hard as I was in a rough spot in life. A year after the album was released, my grandfather died from lung cancer. He meant the world to me, as he was the one there for me and guiding me through hard life challenges.

“Oh, Miss Believer, my pretty sleeper / Your twisted mind is like snow on the road / Your shaking shoulders prove that it’s colder / Inside your head than the winter of dead.”

He died in my favorite season: winter. I felt better knowing someone knew what it felt like. So, I followed their music and stories. When the EMØTIØNAL RØADSHØW world tour was going to be in Australia, I grabbed my money and bought tickets.

The show was last night at the time I’m writing this, and I never felt so alive. Getting to see the show was amazing, from the tricks to light shows and more. I was screaming like everyone else and wasn’t singing the lyrics, but screaming them out, my heart racing. I was so happy I started crying. They have been one of my favorite bands for years — possibly even my most favorite — and getting to watch Tyler rock out on piano and ukulele as Josh poured his heart into his incredible drumming skills was something I never thought I’d see.

I was so, so, so happy that even my anxiety didn’t bother me. The crowds were nothing. Screaming and jumping around is something I never do, but I did it without a doubt. I was not even myself, as my mother would say. She has witnessed me having an anxiety attack from getting asked simple questions that seemed too hard for me to answer.

Tyler kept asking if they were doing OK, but they weren’t — they were doing so incredibly amazing that words cannot explain. Once the show was over, I was left with a feeling that was stronger than my darkest times in depression … and I was also left with a lost voice.

I would like to thank Tyler and Josh for their amazing performance last night, and for making me the luckiest person in the world for getting to experience such a concert. Thank you for making me feel happier even through that dark cloud of anxiety and depression, just by listening to a simple song. Knowing people have gone through what you have and make it out is inspirational and motivating. You two have made me believe I can manage my mental illnesses and get through life without cutting it short.

Thank 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, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Photo via Twenty Øne Piløts Facebook page.

Originally published: April 5, 2017
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