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All Time Low's New Single 'Dirty Laundry' Comforts Me When I'm Depressed

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All Time Low recently released their latest single called “Dirty Laundry” and it’s something that has deeply affected me over the last few days. It’s no secret music can have a huge impact on a person and I think it’s safe to say when a song has such an impact, it’s important to pay attention. In general, ATL has released music that has had a huge emotional influence on me over the last few years.

When I heard the song “Missing You” for the first time, I burst into tears because it was a reminder that even when my depression gets bad, I can make it through and there will be people waiting for me on the other side, ready to give me love and support.

Now don’t lose your fight, kid,
It only takes a little push to pull on through,
With so much left to do,
You’ll be missing out and we’ll be missing you.

Any time I listen to “Guts” or “Weightless,” a wave of nostalgia washes over me and I feel like anything is possible.

Lie awake and dream of the endless possibilities
Catch my breath and go for it. (“Guts”)

Maybe it’s not my weekend but it’s gonna be my year. (“Weightless”)

When I listen to “Kids in the Dark,” I get the feeling maybe I’m not alone.

They left us alone
The kids in the dark
To burn out forever
Or light up a spark
We come together
State of the art
We’ll never surrender
The kids in the dark.

But “Dirty Laundry” was different, partially because the band was writing from a different perspective than their previous albums. This is what the lead singer, Alex Gaskarth, said about writing their latest album “Last Young Renegade”:

“I wondered what it might be like to write about myself if I wasn’t the one standing in my shoes. Who am I from the other side of the mirror? I tried to change perspective in my approach to writing and center in on all of the different versions of me that other people might have met over the years, through the ups and the down, in the public eye and behind closed doors. Would I like this person? Do I like this person? Do I even recognize this person anymore?”

It’s because of this that the “Dirty Laundry” lyrics resonated so well with me. When you’re asking yourself whether or not you like the person you are in other people’s eyes, it can bring up a lot of self-doubt, particularly with mental illnesses like depression and anxiety lurking in the background.

I don’t believe in saints
They never make mistakes.

There’s always pressure to be perfect, but human nature is all about making mistakes, screwing up and trying all over again. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s a comfort to hear the renunciation of perfection, just because mistakes are all too common and real. Without mistakes, there wouldn’t ever be progress towards something better and isn’t that the whole point?

Who am I to tell you that you need to change? 

People tend to act as though they have the authority to point out others’ flaws, but everyone is flawed and imperfect. Change is something a person must decide upon for themselves.

Her closet’s such a mess
Filled up with all the skeletons she’s kept. 

Mistakes, pain, fears and secrets may go unseen, but they exist in the back of everyone’s mind–in their “closet,” out of view from everyone else. It’s normal.

Dirty laundry is piling in her room.

Whether or not this is a direct representation of living with depression, I’m unsure, but it definitely seems plausible. When depression overwhelms me, not only do my emotions become overwhelming, but it physically manifests in piles of dirty laundry. I’ll wear the same outfit for a week straight  even though it may make me feel gross, worthless and lazy.

Dirty laundry looks good on you. 

I’m still worth something. I may have made mistakes and I may be overwhelmed by life, but I’m still a valuable human being. I still matter, despite the fact I haven’t showered in a few days.

So, maybe I’m reading too much into the lyrics of the song, but that’s OK. The whole point of music is to find a meaning in it that resonates with you and I certainly did that. Whether or not “Dirty Laundry” is a metaphor for accepting myself, mental illness and all, I still am grateful I can listen to this song and feel reassured.

My dirty laundry looks good on me, even if it doesn’t smell quite as good.

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Photo via All Time Low Facebook page.

Originally published: March 3, 2017
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