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The Lifehouse Song That Relates to My Depression Regarding Loss

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The first time I ever heard the song “From Where You Are” by Lifehouse, I was on a school trip in a foreign country at the age of 17. We were staying in a hotel; a group of my friends and I were sitting on the beds in our room, chatting with music on in the background.

The lyrics were so profound that they filtered through our rowdy conversations and ceased to be background noise. Suddenly, all I could hear were the words: “I miss the years that were erased, I miss the way the sunshine would light up your face, I miss all the little things I never thought that they’d mean everything to me.”

All I remember is getting up and walking out the room. I found an empty room on the same floor which was used for meetings and curled up in a ball in the corner, sobbing.

My bewildered friends found me some moments later, completely inconsolable. Despite the reason for my tears, this is also a happy memory. I’d never felt such profound friendship. The girls gathered around me on the floor, some I was close to, others not so much, and they just sat with me. Eventually, when I had calmed down I told them about a close relationship that had broken down recently. He had been my best friend for over two years and we had told each other everything. I’d never had such a close non-family relationship before. We’d been through a lot together, speaking every night for hours on end and sharing everything that happened. He had been a constant presence in my life until he suddenly walked out of it and I stopped hearing from him.

Although we had exchanged “I love yous,” I had never conceived of our relationship as romantic until I heard those song lyrics. I’d never realized how close we had grown or that we’d fallen in love as best friends. Somehow, he’d become my everything and all I could do in my loneliness was replay every minor detail. I was struck by the future I’d always assumed and now would never have. I remember in minute detail how he’d be able to quote me weeks later because he listened so well. How he always knew the right thing to say or the right song to send me. How honest he was with his feelings. All the times we spent together whether working side by side, hanging out in the park, tranquil in each others company or socializing in a group with others.

In hindsight, the lyrics weren’t only about him and the deep loss I was experiencing and struggling to make sense of. It compounded triggers of my depression around loss and abandonment. The main trigger for my depression (although not the only contributing factor) had been the death of my grandmother to cancer a few years earlier. I had struggled to watch her fade away whilst the illness erased the vibrant grandmother I loved. To say I wrestled with her death was an understatement. I had always taken her presence in my life for granted and hadn’t noticed she had been the one person who I felt had always accepted me as I was. I never felt the need to hide from her or pretend to be anything other than me. This goes a long way to explaining why her death hit me so strongly, although it comes from years of introspection. Hindsight can be invaluable but often comes too late.

On the floor in a hotel room in a foreign country, it was not just a boy I was crying over. I sobbed for my grandmother too and all the people in my life I feared would leave me. It answered the voice in my head, my depression, which told me I wasn’t good enough and never could be. Those around me could never truly love me and therefore would inevitably need me. The words heightened my fear that not only would everyone leave but it would hurt like hell and I’d only realize too late that I’d loved people who perhaps never truly loved me; I’d loved too hard and too strong.

It’s true even now; I can see how lucky I am to have people who I know love me and who show me every day. I have to work hard at quieting that voice which insists on darkening my relationships with its shadow. Yet, I still listen to this song to remind me of the amazing people in my life who do mean everything to me, and it is never too early to show them. I endeavor to show them this every day.

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Photo by Verne Ho on Unsplash

Originally published: May 18, 2018
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