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Why This Blink-182 Song Is Part of My Mental Health Recovery

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Though I can say with confidence I’m nowhere near the dark place I was this time last year, sometimes I still feel too much. Simply put, recovery is messy. Sometimes choosing the healthier coping skill is easier said than done when you’re stuck in your emotional mind. It’s by no means impossible — I believe we’re each individually strong enough to make the healthier choice — but sometimes it’s just more difficult. Sometimes the thoughts just seem too strong and compelling (spoiler alert: I promise you they’re not).

I know many people may think it’s counterintuitive for a person like me to listen to “Adam’s Song” by Blink-182. I can see why you do. On the surface, it’s about depression and suicide, so a previously suicidal person listening to this song probably doesn’t sound like a good idea. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

You see, this song’s purpose is two-fold for me. Shortly after I tried to kill myself, I found out that someone I used to be friends with in college had died by suicide. The emotions hit me as unforgivably as a storm recklessly crashing waves into whatever is in
its path. I felt sadness, anger, anger at myself for being angry with him, shame, helplessness and, embarrassingly enough, jealousy. How could he kill himself? He had so much to live for, he could have been helped. Didn’t he know how much he would hurt the people he would leave behind? But then again, how could I judge him? I just tried to do the same thing and here I was, being angry with him.

I was drowning under all of these thoughts, the back-and-forth conversation in my head trying to reconcile my anger and jealousy with the sadness and grief I felt in my heart. Shortly after finding out about his death, I blasted, “Adam’s Song” through my headphones and just ran. That song played on repeat for two hours while I just kept running. I ran until my feet became the drums, my heart the guitar and my tears the voice.

And that’s when I realized the power of this song. This wasn’t a farewell to life song or a ballad about giving up when you feel too much. This was an anthem that acknowledged how alone and desperate you can feel, but was proof that this can get better. It validated
every crippling feeling that depression hit me with, yet it reinforced that I was strong enough to fight back. I remember after that run, I just sat down on the curb of the road and cried. Though my friend’s death still felt like a weight in my heart, “Adam’s Song” was a reminder as to why I needed to keep going. From that point on, I was fighting for myself and for my friend.

This May, it will be the first anniversary of his death. He was and still is a beautiful soul, and I wish I had made the effort to keep in contact before he passed. There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t think of him. Now, whenever I’m running and “Adam’s Song” plays, I run for my friend. When I feel the depression seeping back into my thoughts, I lie on my bed and blast this song. It helps me to feel again, brings me to the present, and reminds why I can’t give up on myself.

So that is why listening to “Adam’s Song” is probably one of the best coping skills I can use when I start to feel too much. For me, it pays homage to my friend and gives me the push I need to keep going. Yeah, some days really suck, and there will be times when we all feel like we just can’t make it through. But, like the lyrics sing, “tomorrow holds such better days.” Days we can still feel alive. So I’m going to keep pushing through despite those bad days, because every tomorrow holds the potential to be better than the next. What a shame it would be to miss that beauty.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Lead photo: blink-182

Originally published: March 21, 2016
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