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The Linkin Park Song That Perfectly Describes My Mental Illness

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Chester Bennington’s suicide came as a shock to the world. When looking at the lyrics in his songs, many are horrified, but not surprised. While the song “Heavy” featuring Kiiara might not have purposefully addressed obsessive-compulsive disorder, the lyrics are very relatable to me as someone with OCD. Perhaps this lyrical analysis can shed light to others on what it feels to actually have OCD.

The first verse starts off with:

I don’t like my mind right now

Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary

Wish that I could slow things down

As a person with OCD, it is extremely common for me to hate my mind and to feel as if I’m “stuck” with it until I finally fall asleep for the night. My obsessions stack up and drain my energy as I spend hours ruminating over them. It’s so overwhelming, especially when you have to try to continue about your day normally and complete all of your tasks. Sometimes you just wish you could hit “pause” and stop the world from passing you by as you worry your life away.

Especially relevant to me is the lyric, “And I drive myself crazy/ Thinking everything’s about me.” People with OCD often can blame themselves for things they have nothing to do with. I often blame myself for the illnesses of close family and friends as if I were the one to cause their ailments. How could have I given my grandmother cancer or my other grandmother diabetes and dementia? What if I accidentally pass a cold to one of them and they die?

Walking around all day, my thoughts are inundated with worries of me hurting someone else or causing a problem. What if I explained a concept incorrectly to my friend in physiology and they fail the test, causing them to lose their scholarship and drop out of college to live homeless on the streets? I spend all day obsessing over the possible demise of the world all because of myself. The world does not rely on me to ruin it (believe it or not), but it is certainly hard to keep this in mind as I shake hands with someone before using hand sanitizer first. That’s why I relate to these lyrics: “I know I’m not the center of the universe/ But you keep spinning ’round me just the same.”

In my eyes, your fate rests in my hands and more importantly, my obsessions and compulsions. Many may view a person with OCD as “looking for attention,” but this is far from the truth. We are legitimately anxious over what we do and how we affect others around us.

I’m holding on

Why is everything so heavy?

Holding on

So much more than I can carry

I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down

If I just let go, I’d be set free

Some days it just seems as if making it through the day without breaking down is an accomplishment. The burden of the obsessions and compulsions weighs me down, preventing me from reaching my full potential and living a happy life. As I go through the dreadful cycle of obsessions and compulsions like a mouse in its wheel, I often dream of an alternate reality where I don’t care about any of my obsessions. How wonderfully free would I feel for once? How can I just let go and live a normal life?

You say that I’m paranoid

But I’m pretty sure the world is out to get me

It’s not like I make the choice

To let my mind stay so f***ing messy

Often friends and family will try to help me by simply telling me to stop worrying or to just “suck it up.” They act as if I choose to be stuck in such a destructive and exhausting cycle. I would just love to stop it all, but it is not nearly as easy as they make it out to be. There is a legitimate cognitive issue that won’t be healed with a quick command from a well-meaning individual.

The weight of OCD may try to bring you down, but getting help can change your quality of life. Whether it be through talking to a therapist or being prescribed a medication, there is hope. The views above may not represent how OCD is for everyone, but it provides one example of how the disorder can affect the life of someone with OCD.

Image via Linkin Park Facebook page

Originally published: May 4, 2018
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