I often have this song on repeat because it touches me so deeply every time I hear it. In fact, I very often have the artist, Lana Del Rey, on repeat (Honeymoon is my favorite album). Today, though, as sometimes happens, Heroin came on and I felt the tears well up in my eyes. Maybe it is the raw emotion in the song’s undertones. Maybe it is the bittersweetness of the lyrics that express both hope and regret. Maybe it was because, at that moment, I was a few minutes away from an individual therapy session and I could not only feel the song, but also feel myself in it.
Listen here: https://youtu.be/KA1dUubMjQ0
Now read the rest:
How do you feel right now? Music and lyrics have different interpretations and it is important to listen with one’s whole self. This one makes me think of my battle with mental health, a battle I am currently in the bloody midst of. I consider “heroin” a metaphor for just about any struggle anyone could be enduring. In my case, it’s keeping my mind right. “Writing in blood on my walls and shit.” It made me think: How much time do we spend waiting, refusing to change, or both?
There are some people that will deny they ever have any sort of problem. They’re not awake. Everyone has something. The rest of us are in a perpetual, internal battle. Did I make the right career choice? Did I fall in love with the right person? What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? Are therapy and medication the only means by which I can be happy? Can I overcome addiction?
My question to you, and to myself: Are you ready to stop, assess, and possibly take a risk? “It’s hard to leave when absolutely nothing’s clear.” So, how much time has gone by before we realize that we’re about to retire from a job we never enjoyed? That we were with and tried to love someone for all the wrong reasons and wrapped that thread around our fingers because we feared our individuality? That we’ve focused on our internal mediocrity and never let shine our full potential, the gems we refuse to find in ourselves? How long did we wait to get help, if we ever did?
“The facts of life make it hard to dream.” As a result, many of us fail to know our own self-worth. We, myself included, are beaten down by depression, anxiety and our worst enemy: ourselves. People always talk about romanticized views through rosy-colored glasses. Have some of us romanticized ourselves? It could be that, in our audaciousness, we fail to see how we are toxic to ourselves in others. It could also be that we recognize our toxicity, our troubles, or simply just that we need help with something, but we’re afraid to tell or ask.
Mental health and substance abuse still have strong social stigmas associated with them. We often do not get the help we need because we’re afraid of the repercussions or judgment of others. People seem to think it’s easy to just be happy, cheer up. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sick of it.”
But you know what? Who gives a shit what people think? I suffer from depression. I suffer from anxiety. I have a little OCD in the mix there. “Don’t know what it is that makes my head get crazy.” I currently attend both individual and group therapy. Finally, at 32, I recognize the level of courage it takes to admit you have a problem, seek help, and make a change. It does not make me delicate. It does not make me week. I’m switching out “heroin” for “marzipan” and it’s a struggle, but I can do it.
So whether it’s finding what gives me fulfillment in life or my career, recognizing my accomplishments, or making the difficult choices and taking a risk, I can overcome this. “Makes me think that I can change all my evil ways and shit.”
I need you, though. Not to fix me or treat me like I’m fragile. Just sometimes say, “Hey, Lauren… How are you?” I might “tell you everything’s ok.” That might be the truth. I might be lying.
In either case, I’m glad you asked.
“I hope that I come back one day to tell you that I’ve really changed.”