Singalong! A Better Son/Daughter by Rilo Kiley

There is something incredibly empowering about being able to listen to the song that, in the depths of your depression, broke you down into a sobbing mess every single time you even thought about it, without turning into a puddle of brokenness.

I don't know if anyone else has had this experience, but the song A Better Son/Daughter by Rilo Kiley used to kill me. The lyrics drove directly into the heart of what it was like for me in my depression - feeling hopeless, lost, and empty, but forcing myself to put on a smile and get through each day - that I could barely stand to think about it.

I learned to avoid the song like the plague (but never actually deleted it from my iTunes, because why would I do that? Also a friend that I was secretly in love with put it on a mix CD for me, so I was holding onto that forever), skipping it every single time I heard those first drum beats and doing my best to banish it to the edges of my consciousness. So when it came up on a Spotify playlist today I instinctively skipped ahead - and then I realized something magical: I am not struggling with depression anymore! Or at least, not that particular kind of depression (I am, after all, on antidepressants, so I guess I have to be real about that). I can listen to this song, and while I feel that pull of remembered feelings, they don't crush me. Guys! The feelings didn't crush me!

by Rilo Kiley

Sometimes in the morning I am petrified and can't move
Awake but cannot open my eyes
And the weight is crushing down on my lungs I know I can't breathe
And hope someone will save me this time
And your mother's still calling you insane and high
Swearing it's different this time
And you tell her to give in to the demons that possess her
And that God never blessed her insides
Then you hang up the phone and feel badly for upsetting things
And crawl back into bed to dream of a time
When your heart was open wide and you loved things just because
Like the sick and the dying

And sometimes when you're on, you're really fucking on
And your friends they sing along and they love you
But the lows are so extreme that the good seems fucking cheap
And it teases you for weeks in it's absence
But you'll fight and you'll make it through
You'll fake it if you have to
And you'll show up for work with a smile
You'll be better you'll be smarter
And more grown up and a better daughter
Or son and a real good friend
You'll be awake and you'll be alert
You'll be positive though it hurts
And you'll laugh and embrace all your friends
You'll be a real good listener
You'll be honest, you'll be brave
You'll be handsome, you'll be beautiful
You'll be happy

Your ship may be coming in
You're weak but not giving in
To the cries and the wails of the valley below
Your ship may be coming in
You're weak but not giving in
And you'll fight it you'll go out fighting all of them...

Image Source: Randi Fukunaga, Wikimedia Commons

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