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  • margaretfmadigan

Is this thing on?

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Have you all seen this?

Demi Lovato’s GRAMMY performance of her new song “Anyone”, anyone? (heh) This was the first time she performed on stage in 2 years. She wrote this song just days before she overdosed in 2018. Previously, I hadn’t paid much attention to her other than my kids used to watch her on the Disney Channel and then she was tabloid fodder for a while.

I generally don’t like much pop music, I almost never get inspired by lyrics, and I hate ballads. I’ve also never been emo about music. I’ve never had that sad song I want to listen to over and over after a break up. How melodramatic, yuck. If anything, I release feelings of frustration with some Sex Pistols. But anyway, this song struck a chord with me, if you will. Hit a nerve. Made a connection. It hit me like an explosive fiery bolt of lightning sent from the heavens above. Yea, like that, actually.

It wasn’t just the song, it was her pure emotion involved in the performance. “Emotion” sounds like such a tame reference in this case. She put to music the desperate screams I have felt deep down in my soul at times… many times. Yes, it was my melodic desperation that I heard. Which in turn triggered a very personal meltdown replete with sobbing and dramatic fall to floor. Oh, I don’t expect this song will hit everyone the same way. Somebody out there will hate it, ignore it, love it, be indifferent to it, or say it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it. That’s the beauty of music, there is something for everyone. What one person may say grates on their last damn nerve, will be another’s identifying anthem… or just their favorite song to dance around in their undies in their room to. (What? Oh, like you don’t do it too…)

“I’ve tried and tried and tried some more…” That is what got me. Other than the “Nobody’s listening to me” part. And that part isn’t about, ya’ know, like having a friend to talk to, it’s about (to me) feeling that the universe is not listening, God not listening and answering prayers and still feeling lost. Add to that I don’t think anyone here on earth particularly gets me, either. I feel there are like 2 or 3 people on earth that really really really get me, and I get them back, but they live really far away and have their own lives. But even though they get me, I still don’t think anyone understands the exasperation, exhaustion, and desperation I feel in my soul sometimes. I don’t say this to get pity or attention, I’m just talking about feelings and this song.

Yes, I’ve been through some tough stuff raising kids by myself. I’m done talking about that because it’s in the past and it doesn’t identify me anymore. Read my book, if you want to know. Or maybe ask, I don’t know. I feel that book is not me anymore. I feel like I should write a new one entitled “The Aftermath”. Anyway, my point was I’ve been through stuff, but so has everyone else. Or not. I don’t know. Truth is I have suffered from depression and anxiety my whole life so half the time I don’t know if I’m going through some real actual crappy time or I’m just imaging it, creating it in my head. Ah, that’s the magical beauty of anxiety and depression, you get endless theater in your brain. To me it feels like the old “Confuse-a-Cat” skit on Monty Python.

Here’s the thing, some people have a hard time “cheering up”. If you know what’s good for you, don’t ever tell anybody to just “smile” or “cheer up”, that’s condescending, patronizing, dismissive and trite. Just don’t. Side note: whether a person has mental health issues or not, it’s annoying (possibly rage-inducing) because it’s usually said to females and it conveys the notion that we’re supposed to just smile and look pretty, rather than have feelings and thoughts or be taken seriously. A simple “I understand” or “It will be ok” or “I’ve got you”, will do.

Huh, “I’ve got you”, ”I’ve got your back”, that’s one I’ve never felt that anyone has. No offense to anyone who has really been there for me, but it goes back to the song. Sometimes a person can have thousands or millions of raving fans and still feel unheard or unbacked. Do know that most of the time when someone feels that way it’s not because they are ungrateful, it is because the depression/anxiety “theater of the mind” has it stuck in their head on an endless loop. When I was in college just out of HS, I studied broadcast production. It was 1983 and we used to physically splice audio tape together with an X-Acto knife and tape on a reel to reel machine to create one sound segment of tape that just played over and over. That is what I envision in my head of my thoughts sometimes. Please see a mental health professional if you feel the same way.

On a related note, often people feel that suicide is selfish… I don’t believe it is. I mean, all circumstances are different but when someone takes their life (in my experience and in my opinion) it’s not because they really want to die, it’s because they just want the endless loop of hurt, pain, voices, anger, whatever it is in their head, to stop. And they often think they are a burden and it would help everyone else to just be gone. We say it is inhumane to let an animal suffer with an injury or illness, so? Suicide is not the answer, but just realize there is so much behind a person’s eyes that you will never know or understand. Therefore, try to be kind and compassionate with others. Social media has enabled so many people to be self-righteous and judgmental… ease up on that shit, ok?

Anyway, my point was… I’m not quite sure what it was. Anyone? Is there anyone listening? Girl, I  hear you. And if someone needed to hear this today, you’re not alone, I hear you. And those who don’t understand, try and hear others and not just your own pre-conceived notions and moral high ground. ‘Cuz when you’re on your moral high horse, the fall is much further and harder if you fall yourself. Thanks. Much love.

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