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Behind-the-Lyrics: The Sad Song

If you've been at such a low point in your life that you can't see an end, then this song is for you . . .

I wrote The Sad Song when I was about 14/15 years old.

I was upstairs playing on my guitar, and I started moving between these 2 chords and humming. After a few minutes I thought to myself "there's something here" and took the guitar downstairs to find my mum.

After that everything seemed to flow, I think we had the song finished in a few hours.

It's strange talking about the meaning of a song that wasn't 100% written by me. I have my own personal feelings that have gone into the lyrics but so does my mum and, although the core remains the same, the story behind it differs. So know that when I talk about the meaning behind this song, I speak from only my point of view.

I spoke about it in more detail in my last blog (Happiness), but a little after this song was written my family and I found out that I had depression. So basically, this entire song is my 14 year old brain trying to form my emotions into a cohesive sentence and (somehow) we ended up with a song.

Each day the world weighs in on me, I can't focus

I felt like everything I did required a ridiculous amount of effort and (often) it still wouldn't be right. There were days when getting out of bed was the most I did all day because I didn't have the energy to do anything else. It was hard to find an accurate to describe what was going through my mind. Often, I'd feel like I had to explain my behaviour to others, but I wasn't able to form it into words.

I spent my life thinking there must be more than this

I think I felt guilty that I wasn't functioning properly. Even though I didn't know what was wrong with me, I could feel that something wasn't right, and I think I felt bad. I was afraid of being a burden to the people around me, but I also had this deep frustration at the fact that my emotions were taking control of my life. I had always felt I was very emotionally stable (it's something I prided myself on) so when my emotions became unpredictable, I began to feel out of control.

I'm seeking perfect peace but my heart just sees boundaries

Most of you will know that I'm a Christian, and it's often in times of pain and confusion that I would pray and ask God for help, but unfortunately (during this time) I didn't.

I think that I felt ashamed of the fact that I was coming to God with emotional problems, I was afraid that He was going to tell me to go away and figure it out myself. So, not wanting to risk rejection, I decided to stay silent. I'd go to church every Sunday (and do all the church things in between) but I wouldn't ask for help. I'd pretty much sit there in silence and wait for it to end so I could go back home and lie in bed.

One of the things I've realised now, is that the only person putting up boundaries was me. I wanted peace and help, but I didn't want to ask for it. I could have asked God for help (and He would have helped me) but instead I chose to keep it to myself like a dirty secret (a badly kept secret as most people knew).

I'm not saying that I wouldn't have had depression if I had talked about it, but I do know that I would have made it easier on myself if I'd been open with others about it.

Can anybody hear me

One of my biggest problems during my depression was me believing that I was in it alone.

It wasn't necessarily that I didn't think that anyone else would understand (I knew people who also had depression), it was that I didn't want to be the person that 'burdened' other people with 'my problems'.

It was a stupid decision, one that I wish I hadn't made.

I was surrounded by people who wanted to help me and give me advice, and I shut them out.

Thankfully I had parents and friends who wouldn't take no for an answer, but I know that there were some people who stretched out a hand once, got shut down and didn't return because they'd believed me when I said I was 'fine'.

My completely unsolicited advice is this: don't go through this alone. Trust me when I say, there are people out there who care and want to help you. You might have to step out of your comfort zone and honestly say that you're not OK, but things will get better once you start talking to someone.

I know that I'm talking about this song in past tense but, if I'm honest, a lot of these emotions are still present. The difference is that I'm choosing to put to practice what I preach, and I hope you do too.

But that inner hope keeps pressing on. Have I found faith? Something deep inside me's praying hard that I'm not on my own . . .

The Sad Song - Ysabel Bain


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