Depression Music or Fantasy of Suffering

Damien-RiceI suspect we all do it.  We listen to certain music only when we’re depressed;  not to make us feel better, but just to wallow in it.  Depression for me, is a break from mania.  I don’t get suicidal.  I don’t lack the will to get out of bed.  I have little baby depression compared to my bipolar friends and family, and I’m totally fine with that.  It’s that sinking feeling, like sinking down into a cool bed to rest.  It’s barely a depression, maybe just a lack of mania, and boy do I nurse it along.

My depression music is an Irish singer-songwriter named Damien Rice and 70s pop superstar Barry Manilow.  Of all the sad song writers, these guys are the absolute kings.  They sing of heart break, loneliness, unrequited love, affairs, regrets, rejection, break ups, and wanting to sink away from life.  I don’t truly want any of those things to happen to me, but I just want to feel a little bit of it;  a fantasy of suffering.513JmWuIleL._SL500_AA280_

I am a trained singer.  I am a baritone which means I can sing a little high and a little low but mainly just somewhere in the middle which means a can sing Barry Manilow and Damien Rice pretty well.  I am also an actor, which means I can experience the characters of their songs in a very real and strong way.  They say music helps you express your feelings in healthy ways, but what feelings am I trying to express?  Am I truly sad?  Am I quietly suffer and need a way to express it in a way that is not destructive?  I don’t think so.  I’m addicted to feelings.  WOW.  That’s it!  I love the rush of strong feelings.  I feel alive when I’m feeling.

This is the chorus of Damien Rice’s The Animals are Gone:

Oh, I know that I’ve left you
In places of despair
Oh, I know that I love you
So please throw down your hair
At night, I trip without you
And hope I don’t wake up
‘Cause waking up without you
Is like drinking from an empty cup
Yes!  First off, he’s been left because he hurt her.  He neglected her.  It’s his fault.  Second, he loves her and is asking for another chance; grace.  Third, he feels so bad and lonely that he wants to go to sleep and never wake up because his life is empty without her.
This is a real scenario for me.  If I hurt my wife badly again, I’m going to wake up without the dog and the cat or my kids.  I will be truly lost and miserable without her.  It’s like I need to go ahead and experience the mourning of that.
Here’s Manilow’s “Even Now” chorus:
Even now when I have come so far
I wonder where you are
I wonder why it’s still so hard without you
Even now when I come shining through
I swear I think of you
And how I wish you knew
Even now
This is a fantasy.  There was a girl from before I was married who broke my heart.  I was hung up on her for years into my marriage, but I have no feelings for her at all anymore.  I’m very glad I did not marry her.  But the fantasy does something for me.  Perhaps it is perverse of me.  Perhaps I miss the obsession.  There are other songs like this that I listen to.  Jesus Christ, when I have nothing to obsess over, I fantasize about obsessing over something?!  Wow.  That’s really fucked up.  No?
Featured_Damien-Rice-The-Blowers-DaughterAnd then there’s Lisa Hannigan, Damien Rice’s musical partner.  Many of his sad songs seem to be directed toward her.  She plays the role so well;  the role of being the girl he can’t live with and can’t live without.  I have obsessed over here off and on for years now.  She is beautiful and sad.  It’s all part of the fantasy.  It’s all part of the feelings.
This is all my way of keeping the depression going.  It’s mild, and it’s a relief.  My mania is relieved.  The trick is not to go too deep in it to where I begin to suffer.
I’m very sensitive to music.  It affects my mood tremendously.  I have to make rules about the music I choose to bring into my life.  But it’s hard.  It’s an addiction.
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One thought on “Depression Music or Fantasy of Suffering

  1. Music affects me intensely as well, and there have always been some songs I simply cannot listen to if I want to maintain my sanity. They evoked such exquisitely painful emotions that I felt I was right back in the old situation, whatever it was.
    With time, the power of these songs has faded as the obsessions connected to them faded. I remember being addicted to the feelings. In fact, sometimes my life seems boring because I don’t have the extreme highs and lows anymore.
    Fortunately, music can also be used deliberately to influence my moods one way or the other, if I choose to do so. 😉

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