Music is such a huge influence in my life. There isn’t much that makes me happier than a good concert. That is my happy place. If you know me at all, you know I love Andy Grammer. His music is so encouraging. His music makes me feel so good. His music inspires me.
Several years ago, I went to my first Andy Grammer concert. I usually don’t expect to fall in love with an opener, but that night I did. Andrew Ripp was the opener that night. I was blown away. I bought his album that night and met him afterwards. I had no idea the impact his music would have on my life.
Several years after that night, I was driving home listening to his newest album. “Surviving” was on. The lyrics hit me hard that night. I had been in a dark place for a long time because of my infertility. That song convinced me to get help.
“Feels like my heart is only halfway beating. I’m barely breathing in and breathing out.”
I felt like at any moment I’d be gone. My heart couldn’t support my body that had been overwhelmed with sadness.
“Treading water. My arms are tired.”
I was so tired. I felt like that’s all I was doing was treading water. I barely had enough strength to tread. It felt like at any moment I would drown. That isn’t how I wanted to feel forever. I didn’t want to just survive. I wanted to thrive.
“You are the only one who can save me now.”
I prayed for God to save me. I needed guidance. That came in the form of my sister pushing me back into therapy where I could explore what I was feeling and eventually make the decision to take antidepressants. I fought medication for so long. I wanted to be strong enough to do it on my own. But my quality of life was suffering. My husband’s quality of life was suffering. Even though I didn’t care much about myself at that time, I owed it to him to take care of me. He didn’t deserve to live with who I had become.
It also came in the form of my support group. I desperately needed to feel more supported in my life and starting a support group for women in my area that have experienced some of the same things I had, made all the difference. I cannot stress enough the importance of community. Not just people that love you but people that understand what you’re going through. It is more helpful than words can explain. You do NOT have to do this all by yourself. So much shame and guilt is associated with this disease. Let’s fight against that and speak up.
Once I started to feel better, I wished I’d taken care of myself sooner. Being strong doesn’t mean doing it on your own. Being strong is being able to ask people to help hold you up when you can’t do it yourself.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, #startasking.
Check out Andrew’s song: