Last night, my son and I went and saw his favorite band, Imagine Dragons live. The tickets were his birthday present this year. As a bonus, Grace Vanderwaal was opening for them. I love singer/songwriter-type music and Grace, so I was excited! Little did I know how touched I would be by the entire show.
As I wrote about Grace in my Instagram post (you can follow me at peaceful.jellyfish) earlier today, “If you’ve never heard of Grace Vanderwaal, her music career started and blew up when she got the golden buzzer on America’s Got Talent when she sang and played ukulele for a song she had written herself, “I Don’t Know My Name”. Grace went on to win the competition. She was 12 years old at that time. My son introduced Grace to me last year when he showed me her performance of “I Don’t Know My Name”. I cried. I’m not sure why, but when I see her perform, I cry. I cried last night. Maybe it’s because her soulful voice and lyrics are much beyond her years and strike a chord in me, or maybe it’s because I love the way she followed her bliss to learn the ukulele and sing. Maybe it’s a combo of both. I am in awe of Grace. She’s now 14 years old and she’s opening for bands like Imagine Dragons for two sold out shows in Los Angeles. She felt a calling to learn the ukulele and sing and she pushed to have her parents get her a ukulele against their judgement. She did not listen to people who questioned her dreams. She did not stop at just learning how to play the ukulele, but went even further by competing and winning a national talent competition. How’s that for determination and bravery?! And at TWELVE YEARS OLD!! We can all learn a lot from Grace. I am so grateful to have seen her live. She’s a beautiful old soul.”
Next up was Imagine Dragons. I was moved to tears several times by what the lead singer, Dan Reynolds, had to say. You could feel the genuine love pour from his heart as he spoke about issues such as equal rights and support of the LGBT+ community, not allowing our minds to be put in a box and instead seeking freedom for ourselves, and also about the problem we have in this country of making depression a taboo subject. Wow. To say the least, his compassion was touching, especially given the fact that I, too, hold these issues close to my heart.
Here is a video of what Dan had to say regarding depression: (it comes in between the music). I am so glad that I happened to be recording when he said this, so that I can share his very important message with others who need to hear it.
If you’ve been reading along on my blogging journey of almost a year, then you know that I’ve spoken about my own history with depression.
What Dan had to say last night reminded me of how far I’ve come. He made me think back to my years of depression with a lighter heart. I realized that while I don’t feel as much of the stigma associated with my history of depression, that there are others out there who do. The people currently struggling with depression need those of us who have been there and gotten through it to speak out. We need to show them that they have nothing to be ashamed of, and that more people close to them than they can even imagine have been affected by severe depression and have come out on the other side, the side with the light at the end of the sometimes very dark tunnel.
Please join me for a Facebook Live July 23, 2018 at 0900 PST USA on my Peaceful Jellyfish Facebook Page.
I am going to share more of my story about how my severe depression, suicidal ideation, and also the depression and suicide within my group of friends and family has impacted my life.
Catch the replay of my FB Live video HERE!
I would love it if you could join me!
As I have said before, though our journeys may look different, we are all human and so we all struggle with the same emotions and baggage. At the heart of it all, we are all the same, none “better” or “worse” than the next.
Tonight, I dug a little deeper into Dan Reynold’s history and found that he has been struggling with the pain of an autoimmune disease for years and has finally gotten his health back. It made sense then that he joyously ran around the stage in just shorts, so grateful to be alive and no longer in pain. Dan and I share the connection of a past filled with severe depression, chronic illness, and pain.
I don’t think an understanding deeper than that can exist between two humans.
Can you also relate? How comforting is it when you hear that others have been through what you are going through?
Please share your own story in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, because I’d love to connect with you!
I also discovered that Dan is Mormon which makes it even more impactful that he speaks so strongly of equal rights for the LGBT+ community. Up until quite recently, the Mormon church as a whole completely shunned people who were LGBT+ so that many were forced to leave their families behind after being disowned, or keep their orientation a secret and marry someone of the opposite sex. Many young people have taken their own lives because the stress of losing family and/or living against their heart was too much for them to handle. I was happy to hear Dan speak out. We all deserve equal rights. We all deserve love.
If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it! Also, please pass on to anyone you know who may benefit from hearing mine and Dan’s messages regarding severe depression in our lives. Thank you!