How Billy Joel reminds me I’m ‘Only human’

I haven’t been writing a lot recently. This is in part, due to my increasing university work, studying social sciences, but mostly due to a sudden attack of depression. I’ve lived with depression on and off since I was 12 years old, so although I wasn’t particularly prepared for the dark clouds’ return, it wasn’t a shock either.

I have also lived with Billy Joel’s songs playing in the background throughout my life. My Mum, a huge fan, used to dance around the house singing to it. I particularly liked one song ‘Honesty’ and would play it over and over again until Mum pulled the plug out of the wall in frustration! As I got older, I became more interested in his songs in general and particularly a song called ‘Only human (second wind)’. For a long time, I liked it’s upbeat sound and I often listened to it when I was feeling depressed. Only recently did I discover that this song actually was written about depression and suicide!

I don’t know why, but a few weeks ago, in the peak of my depression, I popped my Billy Joel CD (well one of them!) into the CD player and for once, really focussed on the lyrics and what they were saying.

‘You probably don’t want to hear advice from someone else
But I wouldn’t be telling you if I hadn’t been there myself
It’s alright, it’s alright
Sometimes that’s all it takes
We’re only human
We’re supposed to make mistakes
But I survived all those long lonely days
When it seemed I did not have a friend
Cause all I needed was a little faith
So I could catch my breath and face the world again
Don’t forget your second wind
Sooner or later you’ll feel that momentum kick in

Suddenly, a song which had previously been one of my favourite songs for it’s music alone, now became my go to song for my depression. Whenever I feel the dark mist descend, I grab my CD (I have only just upgraded to MP3!) and put this song on. When you feel like the world is collapsing around you, it is lovely to hear someone who has also ‘been there’ remind you that this is NOT the end, you WILL feel better again!

This is almost a thank you letter to Billy Joel, although I highly doubt he would read it! In the off chance that he does, thank you so much for writing this song for all the depressed teenagers (and adults) in the world. Thank you for getting me through what feels like intolerable, unending pain. Hopefully soon my second wind will come and I will be able to come back to my previous state of happiness and productivity, but until then I will have this song to remind me that life is always worth fighting for.

Billy Joel

For those of you who have no idea what song I am talking about, here’s the official Vevo video. Enjoy 🙂

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