www.whyville.net Sep 20, 2015 Weekly Issue

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Hold On

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"It's alright to cry
Even my dad does sometimes
So don't wipe your eyes
Tears remind you you're alive
It's alright to die
Cause death's the only thing you haven't tried
But just for tonight
Hold on"

Three years ago I was depressed and suicidal. I never thought that I would make it more than a year. My only lifelines were my family and music. My family did not know how much I was struggling for a long time, so that left me with music. The only thing that could really understand what I was going through. I instantly attached to emotional songwriters, and I found Ed Sheeran. I could not get enough of his music because I could relate to the raw emotional feel of his songs. It was a beautiful thing in the mostly grey world surrounding me.

On one specifically challenging night of battling my own thoughts I took to Tumblr to calm myself down and stumbled upon an unreleased song by Ed Sheeran. It was a video of him singing a song live, and the quality was not great, but I could hear every word he sang. He sang about not giving up, and I instantly started crying. It was as if someone actually understood how I was feeling and acknowledged everything I was going through. Someone told me it was going to be okay. I listened to that low-quality recording every day I needed to escape from myself. Now, I'm not going to say that that song is the reason I am alive today, but it is a factor. As I started to go into recovery, I lost the song and didn't listen to it for awhile.

A year ago, Ed's new album, Multiply, came out. I bought and downloaded it from iTunes the night before I left for cheer camp so I would have something to listen to on the bus. I was excited because he was still one of my favorite artists and had a special place in my heart. I listened to the album while drifting to sleep. As the second to last song started to play something in me shifted. I started to hear chords I recognized from years before. The song that had encouraged me to live was playing in my ears and it had a name, "Even My Dad Does Sometimes". I finally got to hear it in it's glory. There I was, no longer suicidal, surrounded by people who loved me. I listened to that song that had helped saved me and I realized I was happy. After all this time, part of my past came back to remind me of all the progress I had made. I was not longer alone and now I had a part of me in my music library.

On September 15, 2015 I saw Ed Sheeran live in concert. I saw the man who helped me through hard times singing in front of me and I couldn't help but cry. I thought about all of the times I had come close to killing myself, and yet here I was. I had found something that made me happy and clung to it. I stayed alive thanks to a song, and there I was 3 years later singing along with the creator of it. Ed Sheeran may not know how much he has affected my life, but I am so thankful he did. I work on my depression every day, but I find happiness. I find light.

If you are in a dark place right now and can't find a way out, find something to cling to. Cling to music, TV shows, books, family, whatever will help. Please do not give up, because you deserve to live. It may not seem like it now, but life is wonderful. It will surprise you in amazing ways. Life will get better and I want you around to see it. You can fight your demons, I know it. I hope you do too.


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