Singer

Blog: Mental Health & The Mental Tolls of Being a Struggling Artist

Incase you didn’t know June is Mental Health Awareness Month.

I wanted to start this blog by saying a few things that I often have to reaffirm in my own life; you are worthy of your dreams, you are talented, you are worthy of love, you are worthy of people’s time, you are important. I know that can be a little hippie-dippie at times but these are the mantras we must keep. Recite them until you believe them in your soul. Make those words imprint upon your brain. You are worthy.

I also want to say that if you are struggling with your mental health & feel like you’re out here drowning on your own, that it’s okay to reach out for help. It’s okay to tell people how you feel. It is not weakness to want to get better. Fighting these fights has made you stronger than you know! If you do need help though there are a lot of great resources out there, I’ll attach a few to the bottom of the blog.

Now, onto my thoughts…

Some of you may have read the precious blog I did on mental health for Suicide Prevention Day, if not feel free to go back & give it a read, although I’ll probably end up touching on a lot of those points in it here as well. I wanted to take the time to write this blog but I didn’t want to do it at a time where I felt right as rain. I’ve been fairly candid in the past about my struggles with depression, a mental illness I struggled with for years. I remember being in high school & having sudden uncontrollable waves of depression hit me & not knowing how to deal with them, often resulting in me breaking down. And that’s how depression goes, like a flash flood. Some days it just consumes you out of nowhere & the fear, doubt, & shame take over. Well, full disclosure, that’s me today. Most of the time my waves of depression come from never feeling like I’m enough, not feeling like I’m good enough, talented enough, that I work hard enough, or that I’m doing enough. That’s the beauty of the music industry I suppose, every day you try your damnedest just to inch your way a little higher on the ladder & feel like all this work you’re doing matters. You work & you work & you get so excited just to be thrown by the wayside by the world & this industry. The projects you poured your heart into don’t connect, the email or phone call you’ve been praying will come never does, the people who claim to support you turn their backs on you. It's tough.

I’m not trying to discredit my fans at all or anyone out there working on my behalf or who believes in me, I am beyond grateful for you all. I wouldn’t be here without you. All I’m saying is this job is taxing & if you don’t take the time to stop & check yourself & your mental health along the way it’ll eat you alive. That being said I want this blog to be as raw & open as I can be.

I’m a bit too much of an envious person at times if I’m being honest. Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly proud of all that my friends are accomplishing in the music industry, with all my heart I am so beyond proud of you all. But comparison is often the thief of my joy & I so long to join you on your pedestal.

I compare myself to the privileged. To those who have relatives in the industry or come from money. Those that can throw the appropriate marketing dollars are a project to have is launch where they want it to be. I envy them. I envy those whose bank account isn’t constantly on their mind, who don’t live day to day trying to make enough money to even buy the gas required to get to the gig they aren’t getting paid for much less fund their next single. Again comparison always seems to be the thief of my joy.

I look around & I don’t know what I’m doing wrong or even really what I’m doing right. I feel like I’m wondering in the dark praying something connects, that someone will reach out a hand & help pull me through it. I wake up & my brain says do something & I immediately panic because I have no idea what to do. I feel the things I have been doing haven’t been working so I’m forced to rethink it & try a different path.

I know I probably sound like I’m bitching or whining but I truly wanted to share this because I know so many artists that have these days but we never show it. We never break face or break character out of fear of freaking people out but that right there is the problem with our stigma of mental health as a society. Fear & shame. We’re afraid the people we care about won’t accept us or what we’re going through. We’re afraid that we’ll just get another person telling us to “shake it off” or tell us “it gets better.” Your emotions are valid, your feelings are valid, just as you are valid.

SAMHSA- Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration:

1-800-662-4357

National Association of Mental Illness:

www.nami.org

Mental Health Resources, Inc.

www.mhresources.org

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:

1-800-273-8255