Fighting seasonal depression with song

Many people feel intensely sad during the winter months; here’s how a 23-year-old musician copes with his depression all year round

statueGUEST COLUMN: BLAKE BLISS — When I experience depression it’s a lot like watching a nightmare in endless rewind.

It closes in on me and keeps me from feeling anything positive.

I feel so alone most days that the sick feeling of isolation seems like my only reality. It’s strange, but it seems that when I’m lonely, the best cure is solitude.

The problem is, my demons often creep in from the shadows and raid my mind, plaguing me with dark imagery and worry.

My depression goes way back; I never faced my feelings as a child. Often, I would just run from my emotional wounds. I find it hard to explain the trauma I endured in that time.

The feelings expressed through my body were far from pleasant and I noticed changes in my attitude. I have always felt alone, and my depression is a direct link from that sensation. Like many young people,I have never felt as if I fit in, or that anyone understood me.

I felt like I was passing through my reality, yes, with a touch of grace; but only to be ignored by people I actually cared for. I’ve been lost, disconnected and restrained by a physical shell with many spiritual restrictions. No one, not my friends nor my family, could be close to me.

What is that line from Sartre? “Hell is other people.”  Eventually I ended up trapping myself in my own sorrow.

Why did I end up craving the pain, as if it’s all I really have? To this day I try to ignore what my mind tries to convince me of.

That’s the little voice in your head mentioning your flaws, pointing the gun at your brain and telling you to walk through your toughest experiences without being even remotely ready.

Now, as I look back to what I’ve gone through, I wouldn’t change anything in my life. I would keep all the experiences. Many of them were dire and painful, but I love who I am now and I’m thankful I could finally piece myself together.
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When I was really depressed, listening to music was my crutch, something to hold on to as I sunk my mind into the lyrics and rested in those thoughts. This created wonderful moments of peace.

I have gathered so much inner knowledge from these experiences, and this has become my mission — to pass a message of hope on to others. This is the reason that I created my band, Blake Bliss, about three years ago.

With my singing career, I’m trying to help others who feel disconnected and lonely.

One day I think you just wake up from all the pain and realize. Still, more experiences with depression pour in even now and I fight my depression every day.

This isn’t the end of the battle. I’m only just getting warmed up :)

Blake is a musician from Ontario, Canada who loves art, writing, poetry, drawing, painting and spirituality. Visit him at: blakebliss.com, myspace.com/blakebliss and myspace.com/letterboxblack

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5 Responses to “Fighting seasonal depression with song”

  1. I’ve looked back at this post so many times — and wanted to say something because it took courage to post this. So — here I go again, but listen… the fact that you know you have depression is half the battle, right there. So many people walk around in the dull haze, anger, fear, self-loathing and just think it’s normal breathing in and out. It’s not. I live with it too, and somedays the black dog has me in its teeth, and some days I have it on a leash, patting its head as it helps me remember why I am here.

    Thank you for sharing with us, Blake. Obviously, you’re well past the Bell Jar, keep it that way.

    SueAnn

  2. I’m glad you found the courage to post..
    Keep providing yourself with lots of love and light..
    Never give in..

    Hate the knife.. Love the wounds..

    Salvation lies within.

    - Blake

  3. Thank you for sharing. I can related to your story. I have experienced depression and loneliness in my past. My way of handling the loneliness was the same as yours, isolating myself in solitude. I’m glad that you have been able to find peace through music. It’s always nice to see how others manage their difficult times. Thanks again for sharing.

  4. Hey Blake, thank you for sharing your feelings,I feel often that’s half the battle and an inspiration to others.In fact some of the brighest talents have visited or come from the darkest places,Curt Cobain, Iggy Pop and my own hero Leonard Cohen being notable examples, so keep on rocking and remember as Leonard says….
    “The birds they sang at break of day
    start again I hear them say
    don’t dwell on what has passed away
    or what is yet to be……
    There is a crack a crack in everything..
    that’s how the light gets in”

  5. Thanks for sharing your journey Blake. This time of the year is difficult for many, many people. I will visit your sites.