My Music

I started writing songs after my freshman year of college and have composed about a dozen or so since then. I have video or audio recordings of most of them on the Internet to share with anyone who might benefit from hearing them. A lot of them have come out of difficult or painful experiences in my life, from disappointment in love or my struggles with mental illness. I strive to write honest, thoughtful lyrics that capture the place I'm in, bring comfort to the listener, and speak truth to the world. If you relate to my writing on These Dark Cafe Days, you might enjoy my songs as well. Here are several that especially speak to the topics I write on on this blog for your viewing pleasure. Thanks for listening and stay strong!
Here are a few of my songs that were inspired by my mental health struggles:

Joy Keeps Finding Me - written in 2014
I wrote this song after my struggle with Panic Disorder spiraled out of control during my Sophomore year, leaving me unable to sleep at night. I fell into a deep depression once again and felt extremely hopeless about the future. This song captures my struggle to reconcile my lifelong religious faith with my current pain and feeling of abandonment. I continually come back to some of the lyrics in this song to describe how I'm feeling in difficult situations.

God I wish you had arms sometimes / So you could reach down and hold me / Cuz I know you’re there but I can’t feel it / And maybe needing to feel is weak but / I’m only human // Joy keeps finding me In the strangest places / Stopping and staring and remembering what grace it / I don’t know why you’re burdening me with this / With sleepless nights and daily fights / With lies to stay alive / But it’s worth it / Some way, somehow / I can’t explain it now / But it’s worth it // Chorus // I’ve been living my life with baited breath / Hoping my dreams coming true will be what happens next / Instead comes unexpected pain / And new suffering / Every day’s a battle no one knows about // Chorus // Your love feels like a scourge / This valley like a gorge / Where are you leading me / You said this burden is light but my back is breaking / But maybe love grows / When we follow where you go / And trust there’s a heart behind this pain / Surrender expectations / Let go of hesitations / And just fall // Chorus //  When I’m coming apart / I can’t try and control / Can’t be strong on my own / Just have to trust that you know / That joy will find me

Hurts and Battle Wounds - written in 2014
This song also came out of the aforementioned depression bout. It also seeks to combat the hostility that faith communities often have to mental illness by highlighting God's empathy for our struggles as humans. I particularly like the first line of this song, "Feel like a ghost of myself / An empty shell". Oftentimes as I walked around campus during that period of my life, I felt like just that - a ghost of the happy, vibrant person I used to be going through the motions of life. This song captures the alienation I felt while dealing with mental illness; I didn't want to burden others with my sorrows, but I also felt so alone not being able to tell anyone what I was going through. I quickly realized that no one could really share the burden I was bearing. Mental illness is a very isolating experience, which makes the struggle of it even worse.

Feel like a ghost of myself / An empty shell / Of what I long to be / Pretend to be / Happy / So much to get done / When I just wanna run / Away from it all / Guess I’m too emotional / Take things way too personal / These feelings are negotiable / Oughta be more sociable / Keep your head up and it’ll calm down / That’s what they say / So I get lonelier and lonelier each day // Praise a God who saves / Who isn’t afraid of hurts and battle wounds / He has them too / Praise a God who walks among us / Talks as one who has / Suffered the same pain / Praise a God who doesn’t turn away // God have mercy on a weary soul / Trying so hard to make my spirit whole / Seeking you so desperately / Throw myself at your loving feet / Oh, God, I’m weary / Why don’t you come / Can’t do this on my own / Write the answers on / My heart of stone // Chorus // Wish I had it all together / Didn’t get so thrown by this stormy weather / But I don’t want to be burden / So I hide behind this curtain / And I slowly drift away 

The Great Unknown

Pardon the awful picture...I wrote this song about the difficulty of transition and setting off on a new path in life. I think it also just generally captures the struggle of being an extra-sensitive person too. I actually wrote a blog post about the situation I was in as I was writing this song, which you can read here.

I feel so small / In this cavernous hall / This world is so big / Its weight could snap this mere twig of a girl / All of these people rushing around / I start to cry if I set foot out of town / How can I make it on my own // I'm a fragile thing / Handle with care / I've got a thin skin / It's a sharp world out there / How can I make it on this road / All alone / Out in the great unknown // They say I'm something special / Tell me I've got a gift / But when I look around me / Seems like I just don't fit / Keep comparing myself / Always come up short / No matter how you count it / Don't make the leaderboard // Chorus // Saw a man today / I was captured by the light in his face /But I've locked up my heart / You'll go down in flames if you let a fire start / Caught a glimpse of a dream today / But I've hoped before and then been made to pay / I know it's a long shot / But these days seems hope is all I've got // Chorus // So alone / Cuz you don't know / How to make it on your own / So confused / What if I lose / Everything I know / Afraid to hope / Cuz you don't know / How to make it on this road

Those are the songs that pertain most closely to mental health, but I also have other songs about faith, heartbreak, and all that good stuff that I think most people can relate to. You can hear them here.

If you have music you've written about your own struggle with mental illness, feel free to comment and share the lyrics or audio/video or use the contact form on the right sidebar. Thank you for listening!

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