It’s been a really crazy year. I release an album… perhaps before it was ready, but it was still pretty cool to see hear the growth from the beginning to the end. Now it’s on to the next one. The second album, “Crooked Rooms & Vivid Colors,” is currently in production and I’m slowly releasing singles for it. Today, July 18th, I released the rough draft of the title track to SoundCloud. There’s only some minor touch-ups left to do before the album version is ready to go. I wanted to dive into it a little bit and explain some of what’s going on in the title track.
These chemicals lift me up so high Just to let me down so hard I'm searching for depth in a shallow Ocean of shit I once tried dreaming but I couldn't get away with it
During my treatment with antidepressant medication, specifically in my case, Effexor, I felt completely normal, maybe even good??? The problem with that is that to the world around me I was mostly blank to everything and I didn’t realize it until, while on a vacation, my wife asked if I could at least pretend to enjoy spending time with her. I would say that it was a shock to me, but because of the medication, I really wasn’t capable of feeling shocked. I was, however, confused by the question. I felt like I was fine and engaged in our time together, but that wasn’t the case. I’d already given some long thought to stopping the medication for other reasons, and this only added to the list. I didn’t feel like anything was wrong, but I trust my wife, and she felt like something was wrong.
The second line, “I’m searching for depth in a shallow ocean of shit.” is referring to why I began feeling like I needed chemical assistance to deal with my mental health to begin with. The world has lost its mind. People readily share video of others getting injured and they laugh while they film instead of helping and the comments on those posts are just as terrible as the people filming it. The world has become so desensitized to having empathy for others that we basically live in an insane asylum. The depth of humanity right now wouldn’t cover your hand if you placed it on the bottom of the pool. That’s just my opinion, take it as you will.
The third line, “I once tried dreaming, but I couldn’t get away with it.” speaks also to one of the effects of treatment. Beginning a new treatment with any pill always does something… Intended or unintended. The first couple of weeks, I had vivid dreams and they were mostly good. Those dreams then turned to nightmares as referenced later in the song before disappearing completely. I had no dreams, at all.
These chemicals have me flirting With the ledge The rope I'm tethered by is fraying On the razor's edge They keep dragging up things that I'd rather forget I once tried dreaming but I couldn't get away with it
The first line “These chemicals have me flirting with the ledge,” speaks to the truly terrifying ability of these drugs to impair your ability to read the room. You can drive away friends, family and soulmates without ever realizing there’s something off with you.
The second line “The rope I’m tethered by is fraying on the razor’s edge,” speaks to the situation when someone finally called my attention to the fact that I wasn’t myself. I find myself fortunate to be keenly aware that these drugs are mind altering and that no matter what I may be feeling, it can look very different to the outside world. On the outside, I appeared far more depressed than I’d ever been in the past, and that had began to wear at relationships.
The third line, “They keep dragging up things that I’d rather forget,” speaks to another effect of these drugs. Most of the time, I felt fine, but then there were also times where part of me would pull up every point of weakness in my life and say that those times are what define me, and were why I “needed” to be on a pill to survive. I think this did contribute significantly to me sticking with a drug that I didn’t really want to be on. It tried to make me need it.
And I don't want to let anyone down I'm a little short-sighted right now I know And I don't want to let anyone down Let anyone down And I'll sleep just fine when the morning Comes But for tonight these nightmares have me On the run I don't want to let anyone down Let anyone down
The concept of letting those around me down was also a reason that I began to seek treatment for what was likely, a temporary bout of depression. This theme occurs multiple times in the first album as well. I’m not a people pleaser by any means, so this mainly refers to my closest circle of friends and my wife more than the world at large. My friend circle is very small and tight, and I’m fiercely loyal. I try to be a rock for everyone in that circle, so when the rock begins to wear down, it becomes concerning for me. The pandemic, the wars and the politics haven’t been easy on anyone. The other lines that appear here are have been previously discussed as the song unfolds. The chorus attempts to link them together.
These chemicals lift me up so high Just to let me down so hard Crooked Rooms And vivid colors These meds taste just like the others
The third, fourth and fifth lines, “Crooked rooms, vivid colors. These meds taste just like the others,” speak to even more effects of the medication. It was said time and time again in my medical consultation that there are over 70 medications in this class and that if one doesn’t work try another. Vision changes occur due to serotonin re-uptake inhibition. In my case walls were never straight, corners would lean and colors appeared to be very vivid. This effect never stopped once it started. It remained with me through the entire treatment timeline.
These medications are highly variable from person to person and my experience with them is no way indicative of what another person’s experience will be, or whether or not they will work for the conditions being treated. Always consult a medical professional before stopping an antidepressant medication as it could make your depression worse, or can harm your physical health as well if they are not properly stopped.