Monday, April 4, 2011

Pop songs and Prozac (Black Dog)

This is a song confessional, so here is a confession.

I wrote this song in November 2010. This tune was something that I began humming as I walked to work during the last few weeks of the school year, and it was was during these walks that I realised I was losing a battle that I had been fighting for too many years.

Those of you who have suffered from depression will know what I am talking about.

The crazy thing about depression as an illness is that somewhere in your brain, you actually know that  the way you are seeing the world is not entirely accurate, but you can't seem to find the mental and physical energy to surmount it. That in turn contributes to the downward spiral. It is like there is a dense fog clouding your ability to see clearly and you begin obsessing about small things. You convince yourself that you will make everything right one small thing at a time. When you realise you can't control the situation, you begin to resent yourself. You begin to panic. Your anxiety pushes people away. You spend so much energy focusing on being normal, that you can't be normal. It is like pushing your face into gladwrap. You start willing something bad to happen to yourself - I dunno - it is like you want to feel present, and at the same time punished for being such a drag. When I was walking to school over November and December I remember willing someone to assault me. To kick the depression out of me.

It was then that I realised I needed help. And it was the best decision I had made in months.

The truth is, I had been in that situation before. In fact I have suffered from depression for a long time. When I was a teenager I almost wore it as a badge of honour. In a strange way, depression became such a constant companion, that I was afraid to lose it. There was a twisted comfort in it. In my 20's I sought help for the first time. I used medication for 7 years (since 2002) and then decided I wanted out. I went off the medicine in 2009 in an effort to beat the illness myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I didn't need to rely on anything to be well.  Turns out that sometimes you can't make it on your own...

I don't want that black dog any more.

So I'm back on. Like a diabetic who needs insulin.

Pills and pop songs.

I don't care if it is just a placebo effect. I don't care if there are side effects. I don't care because sometimes living (surviving) is not enough.

So this one is for my family and friends. And those of you who have a black dog too. Sit down next to me.

Living is not Enough (Black Dog)
(Words: Andrew Savage. Music: Andrew Savage)

This is the original 8 track demo recorded in November 2010. It is way too slow...

Living is not Enough (Black Dog)
(Words: Andrew Savage. Music: Andrew Savage w/ Adams, King, and Rhoades)

This version of the song was recorded live in December 2010

Living is not Enough (Black Dog)
(Words: Andrew Savage. Music: Andrew Savage w/ Adams, King, Rhoades and Henderwood)

This version of the song was recorded live in March 2011

Living is not Enough

You keep a black dog following me
He's licking his lips
Making me his
And I would shake him now if I could
But it's not that easy
He's got his eyes on me

And the eyes I want are yours
Boring into my head
Keeping me here
So keep your hands close to me
Speaking into the wind
Chasing me home

He's chasing me home

Because when it all comes down
Living's not enough

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