The bathroom filled with fog and I turned on my music before I stepped into the shower. High as Hope began to play. I sang along while I lathered my body. I hummed along to Sky Full of Song and then I paused when I found myself staring at my scars.
I thought I was flying but maybe I’m dying tonight.
I looked at them with clearer eyes. This is the first time I’ve explicitly felt shame about my self-harm. These are more severe than anything I’d ever done before. That upsets me. All of my ancient scars healed already, they’re barely visible. Those were small and pretty minor. I looked at the sudsy scars and a rapid montage of memories began.
I spent August 2017 until September 2018 hovering between mildly depressed and dangerously depressed. I returned to treatment in December of 2017. Since then I have tried and retried different combinations of meds. Depression be damned, I remained committed to treatment in a new way. I began therapy a few months after I began working with my psychiatrist. Even though I was in treatment faithfully, the depression persisted and worsened. High as Hope came out in early summer. It soothed me. It’s a hauntingly beautiful album. I would play it when I was cooking, walking, showering, sleeping. When I was hospitalized I sang Grace to myself. I scribbled lyrics in my journals. This album is forever intertwined with this period.
High as Hope became an unofficial soundtrack. I cut myself so much to this album. The lyrics, the instrumentation. It’s so easy to get lost in it. This album was present for many ugly moments. One night I was curled up and quietly crying in my bed with a towel beneath my face. I knew no one was going to check on me anyway. I laid there and decided that when I kill myself this is what I will be playing. I was prepared to die to this album.
To listen to it today is indescribable.
He never knew I burned myself with cigarettes.
Grace. Sky Full of Song. No Choir. The End of Love.
He’s never seen my scars.
We’re a family pulled from the flood
You tore the floorboards up
And let the river rush in
Not wash away
Hold me down, I’m so tired now
Aim your arrow at the sky
Take me down, I’m too tired now
Leave me where I lie
And there will be no grand choirs to sing
No chorus will come in
No ballad will be written
This will be entirely forgotten
But this is the only thing I’ve ever had any faith in.