The story of how I overcame crippling depression and mental instability

I’ve had depression ever since elementary school. I’ve had my break downs, the moments of helplessness, the not wanting to do anything, no light at the end of the tunnel, and I've felt so down that the light wasn’t even visible during some moments. It intensified for months in the middle of 2013.

I was spending time with a friend for the day on July 13th, 2013, having a good time--but something felt off. When I came home I was trying to shake that feeling of impending doom, but I still wasn't satisfied with the day’s activities. I had gotten home around 5pm and was home not even 30 minutes when my daughter arrived home from visiting her dad. While he and I were talking, the phone rang. It was my step-mom…I stepped outside to talk to her and that’s when she told me the news. My dad was in an accident at the amusement park. He had gotten on the new roller coaster they unveiled that summer, but when the ride had ended, he was unresponsive. My step-mom and my aunt had performed CPR on him for 15 minutes before EMS got there. They then worked on him for 45 minutes trying to bring him back on the way to the hospital.

Now not too many people know this, but the human brain can only go 12 minutes without oxygen before brain damage starts to settle in. My father was was dead for an hour before they got his heart beating again but it was too late. The damage was already done. He spent a week in the hospital on life support and I finally had enough. Enough of the drama and pressure that my family was putting on me, seeing him in that bed just a lifeless empty shell with tubes coming and going every where. My dad and (to preserve the identity of others) we’ll call her Jenny, weren’t married. So the decision fell onto me to pull the perverbial cord. He officially passed away July 17th 2016. Little did I know how much his death would affect me.

See, my dad and I didn’t exactly have the best relationship. He was missing for most of my life, popped in and out every now and then, but we were working on it. I had seen him the day before his accident happened. He was so excited about going to the amusement park! Before I was leaving there was a nasty storm rolling in, and he begged me to stay until the storm passed and I couldn’t be bothered to grant him that last request. Had I known that was the last time I was going to see him alive, I would have stayed. I still hate myself to this day for not staying.

After we laid him to rest I went into a deep crippling depression, one worse than I have ever been. I only got up in the mornings to take care of my daughter. I didn’t go anywhere, I didn’t do anything, I barely slept, ate, showered (gross, I know but when you got to the point I was at, you just don’t care). It was bad.

About a month later, I was getting to the point where I was getting back on the computer and the game console I owned. Little did I know, that day I was going to find my 5 angels, my saviors. I was on YouTube going through random videos trying to find something to distract myself. I stumbled upon a video called “Youtubers React: Kpop edition” by the Fine Brothers. I clicked on it, being somewhat interested because I had seen a couple K-Dramas.

There were three groups featured in this video, Big Bang’s Fantastic Baby, 2NE1’s I am the best, and SHINee’s Lucifer. The first two I felt kind of "eh" about, but in the last one, one of the members had caught my eye because he reminded me of my best friend at the time. I wanted to share what I had found with him, so I took to Google. I spent about 20 minutes looking up who this kid with the long hair in the video was. When I found his name, I went back to YouTube and looked up some of their other music videos. I found a couple and struggled with identifying him because at the time, I didn’t know in the Kpop world with each “comeback” they have, their appearance changes. I found him and realized “Hey, I really like this music, this group has awesome harmony and their voices are amazing.” That was the day I became a Kpop fan but that’s another article.

I found that as the holidays grew near, my depression seemed to get worse. I was having break downs more frequently, mainly when everyone was asleep. I felt like I was drowning and no one was there to pull me out of the pool of break downs. The only people I had was in this new group that I had found. I discovered that when I was having break downs watching old clips of SHINee on youtube from variety shows seemed to calm me down and distract me long enough to stop crying. They have a song from one of their Japanese albums that I listened to a lot called “I’m With You” that really clung to me. Whenever I would feel sad or overwhelmed I’d put that song on and I’d feel better. It would remind me that my dad, while physically not here, was with me in spirit, and that brought me a sense of peace. Especially on the night I was ready to end the pain. I was sitting in my kitchen on the floor crying, with a knife in my hand. I had kissed my daughter on the head goodbye, and was ready to be with my dad. As I had the cool blade on my skin, the music on my laptop kicked on by it's self and "I'm with you" started to play. I sat there for a minute listening to music. I had dropped the knife to my side, pulled my knees up to my chest and just sobbed.

Eventually, over time with the help of this Korean music group, my mental state improved. I started to feel normal again, I was able to do what I needed to do in my daily life with a new energy that I hadn’t felt in months. Just recently after 3 years, I got a little reminder of just how much they helped me. How they saved my life. They don't know me, and they don't know I exist, but I owe them my life. I got a tattoo of the band name on my left wrist.

Music really does have the ability to help heal you. As does time. I was one of the fortunate ones who was able to overcome the grips of depression, even when I was on death’s door. Because I was able to overcome this, I got to see my daughter start her first day of kindergarten, experience so many wonderful things, and meet so many new people. All because of music. If that's not power, I don't know what is.