Tuesday, August 29, 2017

1-800-273-8255

If there is one thing I absolutely love is music. And if you know me, you know that my musical taste is wide ranging. Music is my lifeline. I have said more than once, “Music is my salvation.”

When I look back at my early life with bipolar disorder I would experience delusional thoughts associated with the music I listened to. In the clinical world, this is called “ideas of reference,” thinking that a song is about me. This isn’t something I openly talk about. But hey, it’s part of my journey and I cannot deny what I’ve experienced.

Over the years, I’ve prided myself with staying on top of musical trends. When hip hop emerged, I followed such artists as The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, and Public Enemy, among others. Now, rap is an integral part of the musical world.

And with that, art can imitate life. There have been many hip hop artists that have written about mental health, Kendrick Lamar, DMX, and Lil Wayne who says in the song, I FeelLike Dying:

I am a prisoner, locked up behind Xanax bars...
I feel like buying
And if my dealer don’t have no more, then I feel like dying."

This is real.

Most recently, rapper Logic penned a track called 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). This is the telephone number for the National SuicidePrevention Lifeline. The song is on the concept album “Everybody” where he confronts the issues of race, suicide, and mental Illness. He stole the show on this past weekend's MTV Video Music Awards with his soul stirring performance. It culminates with the stage lined with individuals who proudly stand together to declare that they do, in fact, want to live.

The simple fact that Logic takes on such a stigmatizing topic as suicide is a credit to his desire to claim his independence and not be afraid to talk about something that is often perceived by society as a moral weakness.

Logic’s life was riddled with many barriers: a crack addicted father who was not in his life, a mother who lived with bipolar disorder, siblings who were engaged in drug dealing and he lacks a high school diploma.

These are all potential risk factors for mental illness and/or suicide. Literally thousands of youth in the United States face similar obstacles. The way that Logic shares his message of “Peace, Love and Positivity” is a prime example of how one can develop protective factors and withstand all the pressures that society places on us and not fall prey to those same risk factors that so many have succumbed to.

In 1-800-273-8255, Logic expresses his despair:

All this other shit I’m talkin’ ’bout they think they know it
I’ve been praying for somebody to save me, no one’s heroic
And my life don’t even matter
I know it I know it I know I’m hurting deep down but can’t show it
I never had a place to call my own
I never had a home
Ain’t nobody callin’ my phone
Where you been? Where you at? What’s on your mind?
They say every life precious but nobody care about mine

How many of us have felt this way before? I know I have. But help is available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255, is there to help. No matter where you call from in the United States, you will be directed to the crisis center in your area where you can get help. You’re not alone.

But Logic sums up his feelings in a positive way by concluding:

I finally wanna be alive
I finally wanna be alive
I don’t wanna die today
I finally wanna be alive
I finally wanna be alive
I don’t wanna die
I don’t wanna die

And that, my friends, is what it’s all about. There is hope for the hurting and no matter how bad you may be feeling, it will get better.


Be well.

You can watch Logic's performance featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid here:


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