It's Women's History Month, all! Because of this, I was thinking about female leads in bands, and the song "I'm So Sick" by Flyleaf popped right into my head.
I heard this song back when I was an edgy, misunderstood teenager. My best friend and I, unbeknownst to us at the time, battled with mental illness. It seemed everyone around us were always telling us to "suck it up", "smile more", and "grow up". We banded together well.
One day, I went over, and she said, "Dude, I HAVE to share this song with you." And there it was:
"I'm So Sick" -- Flyleaf "I will break into your thoughts With what's written on my heart I will break, break I'm so sick, Infected with where I live Let me live without this Empty bliss, Selfishness I'm so sick I'm so sick If you want more of this We can push out, sell out, die out So you'll shut up And stay sleeping With my screaming in your itching ears I'm so sick, Infected with where I live Let me live without this Empty bliss, Selfishness I'm so sick I'm so sick Hear it, I'm screaming it You're heeding to it now Hear it! I'm screaming it! You tremble at this sound You sink into my clothes And this invasion Makes me feel Worthless, hopeless, sick I'm so sick, Infected with where I live Let me live without this Empty bliss, Selfishness I'm so sick I'm so sick I'm so sick Infected with where I live Let me live without this Empty bliss, selfishness I'm so I'm so sick I'm so I'm so sick"
If you have never heard this song, I need you to stop reading for a minute, and please listen to it. It is an intense song that I feel reflects the lyrics authentically.
Now, if you do a quick Google search, you'll see tons of interviews with the band, notes that they are a Christian rock band, many people's interpretations, but as you know, I find lyrics and music, once shared with the general population, become each listener's.
I can tell you that the first time I heard this, I felt validated. For me, lyrics like, "If you want more of this
We can push out, sell out, die out
So you'll shut up
And stay sleeping
With my screaming in your itching ears" reminded me of how the depressive thoughts would try to worm their way in, telling me to cancel plans, telling me to just go back to sleep, telling me nothing else mattered.
However, now that I am older and have experienced more, lyrics like, "You sink into my clothes / And this invasion / Makes me feel / Worthless, hopeless, sick" paints the terrifying picture of the sexual harassment I and other women have had to and continue to experience.
All of this goes back to the beauty of simple, emotional, and authentic lyrics. Lacey Sturm, the lead singer of Flyleaf at the time of this song, has noted her battle with mental illness. She knows how trapped, angry, and scared feelings can be, and you can hear the raw edge of insanity trying to grip its way out of her throat.
Because of her ability to authentically share these feelings, others who have felt similarly can compare their experiences to these lyrics and music. It can begin a very important healing process. It can begin a formation of community like it did for my best friend and me many years ago. So, do not fear sharing your challenges with the world. You just may be saving a life in the process.
Until next time.