I love music.
The thing I love the most about it is how it makes me feel. How it seems to be able to reach directly inside me and help me through some of my toughest times. Helping to bring me out of whatever mental slump I happen to be in.
Where music takes me always ends up being exactly where I want or need to be — right when I want or need to be there. I listen to sad music when I’m sad so I can more deeply feel the sadness that I need to feel in that moment. I listen to upbeat music when I clean my house because it helps to motivate me to get a task done that I would otherwise put off. I listen to music I can sing along to when I drive so it makes the trip go faster (and, of course, to stay awake).
I recently took a road trip with my mum to PEI and we were listening to our favourite Blue Rodeo album, ‘Five Days in July’.
[Note: the majority of the music I love today dates back directly to a time and space from my life that I connect with on an emotional level… Blue Rodeo, like many other bands/ musicians that I love, were introduced to me by my mum when I was growing up. And this album is engrained deep in my brain]
I am fairly certain that I know every word to every song on this album and, despite knowing all of the lyrics to the song ‘Til I Gain Control Again’, I have never taken the time to fully register what the words meant until mum and I were singing along on this most recent road trip.
Before I explain further, I need to give you the context of the trip. It was my first time visiting my favourite place to bring my dog Hank — my in-laws oceanfront cottage in Fernwood, PEI. Since Hank died, I’ve been absolutely dreading this “first”. I still feel a lot of anger around Hank dying so suddenly and so young, and the fact that he isn’t able to spend just one more summer running free on the beach (this beach in particular) is a big source of that anger.
We have our new little puppy, Bert, which made this trip a tiny bit more bearable (his first trip to PEI and the beach!), but not by a whole lot.
All of this to say: hearing the following lyrics clearly for the first time under these particular circumstances really resonated with me. The chorus so clearly articulated what I have wanted to say to everyone who has supported me — and continues to support me — through this ridiculously challenging time in my life…
“Out on the road that lies before me now
There are some turns where I will spin.
I only hope that you can hold me now.
Til I can gain control again.”
Just the right words. At just the right time. In just the right company.
And that is the power of music. Not only can it transport you to a particular time in your life, it can teach you a lesson right when you need it, it can help you put into words what you have been struggling to say, and it can help you to feel like you’re not alone. 🖤
As a mental health advocate, this blog is dedicated mostly to my experiences living with depression and anxiety.