I know what some of you may be thinking: another obligatory post about mental health on another mental health day. And sure, the motivation behind this piece at first glance can seem forced or stale. Well, I’m glad to inform you that it’s not. At least, I hope not. You see, here at MG we are a bunch of regular, flawed humans who all can agree that being open about Mental health without shame or embarrassment is something we must start doing on a regular basis. In recent years the discussion has become more common and people have begun to feel comfortable discussing their mental health; seeking a deeper understanding of self. But there is still much work to do.
In an effort to connect with our readers and artists alike, we teamed up with musicians from many metal genres and parts of the world and asked them each a couple questions.
I suppose to start this off I should introduce myself; I am Jess Fleming, vocalist of Canadian Alternative Metal band Juliet Ruin and writer/interviewer/PR for MG.
What role has music played in the darker times in my life?
At the very lowest points that I have turned away from music I have felt as though I lost a piece of myself. Which is difficult when dealing with the unmotivated, dreadful, numb parts of depression. I do much better when I’m able to embrace music. Music has pulled me out of my shell in ways that I thought were impossible.
What kinds of things besides music get me through?
Curiosity. The people I love. The people I may someday love who I have not yet met. Hope.
Therapy. Meditation. Being creative in any capacity whether it be through cooking, writing, visual art with paint and random things I find. Generally making a huge gratifying, artistic mess when the brain also feels a mess.
What do I think is something worth fighting for?
I don’t care if I reference LoTR too much, my friends, my favourite character said it best: “There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”
Do I have any words of encouragement for someone going through a hard time?
Sometimes feeling so low, or trapped, or lonely, or some way I’m unable to describe…it feels like it’s the only way you can feel. But that’s a lie directly from your own brain. You can and will feel differently. That thought may not help at the moment, but it might someday. If all you can do is the minimum for now, that is okay. You’re not a failure for not being able to take care of business the way you feel like you should be. If you’re struggling with your mental wellness please know there’s no shame in seeking help, at whatever capacity you can access. If you are able to sort things out with a mental health professional please do it.
Hopefully, these words and the series as a whole will affect you in a positive way. To read more from my dear colleagues, please find their responses in the following articles:
- Part 1: Adrienne Cowan (Seven Spires), Aline Happ (Lyria), Amber Malley (Crimson Caliber), Angela Di Vincenzo (Secret Rule)
- Part 2: Ayracsana (DemUnillusions), Banshee Wicked (Wicked Asylum), Belle Morte, Brandy Black (Call Of The Siren)
- Part 3: Cadaveria, Julie Rodesch (My Own Ghost), Lindsay Schoolcraft (Antiqva), Lisa Wallenberg (Emetropia)
- Part 4: Madeleine Liljestam (Eleine), Mel Schweickardt (Beyond Frequencies), Merel Bechtold (Dear Mother, MaYaN), Ofilia (Arshenic)
- Part 5: Rena Hellzinger (Siren’s Rain), Shehara Jayatilaka Napoleon (Shehara), Stela Atanasova (Metalwings), Susanne Scherer (MoonSun)
**Please keep in mind that none of us are mental health professionals. We acknowledge that everyone’s needs are different and that the following are anecdotal accounts that won’t apply to everyone. This is not meant in any way to simplify or minimize the seriousness and complexities of mental illness.**