Not too long ago a very close friend tried to kill them self. They suffer from chronic depression. It’s a terrible disease. The only shame in depression is when someone is sick and they (or their family) don’t do anything about it.
They’re good now. They take care of them self, have a great doctor and therapist, a regime of drugs, attend meetings, have an amazing support group, exercise and do service work for others who are in treatment. They are lucky. They are alive.
An estimated 22.1% of Americans ages 18 and older (about 1 in 5 adults) suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds.
After being stabilized, he was admitted to a treatment center. I was able to go and visit my friend at the center. Once home from the visit, I was compelled to start composing. I have written many songs, but this time the experience was different. I wasn’t writing this song, it was writing me. It came very fast. The words flew onto the page. The chords and melody came quickly too; all but the bridge. I had the words and some chords, but the music wasn’t working. I took the song to David Leonard’s studio to record. David had the same opinion. He agreed it needed to be different. I stood at his keyboard, put my hands on it and played. I’m not sure where the music came from, but the words and the melody finally came together (in our opinion).
The lyrics might not make complete sense to those who don’t know the story, but my friend recognized the story was about them. I had a chance to play it for the first time at the treatment center. It was hard to get through, only because of the deep gratitude I had that I was able to sing it to them in person. It was received by my friend with tears of joy and by the rest of the patients with rave applause.
If you or someone you know is down, depressed, suffering or acting different, get the help necessary. Too often there are no second chances.
You can hear a sample of “Keep Holding On” at http://russstill.com/white-lightnin/
and check out Track 7. You can buy the whole CD there or buy the song on iTunes under Russ Still and The Moonshiners.
Here’s “Keep Holding On”.
I see you slipping into the dark
Don’t know what to do where do I start
I know I can’t make this go away
You try to tell me how it feels
Riding around on your ferris wheel
Up and down trying to holding on day by day
When you’re tired take one more step
When all hope is gone grab onto what is left
When you feel no one is there you’re not alone
When it seems it’s all over, keep holding on
You’re falling fast what do I do
I can’t fall into your hole with you
But I’m scared of what will happen in the end
You’ve reached of point of no return
You’ve touched the fire and know that it burns
But your hurt can heal from the pain
You may have wandered off the path
But you’re gonna make your way back
You’ll realize when you do
The love you’ve always had is waiting for you
Then there’s a spark a ray of light
You’re coming back you believe that you might
I’m standing by you doing the best that I can
Something there always sends you back
You’re strong enough to fight off the attack
Don’t you see your struggles are not in vain