Given my history with depression, I noticed how easy it had become for me to get depressed over a few things.
For example, when I was in the queue at the grocery store, the cashier prioritized a sexy model behind me. A regular person would have spoken up and called the manager, but I felt so discouraged that I left my cart in the middle of the aisle and did not buy anything. I held on to that feeling for an entire day, causing my reaction time to slow down and annoy other people.
There were also days when I would open my eyes, look outside, and see the gloomy skies. I would only need to stare at it for two minutes before feeling too exhausted to go to work. I would bail on all my appointments that day and stay in bed for as long as possible. Sometimes, I would turn on the TV, even though I was not actually watching whatever was on it.
Whenever I would get these depressing moments, my loved ones had gotten quite good at tolerating me. If I backed out of an occasion at the last minute, they never got mad in front of my face. If I did not feel like going Anywhere, they would not push it. However, I could not get the same treatment at work.
A Change Of Tunes
One day, I got called to my boss’s office. She said, “I will go straight to the point. I know about your depression and the fact that it has never genuinely fully gone away. I also know that some things or events can trigger it, but you need to find a way to work around it because it is currently affecting your job.”
All I could do was nod before excusing myself and leaving the room. The last thing I wanted to do was lie, and I would be lying if I promised that I could fulfill my boss’s instruction.
I was so preoccupied with that thought that I bumped into our resident counselor in the hallway. I always guarded my emotions around her in fear of seeing through me and deeming me unfit to work in the company. However, this time, when the counselor asked if I was okay, I blurted out, “I’m too far from being okay.”
“Let’s go to my office and talk about it,” she offered.
I agreed to do it because I felt like I had no other options. I knew I needed help, and only a counselor might be able to help me at this point. There was also a nagging thought that I was already helpless, but I pushed that at the back of my head.
When I stepped into the counselor’s office, an unfamiliar song was blasting through her speakers. It did not sound like a Beyoncé or Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston, but I instantly loved how upbeat it was. As I listened more carefully, I realized that a woman was singing about her inner thoughts regarding a man she liked first but had to let go because her sweet sister fell in love with him.
“What song is this?” I asked.
“Oh, sorry, I’ll turn it off,” the counselor said.
“No, please don’t. I like it. What song is it?” I repeated.
The counselor blushed. “I am what some people call a Broadway musical junkie. This song is called Satisfied from the Hamilton musical. I listen to it on repeat when I need to motivate myself to move or think,” she revealed.
“Wow,” I uttered in awe. “I have been dealing with depressive episodes recently, and they have been affecting my work. Do you think it will help me?”
“I would say yes. You can find plenty of songs on Spotify or iTunes, but you technically only need a single song to get you moving. In truth, that’s how I manage to absorb all my clients’ issues and ensure that I would not carry them into my house,” the counselor said.
Listening To Feel
On that same day, I listened to Satisfied again until it was time to go home. I repeated the process from the moment I woke up, and I did not feel my mood dip in those 36 glorious hours. At that point, I had already memorized the lyrics and could sing along with Angelica Schuyler – the Hamilton character. I thought that it would diminish the song’s effect on me, but it didn’t.
The first time I changed my go-to song was when my boyfriend split up with me. But then, I learned that Hamilton had a perfect theme for that: Burn. The more I listened to it, the lesser pain I felt due to the breakup.
I might have changed my go-to songs over the years depending on my situation, but I was always one song at a time. If that is not proof that you only need one to feel better, I no longer know what is.