I have a lot of important things in my life but right now, the most important ones are BTS. You may or may not know them but they’re a South Korean boy group and their music has helped me survive these past two years. They helped me when no one else even tried to lend a hand and I’ve always been grateful for what they’ve done for me. I’m here because of them and that’s why they’re the most important people in my life right now.
In my 15 years of battling depression, no one has come this close to helping me heal myself like the way BTS has done. Their music may be in a language I’m not fluent in but the lyrics that I read about have helped me through the toughest of times and no one has ever had this much of an impact on me. I’ve been clean of self-harm for almost 7 months because of them. I’ve been learning to give myself love because of them. They’ve taught me how to be someone I could look in the mirror and smile at.
They come from a homophobic and conservative society yet they’re not afraid to take stances against these issues. Through their songs and their words, they teach us that love is love regardless of gender, that it’s okay to not have a dream and we shouldn’t let society pressure us into being someone we don’t want to be. They’ve talked about the mental health issues that people face and about depression and anxiety in their songs as well, with some of the members having actually gone through that.
Their music does wonders for people, like me and many others who have been searching for healing in so many ways and for so long.
I could go on and on about why they’re everything to me right now but I think I’ve said enough.
I can’t tell you when it started because to do that I’d had to go back to a past I would rather not remember at this moment when I’m still trying to recover from it. The worst part of living with this depression was that it came and it went but never fully left.
I went through rock bottom thrice in my life but the worst one was during the course of my law school stint. I had been studying law before joining an undergraduate course in Psych. It was a 5-year degree and while I liked law as a subject I never really was interested in pursuing a career in it.
By the first year I didn’t want to study it anymore because I simply didn’t have the passion or the interest in it but of course living in a pressurizing society where parental expectations scare kids into pursuing careers that are deemed “respectable” in the eyes of the society, I didn’t have much of a choice but to continue it.
By the second year, I started taking to self-harm because I had no outlet and no one to talk to about my problems or what I was going through. It was a really troublesome time for me because I genuinely did not know what to do because one, I didn’t want to disappoint my parents or lower their expectations on me.. two, I didn’t want to disappoint myself and the life I wanted to live. It got to the point where I had almost attempted suicide but got saved by my friends before I cut too deep.
That’s when I realized that staying in that environment was ruining me more and I had to get away. It took a toll on me and my parents who had found out about my self-harming tendencies and depression. It was six months of a tense atmosphere at home until my mum finally asked me what I wanted to do. I wanted to heal and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that if I was still in law school. So I told her about wanting to get therapy and changing my subject course.
It was another two months before they finally agreed, albeit very apprehensively and I got into the college I am in today for Psych. It was one of the better decisions I ever made because that’s when I found out about BTS through a friend and I’ve been trying to recover ever since. It’s a tough ride and it’s not always happy but I’m here, I’m trying and sometimes, I think that’s all that matters. That I hadn’t given up then. So I shouldn’t give up now.
I almost never have fully good days and I’m still struggling with my depression but going through it has made me understand myself more as a person, what my weaknesses were or are and what my strength can be. It made me more empathetic towards people who suffered through the same, it helped me be an understanding person, a better friend and a kinder stranger.
It helped me find my way in poetry and in writing, an outlet I needed after I lost my first one, drawing.
Though sometimes I wish I hadn’t gone through depression or through all the difficult times where it tore me as a person, I’m also thankful that I was able to survive through tougher times because even if I broke, I was able to mend myself to the best of my abilities and appreciate who I was regardless of how many cracks formed on my skin.