In a previous post, I shared my “Feel Better” playlist. One of the songs on my playlist is “1979” by The Smashing Pumpkins, from the album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which came out in 1995. I had no idea what “Mellon Collie” (melancholy) was and I didn’t quite get the meaning of the album’s title as I was 11, but it was a 2-disc album that had great songs and was popular (and I still have it in my giant box of CD’s).

I never understood why I liked that album name and didn’t appreciate what it meant until recently. From what I’ve read, I know that the songwriter himself experiences depression and that seems to provide inspiration for the album and the play on the word melancholy.

What is melancholy?

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Sometimes we don’t know why we are sad, or what fuels our depression. Sometimes our depression does feel infinite, like it’s going to go on forever….

1979 is on the playlist that I listen to almost every day at work to help me get me through the day. There’s no lyric in particular that drew me to it when I was younger, but I took a look at the lyrics today, to see if there is anything that stood out:

1979

Shakedown 1979, cool kids never have the time
On a live wire right up off the street
You and I should meet
June bug skipping like a stone
With the headlights pointed at the dawn
We were sure we’d never see an end to it all

And I don’t even care to shake these zipper blues
And we don’t know just where our bones will rest
To dust I guess
Forgotten and absorbed into the earth below

Double cross the vacant and the bored
They’re not sure just what we have in the store
Morphine city slippin’ dues, down to see that

We don’t even care, as restless as we are
We feel the pull in the land of a thousand guilts
And poured cement, lamented and assured
To the lights and towns below
Faster than the speed of sound
Faster than we thought we’d go, beneath the sound of hope

Justine never knew the rules
Hung down with the freaks and the ghouls
No apologies ever need be made
I know you better than you fake it, to see

And I don’t even care to shake these zipper blues
And we don’t know just where our bones will rest
To dust I guess
Forgotten and absorbed into the earth below

The street heats the urgency of sound
As you can see there’s no one around

Sometimes, when you’re really in a low mood, you don’t care about ending your depression, and you just don’t feel like caring about anything. I like the line, “No apologies ever need be made/I know you better than you fake it, to see”. That resonates with me. It’s a busy time of year at work, I have been feeling overwhelmed, tired and the weather changes/time change have been wreaking havoc on my internal clock and ability to sleep well. So, towards the end of last week, I was feeling very vulnerable and emotional (still able to hold it together at work, as always), and one night driving home from work I just started crying in my car. I didn’t tell anyone about it. Yesterday I was feeling frustrated and told my husband, “I don’t want to apologize for being anxious or being myself”. And then I let myself cry, because sometimes you need to let yourself cry…and let someone comfort you, as they see the real you.

While writing this post, I also remembered another Smashing Pumpkins; song that I felt connected to:

 Thirty-Three

Speak to me in a language I can hear humour me before I have to go
Deep in thought I forgive everyone
As the cluttered streets greet me once again
I know I can’t be late supper’s waiting on the table
Tomorrow’s just an excuse away
So I pull my collar up and face the cold on my own
The earth laughs beneath my heavy feet
At the blasphemy in my old jangly walk
Steeple guide me to my heart and home
The sun is out and up and down again
I know I’ll make it, love can last forever
Graceful swans of never topple to the earth
And you can make it last, forever you
You can make it last, forever you
And for a moment I lose myself
Wrapped up in the pleasures of the world
I’ve journeyed here and there and back again
But in the same old haunts I still find my friends
Mysteries not ready to reveal
Sympathies I’m ready to return
I’ll make the effort, love can last forever
Graceful swans of never topple to the earth
Tomorrow’s just an excuse
And you can make it last, forever you
You can make it last, forever you
I just love the line, “Tomorrow’s just an excuse away“.
Tomorrow can be whatever we want it to be.

About Melanie Luxenberg

My name is Melanie Luxenberg and I am finally ready to live openly with mental illness. I was first diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder in 2003, which I still experience. At the same time, I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety (which I also still experience), and then briefly experienced Agoraphobia. I have had depression on and off since I was 13 years old. In July 2010 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II. Shortly after it was realized that I experienced rapid cycling. I can experience multiple cycles in a week. Despite my diagnosis, I completed a university degree and then a college program. I have always held stable employment, regularly taken my medication and regularly attended my doctor’s appointments. There have been times of hopelessness, but I have always found support from my family, husband and 3 dogs. I am a law clerk, social media/content writer and of course, mental health advocate. My Twitter feed is full of mental health advocacy messages. I hope one day to see the end of stigma towards mental illness, because stigma has to stop!

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