Content material Warning: This column comprises references to psychological sickness.
Hello, it’s me, “I tapped in your window in your darkest evening.” If you happen to take a look at my Spotify, deep in my playlists, you’ll discover one named “Mentally Unwell Swifties,” an homage to Taylor Swift’s commentary on psychological sickness.
One side of Swift’s “folklore” and “evermore” period that I’ve appreciated is the best way she doesn’t draw back from speaking about psychological well being. The period contains tracks comparable to “champagne issues,” which talks a couple of lady who is simply too engrossed in her personal psychological well being journey to decide to her companion, “that is me making an attempt,” which offers with severe points, comparable to melancholy, suicide and substance abuse, and — my private favourite — “hoax,” with the attractive quote “Stood on a cliffside screaming ‘Give me a cause.’”
It’s darkish, I do know. I’m not right here to speak about each little reference to psychological well being Swift makes in her music; as an alternative, I need to analyze the way it displays her journey with psychological well being and the way she comes to simply accept that she deserves love.
Welcome again to “Fan-them Diaries.” I promise I gained’t solely write about Taylor Swift, nevertheless it’s simply been a kind of weeks. I want to try my very own psychological well being journey, and what higher method to do this than by way of music?
Swift’s “folklore” took everybody without warning with its sudden launch in fall 2020. It additionally took us on a journey of storytelling with the Betty-James-Augustine affair that spans throughout a number of songs. The album additionally showcased a uncooked facet of Swift that handled deeper themes of psychological sickness and the wrestle for self-acceptance.
In comes the tune “peace.”
This tune follows a narrator — presumably impressed by Swift’s personal voice — making an attempt to clarify to their lover how their relationship will persist regardless of the hardship of being within the highlight and coping with psychological sicknesses. “I’d offer you my sunshine, offer you finest / However the rain is all the time gonna come when you’re standin[g] with me,” she sings.
In relation to Swift’s life, this tune parallels her wrestle with scrutiny over her very public relationships. It reveals that her relationship with Joe Alwyn modified her perspective on what love ought to seem like — in her personal phrases, “it’s golden.”
However, for the viewers, many (together with myself) noticed a double that means to the lyrics: “feeling like a burden.” It’s one thing that individuals who wrestle with these circumstances generally really feel in relationships. I discuss to my therapist rather a lot about feeling like a burden on mates as a result of I get anxiousness assaults at events with giant crowds or mute all notifications for every week straight as a result of I don’t need to get off the bed. This sense of burdening others is completely defined by “peace” and made me, for the primary time, really feel at peace with my psychological sickness.
The great thing about “peace” doesn’t cease there. Listening to my aforementioned “Mentally Unwell Swifties” playlist on shuffle at some point, I heard “peace,” and the tune which adopted, “Renegade” by Massive Pink Machine that includes Swift, introduced upon an epiphany.
The tune acts as the opposite half of “peace” by reexamining reflections on psychological sickness from a brand new perspective.
“Renegade” could possibly be interpreted because the expertise of somebody who loves an individual with a psychological sickness and the way it leads them to doubt their relationship: “is it actually your anxiousness that stops you from giving me all the pieces?”
The singer contemplates insecurity, asking whether or not their companion’s psychological sickness stops them from absolutely committing. By its finish, the tune illustrates the message of accepting an individual for who they’re and wanting to assist them in any capability they’ll.
These two songs speak about the identical subject from two completely different views — the doubt and pressure that psychological sickness can put in the best way of accepting love. On each ends, the fact of psychological sickness generally is a sophisticated journey for an individual who feels that being themself is a burden.
The largest takeaway from these two songs is the concept of acceptance.
Swift showcases that everybody is deserving of affection and that it’s attainable regardless of all the obstacles one might face. Her songs carry me peace — figuring out that at some point I can discover that acceptance inside myself and reside semihappily with my psychological sickness.
From me and my “Mentally Unwell Swifties” playlist (loving and accepting you in each method),
Myriam Alcala is a sophomore writing about literature and standard tradition of their column, “Fan-them Diaries.” They’re additionally an affiliate managing editor on the Each day Trojan.