CW suicidal ideation
8/21 "The Waltz" (album: Reset to Factory Specs) is a dance that some of us know better than we wish we did, and certainly better than we generally admit to other people.
A friend who gets this recently introduced me to the term "unalive" - just not wanting to be here anymore. When I've heard folks talk about suicidal ideation (especially those who don't live with it) I've generally felt alienated from them. Not because I don't deal with bouts of it myself, but because they don't know what they're talking about.
I don't dream of ending my life, but I do dream of the kind of rest from the exhaustion I feel that only being unalive promises. That isn't morbid; it's practical. It's a rational response to intense stress and being bone-deep tired for what feels like a lifetime.
Autistic folks can have a shockingly short life expectancy. The first time I read a stat that said "early 40s" it hit me hard because I sometimes don't know how to live a life I was convinced wouldn't last beyond 30.
The one thing I know, though, while the rest of existence has become a sea of maybe-greys, is that I am here to make music. Music keeps me here.
I know this is a hard subject for many folks, but it's not hard for me. It's as easy as breathing for me to talk about this now that I've accepted it's a part of who I am. The trick is to find a way to incorporate it into Living Life, and I'm getting there.
"The Waltz" was the first song I wrote in 2020. It began my song-a-week (or more) that lasted until my mom died. The songs that made it onto this album were never intended to be shared with other people. I wrote them for me. Just me. I told myself I was safe to write the truth, and I did.
I told the story of the song to Betsy Tinney and she agreed to add cello, and that's what the song became: a waltz between piano and cello around the truth my voice sings.
Now these songs are in the world, it feels good that they belong to more than just me. My hope is they will find the folks who need to hear them most.