The Gaslight Anthem and Brian Fallon.
The music and community that saved my life.
There’s nothing like another soul that’s been cut up the same.
-Brian Fallon, Handwritten
When I say the words and music of Brian Fallon have saved my life, I don’t say that lightly. In the Summer of 2014 the album Get Hurt was released and it met me right where I was in my life. During that time I was walking through a painful divorce, the loss of many dreams and aspirations I had for myself and my life. It was a dark time, and I was desperately searching for something to hold on to. I found solace in that album, because I knew that no matter how much I was struggling, I was not alone. Out there somewhere in the world there were others who have felt heartbreak and survived.
During the winter of 2014, I contemplated ending my life. I was struggling with depression, an eating disorder and self harm. I was giving up hope on everything. But I decided that I wanted to live, I wanted to get help. I gave myself a goal… to stay alive and healthy until the Gaslight Anthem show in Feb. 2015. This was the first night I dared to venture outside of my comfort zone..alone. At the time it was probably one of the most terrifying things for me. I struggle with social anxiety and so big crowds, new faces, and no buffer… no one to hide behind…that was a very new and nerve wracking thing to experience. Not only did I survive that experience without having a panic attack… It was one of the best nights of my life. And it set me on the path to recovery.
This year with the release of Painkillers, the love of the words and music was reignited. The track “A Wonderful Life” has been the soundtrack to this year. I chose to spend this year traveling and going to as many Brian Fallon shows as I could. It has been my form of self care and therapy. I am coming up on two years of recovery and each show is a chance to celebrate the milestones. Each show is also a chance to reconnect with a new community of people I have welcomed into my life. There is something about the bond of the music that creates these amazing friendships. I can honestly say that my life has been greatly changed but the amazing people I have met. Whether online, or at show, after just a few minutes strangers become friends and it is almost like we have always known one another.
I want a life on fire going made with desire. I don’t want to survive I want a wonderful life. – Brian Fallon, A wonderful life.
Christmastime two years ago I was in a very different and dark place, and as I sit here and write this I am welling up with tears because I feel so blessed to be where I am at in my life. Last night I was able to close out 2016 on a high note. Surrounded by awesome people who just radiate love and community, friends that feel like family. Through the joys and sorrows of these last few years…the music and this community has been my safe haven. To me this is so much more than just music and friendship… it has given me a life that I am in love with. Full of love and friendship, poetry and storytelling, adventure and memory making.
If there was anything I could say to Brian Fallon and my amazing friends in the Choir…it would be: “look at you saving my life.”