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I first heard "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons when I was thirteen. I immediately fell in love with their style of music and found myself downloading every song I could find of theirs.
One year later I fell into a deep depression (I will be referring to it as the "Dark Days").
I was a freshman in high school and turned 14 in December of that year, and at the start of the new year, I found myself feeling, well, not like myself. I was sad a lot, initially over little things, but gradually it became even worse due to events that were out of my control. My mood grew darker with each passing day. My usual go-to's that would help me feel happier (books, music, friends) just weren't working like they used to. This is the moment when things felt like they were going to take a turn for the worse.
I caught myself thinking unhappy thoughts, wondering what it would be like just to slip away. And, here's the interesting thing about it all: nobody knew I was depressed.
One misleading fact about people who are depressed is that they don't always look like it on the outside. To my family and my classmates, I was the same cheery kid who would crack jokes for a laugh and hang out with her friends all the time. For a while, I was able to keep up with the act. After about three months, I started shutting myself away from the world. When I was at school, I kept quiet and didn't raise my hand at questions. At lunch, though I would sit with my usual crowd, I kept my head down and my nose between a book, even though I was almost always eavesdropping on my friends. When I was home I shut myself behind my bedroom door, only coming out to use the bathroom or to get a little food and water. Like I said, I wondered what it would be like to slip away. This was my way of slowly but surely doing so.
But one day when I was in US History I lost it. I cannot remember why, but I suddenly started to sob uncontrollably. My friend at the time came and sat with me before I excused myself to the bathroom where I finished wiping the tears from my face. That afternoon during lunch, everyone approached me and asked what was wrong. So I told them.
I need you to understand that this was not the moment when everything turned around and I started to get better. No, I am an introvert, which means that expressing my feelings does no good for me. Telling my friends that I was depressed wasn't a way to make me feel better. It was just a way of getting them off my back.
I can vividly remember going home that afternoon ashamed, more so than before. I couldn't believe that I let myself crack in public like that. I switched on the tv and laid in my usual spot on my bed. I didn't really pay attention to what was on but instead focused on those unhappy thoughts. And that's when I heard it...
Apparently, when I turned on the TV The Incredible Burt Wonderstone was introducing the ending credits of the movie. And, whose song would be playing but Imagine Dragons' "On Top Of The World."
I heard the song and immediately sat up, intrigued and hypnotized by its sweet melody. I downloaded a copy to my phone and plugged my earbuds in. I listened to that song over and over until the next morning when I entered first-period algebra. And you know what? I wasn't so sad.
That afternoon, after I got off the bus, I scoured YouTube for more songs by Imagine Dragons, coming across "Bleeding Out" and "Monster." Every moment that I had, those three songs played through my earbuds. After what seemed like forever, I could feel myself returning to my natural state of mind. I was leaving my room more, talking to my friends at lunch again, and during the entire transition, those three songs remained in my head.
I cannot tell you why Imagine Dragons were my inspiration to escape the Dark Days. I cannot tell you why their songs were my placebo, and why their effect on me was so strong. What I can tell you is that, even two years later when I relapsed and to this day, their songs have continued to touch me in a way that medicine would only dream of. You may call me crazy, but I know my body. Euphoria has no disguise. It greets you in its truest form, no matter the cause.
So, in conclusion, I want to personally thank Imagine Dragons for saving me from myself. If it weren't for you, I honestly don't think I would be here right now. You taught me how to take pride in who I am, and how to battle our demons with our hearts instead of our fists. Because of you, I have moved onward and upward from the Dark Days. And if the time comes when they return, I don't think I'll be scared. Because I know I'll have your playlists right beside me for support.