Grand Rapids, MI Punk band The Lippies is sharing a B-Side from their 2015 recording session of their self-titled full-length. It’s a cover of the late Jay Reatard’s “My Shadow.” Along with it are some words from vocalist Tonia Broucek on mental health. Listen. Read. All love to those who made it and those that didn’t.
“As defined by the World Health Organization, Health is ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ Complete health is something that many of us spend our entire lives chasing. The absence of physical health is often met with sympathy, albeit not always sympathetic enough to be properly accommodated in late-stage capitalism for even basic survival. The absence of mental health, on the other hand, is often met with confusion and questions of validity. I am someone who has been without mental or emotion health since elementary school. I spent so many years in denial of this, internalizing subliminal messages that I should just ‘get over’ the roadblocks and troublesome thoughts and feelings looping in my mind.
I ‘toughed it out’ until I hit a wall several times in my late teens and early 20s with a small handful of half-assed suicide attempts, followed by one of my hardest hits in the summer of 2020 when I began self-harming. I put off receiving the level psychiatric help I knew I needed for financial reasons until February of 2021 when I checked myself into the inpatient program at a local psychiatric hospital. This act of self-care and self preservation was the most empowering move I’ve ever made in my life and I am happy to have survived.
It does not go without notice that am privileged to have a job willing to accommodate my month-long absence. I pray that one day there will be health-care reform so that more people may receive the help they need and deserve without the rest of their lives falling apart. It’s easy for someone like me who has job security and health insurance to say that no job or amount of money is more important than your health, but I know it’s more complicated and complex than that. I have no solution as to how to make ends meet after a hospital stay if that’s what you need. All I can say is that if you’re struggling with your mental health and are experiencing feelings that you or those around you would be better off without you, please seek help. Please check on your happy friends and family (including the happy ones).”
Stream the cover below. We have also provided the Suicide Hotline Number for anyone who may need it – 800-273-8255. We’re all in this together.