Chelsea Cutler, the alternative pop singer-songwriter, released her new album “When I Close My Eyes” on October 15. In this album, one song specifically is very special to her.
In her latest song “Devil on my shoulder”, Cutler doesn’t hold back on the gut-wrenching lyrics about the dark parts of struggling with a mental illness.
“Help me,” she sings in the chorus. “I’m still waiting for someone to tell me this won’t last forever, but it’s hell for me. Just to remind myself that I’m supposed to breathe. There ain’t nobody else that can help me. Screaming in the shower isn’t healthy. Holding it together but it’s hell for me. I’m not the person that I’m supposed to be.”
As someone who struggles with a mental illness, I relate to this song and the honest portrayal it is. At times, it can seem like I’m fighting a battle with myself. People can seem so put together on the outside, yet be falling apart on the inside. Mental illness is not as recognizable as a cold, but it affects every single part of your life. This is why it can be so overwhelming at times.
The endless cycle of not doing anything because you’re depressed, but then your depression becomes even worse because you’re not doing anything. People stop relying on you, stop believing in you which makes it harder to believe in yourself. All you want is for someone to hold tight, and tell you it’s all going to be okay. You want someone to help you bear the weight of this burden, and through that remind you that you’re not a burden yourself.
Cutler understands that depression is a hard battle to fight, yet her opening up about this is a way of letting it know that it hasn’t won. She is still the victor in this war of her mind even if at times it doesn’t seem like it.
“I’m not the person that I’m supposed to be,” Cutler sings.
I really like this line because I can get lost in the limbo between the person I want to be and the person I am. Mental Illness can overtake every part of you if you’re not careful. This means leaving you with a version of yourself you didn’t even recognize.
Self-love is harder to achieve when your mind has been overwhelmed with a demon on your shoulder. Cutler leaves us with this line to ponder whether it’s okay not to be the person you idealized yourself to be. Her first album was called How to be human, so it is only fitting that she leaves us to think about the err of being human.
Photo courtesy of Republic Records