Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager was released during my first semester in college. After looking forward to it for weeks, I played it on my laptop as soon as it came out.
When it was over, I turned to my roommate and asked for his thoughts. He admitted that it was good, but ultimately not for him. Now that I’ve known him for more than six years, I can understand why.
As one of the most optimistic, lighthearted people I know, he didn’t have a connection to Kid Cudi’s music in the same way that I did. Could he enjoy listening to it? Sure. Millions of people do. But does it speak to his life? Not in the same way that it does for people that have long battled depression.
To this day, “Ghost!” is still one of my favorite songs. Not just by Kid Cudi, but ever. It serves as a kind of highlight reel of the internal monologue that I’ve had playing ever since I was 11. And this was just one of his many musical journeys that broached the subject. He’d later speak about it in public, as well.
It struck a chord the other night when I found out Kid Cudi had admitted himself into a rehab facility because of depression, anxiety and suicidal urges. On the surface level, I was genuinely concerned for an artist that had helped me through so much. But on a more intimate level, it forced me to look in the mirror and realize something about myself.
My depression hasn’t gone anywhere. I’ve just been ignoring it.
My last major episode came a couple of years ago. And by “major,” I mean far worse than the day-to-day levels I encounter where I would spend hours staring at a muted television screen because I couldn’t think of anything better to do.
I was a few months out of school, jobless and couldn’t see my situation changing anytime soon. Eventually, I reached out for some professional help and the outside forces that were weighing me down resolved themselves with [a lot of] time.
Even though I logically know different, I had somehow convinced myself that, as long as I kept an eye on it, my depression would never get that bad again; I just wouldn’t let it. I even wrote it off as post-graduation depression in an attempt to distance myself from it as if it were some sort of exception. But Cudi’s courageous admission forced me to make one of my own. I was on the verge of diving head first into another bout and I had to do something about it before it threw my life off track.
Combine having my heart broken after painfully ending an unhealthy relationship with the ups and downs that naturally come with working as a writer and throw in some added life stressors, for good measure. You’ve got the perfect cocktail for another trip to “the bad place.”
Before I knew it, I was losing motivation to get work done and all of my conversations with friends and family seemed to revolve around what wasn’t going right in my life. There were even some days where I realized I hadn’t eaten until I was about to go to sleep.
It took watching Kid Cudi, who’s publicly struggled for years, admitting that he needed help to remind me that depression works in a similar way to addiction or alcoholism. It’s never really gone. You just have to constantly manage it because every day going forward is going to be its own battle.
This is why I have to thank Kid Cudi, once again, for saving me. Just as he has been for years. If I hadn’t gotten this wake up call, made the decision to go back to therapy and work towards detaching myself from the source of my heartbreak, who knows where I would’ve been come December.
“I am sorry if I let anyone down. I really am sorry,” Cudi said in his letter to fans. “… I feel like shit, I feel so ashamed. Im sorry.”
This is my way of letting him, and anyone else struggling to speak out about their inner struggles, know that there’s nothing to be sorry for. His decision to be open and vulnerable likely saved countless people from falling back into that dark, but familiar, place we often find ourselves in. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Just take a look at the hashtags that have been born on social media for people to come out with their stories as proof.
“See, things do come around and make sense, eventually.” – Kid Cudi, “Ghost!”
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