Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Desperately wanting

Throughout high school, Desperately wanting by Better than Ezra was my favorite song, without a doubt. 

The lyrics:

Past the road to your house
That you never called home
Where they turned out your lights
Though they say you'll never know

I remember running through the wet grass
And falling a step behind
Both of us never tiring
Desperately wanting

When they pumped out your guts
And filled you full of those pills
You were never quite right
Deserving all the chills
They say the worst is over
Kicked it over and ran
Then they ask what went wrong
When they turn you on again
They turn you on again.

Kick them right in the face
Make them wish they weren't born
And if they bring up your name
Well they'll say you won the war.
Baby burst in the world
Never given a chance
Then they ask what went wrong
When you never had it right

Oh the letters have dropped off
Though they say you got them all
I finally figured out some things you'll never know.
Take back your life and let me inside
We'll find the door if you care to anymore.

I remember running through the wet grass
and falling a step behind
Both of us never tiring
Desperately Wanting.  

As a teen I struggled with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.  I didn’t understand at the time that I have a long line of undiagnosed mental illness in my family, and that even if my home situation had been ideal I would still more than likely had to deal with mental illness.  Add in that my home situation was far from ideal, with my mother having her own undiagnosed mental illness, as well as addiction etc., and we have a perfect storm.

I remember feeling so out of control, as if my own mind were my enemy and not understanding why I reacted this or that way, why I felt this or that way.  Between the teenage hormones, the difficult home situation, and the persistent negative thoughts, it was a daily emotional rollercoaster and I just wanted off.  The most infuriating thing was when I would confide in people about what was going on in my head and they would say « don’t think like that » as if I could just flip a switch, as if I had a choice in the matter.  When your own mind seems to be working against you the only solutions seem to be mind-altering substances, or suicide.

This song spoke to me.  A house I never called home, the people asking what went wrong, as in why I thought the way I did, and the feeling of never being quite right.  When I was 15, a friend of mine committed suicide, and I was so angry at him for leaving me.  This song reminded me that there were people in my life that wanted me to fight, who believed I could win the war, and would feel the way I felt about him if I left.  It became my battle cry, the voice of my support network when they weren’t there.  I still lost a few of the battles, I still tried to leave a few times, but I survived.

I still love this song, and it speaks to me even more now, because I understand now that I didn’t have a chance at being mentally healthy, it was beyond my control then.  Now, the worst is over (I think) and I’ve taken control with the help of medication and therapy.  The battles are few and far between, thought the war isn’t over, it never will be for me, and I accept that.  I took back my life, and this song reminds me now that I did survive, and I can continue to do so.  I just have to keep running through the wet grass, never tiring, and desperately wanting to live.

Inspired by Mama Kat’s pretty much world famous writing prompts - When you were in high school what was your favorite song? What did it mean to you then and what does it mean to you now?

Mama’s Losin’ It


  1. Very strong post - thank you for sharing.

  2. You seem to be a strong surviver.
    Mr BC suffers from depression and I am a snapout of it personality. I had to really develop empathy to make this work the 45 years it has been working.

  3. I also LOVE this song, and remember very vividly seeing them perform it live in 1995. Depression is a bitch that I also struggle to keep in check. Keep writing!

  4. Thank you for your very honest post! Love that song!