written // performed // co-produced by Rou
produced // mastered by @fourlore
Two years ago, around this time, I awoke in a windowless hospital room, cold, confused and very alone. Much to my dismay at the time, I had been unsuccessful in the attempt to check out early.
After a series of highly unfortunate events while travelling, I returned to North America with a self-protective disregard for the severity of the situation I had just emerged from. Although I knew it to be jarring at the time, I was unprepared for how distinctly it would mark my life. I spent the following year doing everything in my power to remain distracted and for the most part, intoxicated. In an attempt to move forward and away from the past, I had actually managed to sink, slowly but steadily.
I admitted myself to a psychiatric ward shortly after I returned, only to realize it was the last place I would find appropriate care. I attended numerous talk therapy sessions and was given the same diagnosis from two separate psychiatrists. Being the stubborn woman I am, I refused to accept it. I was not equipped in any way to pick up the pieces of myself as they had been scattered. The world doesn’t prep you for shit like this.
Unexpectedly waking up on that frigid December morning was the ultimate crossroad. I had failed at giving up, so all I could do was try.
I was given the opportunity to participate in a treatment plan specifically moulded to my situation and self. The treatment included meeting with a neurologist twice weekly for neurofeedback sessions. It gave me a tangible look at my biochemistry, enabling me to map out the imbalances so they could be addressed. I modified my diet and lifestyle, looked at my genetic makeup, and dove deep into the history of trauma throughout my lineage. I was given a microscope, under which I could observe everything that had brought me through life and to my current state.
I emerged, slowly, as a stranger to my former self. I saw the world with different eyes. In this newfound clarity, I saw how fortunate I was to have my family be financially equipped at the time for alternative treatment to even be an option. I saw how uncommon it is for people to have any budget in terms of mental health care. I saw how the people who need it the most are the ones who rarely have a starting point.
All of the proceeds from this album will go directly to MAPS, an organization that is dedicated to researching and implementing alternative measures for addressing mental illness and addiction. I chose this organization for a number of reasons, most importantly that they are currently fundraising for Phase 3 trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for those who are experiencing PTSD.
Despite my initial reservations, I decided to share the name of the organization and this particular project they are undergoing. This work is controversial and I was concerned that this revelation would deter people from supporting. The way that I see it, there is something missing in our mental health treatment system. The way I see it, new approaches, especially those proven successful, should be given an opportunity. I’ve seen too many people fall through the cracks of this broken system and something’s got to give. Change starts small.
If this stirs you in any way, or you feel a particular connection to this subject, please share. It is my goal to have this message ripple out beyond my community and I believe the positive aspects of social media can assist.
Today marks my twenty fifth year on this earth and it feels like my cup is overflowing. So here is something in return: an amalgamation of this wild, weird metamorphosis.
Thanks to all the people who stood by while I walked through the shadows and a big ol’ special shout out to my ma who labored to get me into this world and to keep me here. Thanks to all of you, you make my life full.
released December 1, 2016
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