Exactly. I see homeless people everywhere, and it’s a hard situation. I think a lot of people jump to conclusions and make assumptions about homeless people in general, and I kind of wanted to paint it in a broader stroke.
We talk about mental health when we talk about addiction. People jump to those same conclusions about someone who has a heroin addiction or somebody who has a meth addiction, and they lump them into the same category as someone who’s completely incompetent, ignorant or stupid, or something like that. I just wanted a song that humanizes those people too.
When you think of them as your brother or sister or someone in your family, all of a sudden you have this empathy and compassion. It’s really important that we all have empathy right now.
You mentioned that you’ve struggled with depression and insomnia. What about addiction?
Yeah! I’ve been off of alcohol for a year and a half, and I self-medicated for a very long time. It was a very dark time in my life, but through therapy and medication and reaching out to my family and my loved ones, I’ve been able to come around.
It’s not like while I was in that I was some sort of train wreck and was unable to function. I think that notion also goes with the idea of lumping people into some sort of category. For me, I feel I can be open in talking about these things, even talking here with you.
Before, there was that fear and that stigma where I would worry that you are going to judge me or think there’s something wrong with me. But that’s not the case — I think so many people struggle with that stigma and struggle with being open about their experiences. That seems to be where a lot of the problem stems from.
So yes, I’ve had experiences with all of these things, and that’s where the inspiration for the song came from.