Issues

This week's Mental Health Session is Julia Michaels' "Issues". This song has been a significant one for me, and I'm getting real over on the blog about depression, anxiety, sensory processing disorder (SPD) and break ups! Click to read and to watch the video.

TW: depression

I recorded Issues back in October, when I first came up with the idea for the mental health sessions. At the time, I was severely depressed, anxious, and my boyfriend of three years had just very unceremoniously dumped me. I had no idea that I had sensory processing disorder (SPD) at this point, and I felt trapped and confused in my over-wired body, at a complete loss as to what was happening to me.

I now know that I experience an aspect of SPD called dyspraxia, or difficulty in the coordination of movement, and that it seems to be worse when my SPD is more heightened. In October, my SPD was on fire. It took me two months to learn this song, and I remember feeling so proud of myself for recording it after many, many, many takes! Watching it back now, I can see my brain struggling to keep up with my fingers, the pedal, the singing, and keeping it all together, in time and in tune. I thought about rerecording it, but I think there’s some beauty in its imperfection. Back in October, making this video felt like an enormous accomplishment, and to me, this performance of this song completely captures how I was feeling in this overwhelming time.

At this time I was also almost exclusively listening to Julia Michaels. I was in bad shape (messy breakup x depression x anxiety x SPD = very unhappy and overwired lil Sarah) and Julia’s songs were the only music I seemed to be able to latch onto. I felt that she totally understood what I was going through, and I felt certain that she too had experienced mental illness. So when she wrote a beautiful essay for Glamour magazine about living with anxiety, I was unsurprised – but very delighted and inspired. It’s a really wonderful essay, and well worth a read – you can find it here! I like to pull it out to reread when things get tough.

In the article she says this about Issues, which I think is really lovely:

“When I see people sing “Issues” with me, it’s the most incredible feeling in the world. When we sing it together, we understand each other. We understand that everyone and everything is flawed, and it’s the thing that connects us the most. When we sing “Issues,” we sing it hundreds of different ways for hundreds of different reasons, but we do it as a whole. We lay all our insecurities out on the table. This is what I’ve always wanted. To be understood, to be heard. To be seen. Just like so many others struggling with mental illness.”

 

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I’m jealous, I’m overzealous
When I’m down I get real down
When I’m high I don’t come down
But I get angry, baby, believe me
I could love you just like that
And I can leave you just as fast

[Pre-Chorus 1]
But you don’t judge me
‘Cause if you did, baby, I would judge you too
No, you don’t judge me
‘Cause if you did, baby, I would judge you too

[Chorus]
‘Cause I got issues, but you got ’em too
So give ’em all to me and I’ll give mine to you
Bask in the glory, of all our problems
‘Cause we got the kind of love it takes to solve ’em
Yeah, I got issues
And one of them is how bad I need you

[Verse 2]
You do shit on purpose
You get mad and you break things
Feel bad, try to fix things
But you’re perfect, poorly wired circuit
And got hands like an ocean
Push you out, pull you back in

[Pre-Chorus 2]
‘Cause you don’t judge me
‘Cause if you did, baby, I would judge you too
No, you don’t judge me
‘Cause you see it from the same point of view

[Chorus]
‘Cause I got issues, but you got ’em too
So give ’em all to me and I’ll give mine to you
Bask in the glory, of all our problems
‘Cause we got the kind of love it takes to solve ’em
Yeah, I got issues
And one of them is how bad I need you

[Bridge]
I got issues, you got ’em too
And one of them is how bad I need you
I got issues, you got ’em too

[Chorus]
‘Cause I got issues, but you got ’em too
So give ’em all to me and I’ll give mine to you
Bask in the glory, of all our problems
‘Cause we got the kind of love it takes to solve ’em
Yeah, I got issues (I got)
And one of them is how bad I need you (You got ’em too)
Yeah, I got issues (I got issues)
And one of them is how bad I need you (You got ’em too)
Yeah, I got issues (I got)
And one of them is how bad I need you

  1. Divya

    June 2nd, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Wow! This is so good. It’s amazing that people can sing and play an instrument at the same time. But the fact that you were able to put in a lil sass in this while your SPD was playing up astounds me.
    Thanks for bringing in a lil spring on this winters day.

  2. Sarah Alleyn

    September 13th, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Aw thank you so much Divya love!! (and also, sorry for this very slow reply 🙈😅)

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