Music Saves Lives (The Point of it All)

"At their very beginnings, some lives are destined to be saved, or else they will be cut tragically short."

This was the first line of a paper I wrote last year about a meaningful experience in my life.

I've come to find since writing that paper that there was never one experience that changed my life but several that saved my life: several nights of falling into the comfort of notes of songs, immersing myself in lyrics, and surrounding myself with the love that resonated through my empty room from my speakers.

If you never read another of my posts, please take the time to read this one.

I have told this story and will tell it again and again through my career.

I want to be a writer, because I want to help people.

I want to make people feel that they belong, that someone out there cares about them, and that they can make it through whatever this world may shoot at them alive-- The world can fire, but one can evade the shots. I feel as if it is my duty to carry on the legacy of what completely changed and - I will say it- saved my life. That is, music.

To me, music is among the most powerful things in the world, and I want to be a music journalist, because I have felt the full power of music and want to pass it on.

In May, 2008 the website was launched. This site showcases stories from fans of the band My Chemical Romance that tell how the band has changed, saved, or positively influenced their lives. My story was among the first featured, and I would like to share it with you here.

My Story

Asking me how My Chemical Romance saved my life is almost like asking me my birth date. It's so ingrained in me that, literally, the day I found MCR was like a re-birth, or-- perhaps- the birth I should have had.

I was always a lonely person, an only child and a friendless child. I never quite fit in even at the youngest of ages. Imagine this: a seven-year-old girl trying to explain to her mother why she doesn't want to have a birthday party, knowing at that young of an age that the other kids would not attend...

I lived my life in quiet solitude for fourteen years; then, I finally hit a bottom and no longer wanted to live. The year 2004 was definitely the worst of my life, and I-- at that time- had every intention of its being my last. Little did I know at that point that Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance was feeling the same helplessness.

One day, I sat watching the TV. All the videos of my favorite songs passed my numb senses; then, a video caught my attention: "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" - it was such a simple song, but it heightened my interest when I had lost interest in almost everything. The song made me feel something when I thought I would never feel again.

I immediately began to research the band and saw that, though this group of men was older than me, they were all outcasts and they encouraged the lonely and underdog to stand up for himself. They gave a positive message, and I took it fully to heart.

Their music gave me something to which I could relate; something that spoke to me and seemed to put my feelings into metaphor, a sort of audio friend.

Through them, I have learned to stand up for myself and for others, I have been given a voice that will never be silenced again, and most importantly, I have been given a will to live, and a hope that I someday can help people as they helped me.

Thank you, My Chemical Romance, for saving my life and others' lives.

Link to story

The video that changed it all:

Thank you guys so much for reading.

"Never let them take you alive"



Melis said…
Take your story, and replace "My Chemical Romance" with "Evanescence" and you have my story.

Except I have a sister.

But it's pretty much the same.

I thoroughly enjoyed your entry though. Thanks for sharing it.
The A.G.B said…
It is crazy what good art can do, isn't it?

I am glad you found what you needed...and an excellent fucking band to follow no less.
Thank you guys so much for reading. :'}
Shelly said…
That was AMAZING!! I feel the same way about music and when I watched the MCR DVD it completely threw them to the top of my ladder of favorite bands. I have never cried when watching a documentary about a band but that one made me cry.

Your story is amazing, and I am so thankful for bands like MCR that can save a life without even directly realizing it. This band has so much integrity, something that is missing from the music industry these days.

I get inspired every time I read one of your blogs, thanks again Cassie!!

I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this, and... inspired? Wow. Wow... That's probably the biggest compliment a person could ever give me. :'}

Anonymous said…
I hear ya, totally. Music saved my life too, just Aiden, not My Chem. I found My Chem later. I'm glad i did, cos it's effin brilliant...
^ Awesome. I'm glad you could relate, and I'm glad you found something to help you through.

I actually found Aiden through MCR. After a show in 2005, there were people handing out Victory sampler CDs, and it had the demo of "Knife Blood Nightmare" on it. I still love that song the most.

I'd Just Like To Say, I Cried Reading This. My Dedication To My Chem Has Always Been Ridiculed And To Find Someone Else, Well, It's Really Touched Me. I Have A Brother, A Younger Brother, (MICHAEL JAMES! SERIOUSLY! =O) But Apart From That, I 100% Relate To Your Story, I Feel So, Well, I Can't Express It In Words. Thankyou... Thankyou.

xx Caitlin;

Thank you so much for reading. :]

That's the beautiful thing about MCR's music. So many people have grown through it and they have created a community of people who can relate to eachother. :'} I'm glad you found this, and I'm glad you found MCR.
Charlie said…

That's truly amazing, but I feel the very same with my writing and my art. It's all a part of me.

My story with MCR is very similar, if not exactly the same as yours. I lived my childhood they same exact way and still do. But I'm not alone completely due to the fact that the MCRmy is a few keyboard strokes away for me.

Thank you for sharing you're story. It's really comforting to know that someone felt the same exact way before and after MCR.

Charlie Sin
Anonymous said…
Thank you. Thank you. This was so beautiful. I've never been able to hear such a similar story to mine concerning MCR. I was in a very similar situation, but I experienced mine at a much younger age. When I was 8 my parents got divorced and while I was also a very lonely kid, this made me even more alone. I discovered MCR a year later and Three Cheers leterally brought tears to my eyes. I just got it. Life sucked even more as I got older and The Black Parade was sort of a catharsis for my broken spirit in middle school. I'm in HS now and life is much better now because I finally understand why i'm here.
I love hearing other people's stories about this. :) xoxo,
Tiffany McNeley
Anonymous said…
Hey, this oiece of information, this story you wrote, i can relate to it, it was as if you were telling my story and not your own, it was as if i was reading my life from a young age, having no friends not wanting a party and then finding the I'm not okay clip. Your want to be a journalist is similer to mine, more so the potin of wanting to help others. i find this story beautiful and wish to tell you that i support everything you were meaning in this blog.
-JujuCopyright xx

I'm so glad you could relate. It's always nice to know you aren't alone.

Thank you so much for reading. :]
Anonymous said…
No Problem, your blog has inspired me in alot more ways then one. and i'm so thankful to you for it ^_^

Love JujuCopyright
Oh, wow! That really means a lot, honestly. I'm so glad you could take something from my writing. :'} It means the world to me.


Anonymous said…
That story, is exactly the same as mine. Like you, MCR are simply a part of me now, my friends know that and my parents know that. I wouldn't be who I am today without that band.
To say they are amazing - would be lying, they are beyond that, nothing can describe the feeling that everyone who has been touched by that band has. :)

*hugs* See you at the shows!

Em aka @SheLovesMCR
Cosette said…

I've been reading your blog for a while now, but this is the first time that I've read this. And I would like to start by saying thank you for sharing your story. It's one that many can relate to and some will find that just reading an experience like yours is helpful and inspiring.

My story is somewhat similar in a sense. I discovered them in grade 7 when a girl in my class had let me borrow Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. I sat in my room and listened to it for hours, and I was completely changed. I also suffered from severe depression and had thoughts of suicide. I just didn't belong where I was. I had tried to fit in, but I was living a lie and I was tired. My Chemical Romance showed me that it was okay that I just wanted to be myself, and that I needed to get help for my issues. I've been ridiculed, mocked and thrown face first into the dust for supporting this band as much as I do. No one around me quite understands that their music is so powerful, and so special and close to my heart. It's when I read things like this that I know that I'm not the only one who can see this, and that the other people who understand also want to help people like ourselves develop some self acceptance.

You said that you wanted to help people the way that music had helped you. Your story has helped me, as well as others. And again I just want to say thank you.

Thank you so much for that beautiful comment and thank you for taking the time to read my story.

I know what you mean about the ridicule that comes with following MCR. It's still something I face, but as I see it: This band helped me so much that I would go to the ends of the Earth for them, and there's not one thing a person could do to stop that. The self-empowerment I've learned from them far overcomes an obstacles I face.

As Frank says, "Keep the faith." :]

Cassie your story is so inspiring. i listen to MCR all the time! i am bullied alot in school so i kinda gives me a voices like it did for you to help me stand up for myself! love your blog and once again so inspiring! :)

I'm so glad you've come to find your own voice through the band. I remember crying the first time I heard "SING," because that is exactly what their music taught me to do.

Hang in there. Those bullies are the weaker ones, obviously. Anyone who must resort to harming others for their gain clearly does not have much of which they can say they are proud. Whereas you can always say that you were yourself and did not compromise that in the face of anything. You definitely have something to be proud of, and you will bound ahead of all those jerks in life. :]

Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words,

ElenaMCRmy said…
Hi C!
Well, I read your story and I think you are an amazingly strong person.
You took your experience and now you are helping people.
Thanks for sharing it whith me (well, with us);D
ruby danger said…
Thank you for sharing your story...I hope someday I am brave enough to tell mine,until then I will continued to be encouraged and inspired by all of the people who are fearless and have been saved by MCR.
Kristina xo said…
my chemical romance have also saved my life. i was thinking about suicide all the time, but one day i watched mtv and there was this video of helena. i felt better while watching this video, it was the kind of music, i needed to keep on living. i researched about mcr and got some information about this awesome guys who were like me.
i feel better now and i know, that music can save lifes. you, me and all the others here are the best examples for it.

(i hope my english isn't to bad, i'm from germany)

kristina xo
MrDeadRaven said…
I'm sure this is late an a complete necropost, but I just want to say, I have mad respect for you and I know how it is and how hard it is to talk about. Just mad love and respect.

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