When I was 19 years old, my dad’s salary was significantly cut. When I learned that I might not be able to live at college because of this, my anxiety reappeared, in the form of panic attacks. I was spinning, ruminating rather than ritualizing, not sleeping, and without an appetite. After seeing a therapist and then a psychiatrist, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and depression. I was barely functioning; unable to eat more than a banana a day, I lost 15 pounds. I couldn’t go to the gym or even focus on my schoolwork.
Instead, I sat in my room trying to find my sanity, and through that, I found how curative music could be. In high school, listening to Death Cab For Cutie got me through my breakups, but in college, it was something that helped me find my inner peace. As an anxious adolescent, I felt like Ben Gibbard's sadness was my sadness. His diaristic lyrics about depression, lost love, and displacement were like musical antidepressants to me (I was taking the medical kind, too). Although friends have always teased me for listening to "depressing" music all the time, it was melancholy songs like "A Lack of Color," “Transatlanticism," or "Title Track" that managed to put me at ease.