Dear Mr. Mescudi,
This week, you opened up to the world. You let us into your darkest corner, where the shadows hang low and heavy. To you, it seemed to be a cathartic release of your best-kept secret, but those of us who listen closely to your music have known your struggle for a long time. Lyrically, you have been offering us glimpses of what it’s like to be Mr. Solo Dolo, alone and floating in space, the somber yet resilient Man on the Moon.
A lot of things about your post made me sad. As a person who has struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts, hearing anyone’s battle with the demons hits me deep in the gut. The fact that you are hurting makes me sad. But what breaks me into pieces isn’t that you are hurting, it’s that you are so ashamed of feeling the way that you do.
In your brief Facebook post, you use the word “ashamed” three times. You apologized to us twice. You call yourself damaged, you recount the things you can’t and don’t do because of your illness. You dedicate an entire paragraph to reassuring your fans about the album release, as if any true fan reading your message couldn’t care less about an album when your well-being is on the line.
Don’t apologize for creating art that a confused 15-year-old beginning to notice her own developing symptoms of anxiety and depression found companionship and peace in.
This morning, I picked up a bucket of cleaning supplies, popped in my headphones, and blasted Man on the Moon while tidying up the house, a routine I’ve found comfort in since the album’s release in 2009.
Do not apologize at all. Not for a single thing. But please, please, no matter what, do not apologize for “living a lie.” Don’t say sorry for a single lyric or for expressing yourself unapologetically. Don’t apologize for creating art that a confused 15-year-old beginning to notice her own developing symptoms of anxiety and depression found companionship and peace in.
Take every one of your apologies, write them down, and throw them away. Don’t let them weigh you down in your recovery. You do not need forgiving—you deserve thanking.
Thank you for being vulnerable and relatable. Thank you for writing about an uncomfortable darkness that invades so many of our minds but is often too abstract to verbalize. Thank you for bringing a light to that darkness, thank you for making me feel less alone, thank you for holding my hand through the sound waves when I cried over the truth and understanding I found through your music.
You’re saving your own life, and by being so transparent, you’re saving the lives of others. You're normalizing something people are terrified to admit or recognize.
By no means am I confused by your apologies and other self-depreciating phrases. When you’re that low, you sincerely feel worthless—like a nuisance, an annoyance, a burden on those you love and humanity as a whole. I do not know your precise struggle, but to an extent, I understand. And because I understand, I want to tell you I am proud of you.
I am so proud of you, and proud to call myself a fan of yours. You are a superhero. You’re saving your own life, and by being so transparent, you’re saving the lives of others. You're normalizing something people are terrified to admit or recognize. There is absolutely nothing shameful about therapy, pills, rehab, crying, or feeling things deeply. Seeking help, getting better, and reclaiming a life should be celebrated.
Thank you, Mr. Mescudi, for reaching out and taking the hard steps. I know your legs feel weak but they’ll grow stronger every day. Please never forget how unique you are, how crucial you are to this world and the people you’ve been touching for the last decade. I love you—we love you. You are never alone. This is all we could ever ask for from you.