Passion Pit's Michael Angelakos Pens Open Letter About Mental Illness and Making It "To the Other Side"
Published Mar 03, 2017Passion Pit have been on a creative tear as of late, following up a holiday side-project with a slew of new singles. Frontman Michael Angelakos has briefly pressed pause on sharing more new tunes, though, to open up about his ongoing battle with mental illness and the role it plays in his art.
In a letter posted to Facebook this morning (March 3), Angelakos detailed his experiences with childhood bullying and molestation, as well as the ensuing trauma and ongoing process of recovery.
He also delves into the impact that social media and comment sections have had on his personal and professional life, outlining a particularly terrifying culmination of his experiences at SXSW in 2009 in which he was drinking, using drugs and "spiralling" in the midst of a mixed manic and depressive episode; it was later diagnosed as dissociative psychosis.
Angelakos also explains that his path to recovery began when he later sought help for his growing "suicidality" at a hospital.
"That is what trauma renders, and that is, in effect, in many ways, what trauma is," he writes. "And most artists go through this every day. And most artists think this is the price. And most audiences believe the same thing. But we are not snowflakes. I am a really strong person. It took me awhile to realize this, but I am."
He discusses how that translates into his music, describing his role as an artist as "both a calling and a choice," "an honor" and "the most unnecessary burden," and "above all, a horrifying, utterly euphoric type of beauty, constantly burning holes through a mundane overcast."
Angelakos goes on to extend his strength and hope to others, concluding:
So long as you make it to the other side in some way — any way — you win. What that looks like for each person, I dont really know. But it's a feeling, and it's when you realize that no matter what they said or say — the bullies of your childhood , the bullies in the comment sections, or the bullies that become president — just get to the other side.
That's a truth that no one can really refute.
Most people won't understand it. And you got into this whole thing to be understood, so that's a bit confusing. But that's okay. You did it. And that's enough because you're enough.
Read his entire message below.