From Swinging from the Chandelier to a New Lease of Life

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I have always been fascinated with stories about people coming out strong after storms that came crushing them. It speaks so much that there is something in people that enable us to raise the sword of triumph over all adversaries that one could trod. This kind of life translates itself into a story that strengthens others to pull themselves together and pick up the broken pieces of their dreams. This is what I have seen in the Australian singer and songwriter, Sia Kate Isobelle Furler best known as SIA.

I am a type of person who never wants to be much of a fan of someone in the mainstream. I tend to walk away being a fan when the artist that I used to like stays so much on the pedestal of fame. However, Sia is different, eccentrically different but, in a good way. She sings the life stories of many people. Much more than her songs, I inexpressibly adore her personality. I guess that is the factor that made me attached to her songs – the uniqueness of one’s personality that speaks through art in a form of a song that I haven’t seen or felt in other artists. What amazed me in her is that despite fame keeps chasing her, she runs away from it in strive to have her personal serenity and peace through being anonymous in the eyes of many, hence, the mysterious performances wherein she has her back turned while performing and not being in her music videos. She mentioned that she’s uncomfortable with the fame that comes along with singing.

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Sia confessed in her interview in the Howard Stern Show, that she was diagnosed with Bipolar II. It is a type of Bipolar disorder characterized by depression and hypomania. According to DSM-V, it is no longer considered to be a less serious form of mood disorder compared to Bipolar I. She theorized that she got such a disorder from using so much drugs that started when she was 13 years old saying, “I smoked too much pot as a kid.” Then she goes, “I was constantly looking for something just to feel like a sense of equilibrium.” This is exaclty the internal yearning of some people using drugs. The concept of “Operant Conditioning” might be one of the reasons why people get addicted to drugs. It is the sense of reward through the form of pleasure that enables them to keep on using it to the extent of being impulsive in an attempt to increase the feelings of pleasure to self-medicate different forms of pain. It may be pain from the past, pain from broken relationships, and pain from whatever life has given them. As to Sia, she resorted to drugs and alcoholism to maintain balance in something that she wasn’t and couldn’t be in control of. She added that she stayed in her house for 6 months, pill popping, hovering drugs, and contemplated suicide. She said that she is currently going through a therapy program that strengthened the quality of her life and parental bonds. She mentioned, “I didn’t know who I was until 3 and a half years ago.”

Sia also suspected that her dad has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). It is a type of Dissociative Disorder wherein a person switches to different personalities and names. Each of which has their own characteristic that are totally unique from other projected personalities in one person. She said that her dad named two parts of his self, one is Phil, Sia referred to it as “The Best Dad Ever.” The second was named Stan. Sia uttered, “When Stan came around stuff got scary.” Later, she cleared out that her dad wasn’t diagnosed nor medicated for such a disorder.

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The song “Chandelier” is one of the distinguished songs written by Sia. It stirred different reactions from people from its deep and well-written lyrics up to its quite anomalous music video. These are some things that caught my attention. It seems like it created an internal enticement in me, letting me feel not just the superficial words in the lyrics but the story of the one who created it. According to Urban Dictionary, to swing from the chandelier is a very common expression that means to have a wild party. True enough, Sia wrote this song for the demoralization of alcohol. She was once alcoholic and she struggled her way out of it. It was a personal song for her and something that she was attached with. These songs make me see the beauty of people winning┬átheir own war. Genuine experiences of pain, struggles, failure, and sickness that ends with a triumphant song.

I will always be attached to songs written such as Sia’s not directly because I share the same experiences, but, it serves as a reminder of how people who once thought that they are weak comes out to be strong, people who thought that hope abandoned them, actually finds that all this time, hope is within them and people who battle mental disorders continuously live beyond the ordinary. These songs sing the internal unexpressed feelings that could empathize with me when words and people are not enough bring comfort. The paradox of life springs up within me finding beauty in the ugly, peace in anxiety, hope in time of depression, and love in hate.

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We all sing songs of our personal struggles. All of which are different in lyrics, tone, and content . But when put together, it could make the most beautiful sound of life. Life that will inspire others to continue living – life that will sustain others to live by knowing that it’s not just all about swinging from one chandelier to another but to actually let go of it and walk the path of the reality of life.

Continue to create beautiful songs out of your struggles.

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