Photo credit: Ryan Russell
Posts tagged Matt Brasch.
Hi, my name is Steven and I’m just another fucked up kid from the Philadelphia suburbs. Sometime around 2005 I was battling severe social anxiety and almost crippling depression stemming from lots of physical abuse from my father (I won’t go into details) as a child. This anxiety and depression, for the longest time, kept me from bringing myself to even leave my house for the simplest things. Going to school, places with my family, hanging out with my friends, I wouldn’t do any of it. All I would do was just stay locked away in my bedroom pretty much browsing the internet all day, sleeping, and staying up until the wee hours of the morning.
After getting to the point where my mother was about to be arrested for me being “truant” from school, I was entered into multiple out patient psychiatric hospital programs. I was also seeing a countless number of shrinks as well. These programs and therapists helped some but not nearly enough to bring me to be a functioning member of society again. For the longest I felt like I was never going to be “normal” again.
Here we are come say late 2006, my family and I move to Florida for my mom’s job. I still suffering from my issues find myself in the same place I was back in Pennsylvania. Fast forward to somewhere around late 2009, still battling my demons, I eventually find myself leaving the house. I even had a girlfriend, who I had been with for about two years at the time, and a job. On the outside things seemed to be getting better, but on the inside, they were still just as bad, if not worse. My past was still getting the best of me along with the newfound responsibilities of work and living on my own. I wasn’t sure how to beat any of it.
Things eventually started to seem like they were getting better. However, just as things started looking up, a lot of shit happened and it all came crashing down on me. I wound up getting violently I’ll in early January of 2010 and eventually lost my job because of it. On top of this, one of my roommates hadn’t been keeping up with his financial responsibilities, which lead to us pretty much being evicted from out apartment complex.
After dealing with those headaches, I moved back home with my family. Back to where I was miserable. I pretty much fell back into the routines I had prior to moving out. Not long after moving back home, my girlfriend and I started having serious issues. She was unhappy with the fact that I didn’t have a new job within a month or so of losing my previous one, as well as the fact that we once again lived an hour apart. Skipping the details, this lead to the two of us having a major break up.
It’s now roughly sometime in February 2010. I have no job, no significant other, and my life has pretty much fallen apart. At this point I am in a really dark place mentally. As dumb as it sounds, I was contemplating what it would be like to take my own life. Thankfully, not long after these thoughts started, I made a discovery that I am still benefitting from to this very day.
While surfing the internet one night, I come across this up and coming pop-punk band from back home in PA, “The Wonder Years,” after having just released their breakthrough album, “The Upsides.” At first the appeal of the band was that they we’re from the same area as me, but this changed after giving their album a listen. It had hit me somewhere deep down, there was something I could relate to in every single song. The up beat vibe that the album gives off too just overall made me feel better. This album did more for me than any drug prescribed by a psychiatrist, or any therapy could ever do. It was honestly amazing how much “The Upsides” caused my attitude to improve.
Once I gave the album a full listen through, I did some more research into the band. I discovered and downloaded their previous releases, but most importantly, I found out the back-story and meaning behind “The Upsides.” I found out about “Soupy’s” past and saw that it related to mine in so many ways. For once, I felt like I wasn’t alone in my fight against depression and anxiety. I realized that there are so many other people going through the same shit as me and that the world isn’t as fucked up as I had perceived it to be. This is when I decided that I wasn’t going to let my depression and anxiety get the best of me.
Since finding “The Upsides,” I can gladly say that my thoughts of suicide have been replaced by thoughts of positivity. Because of “The Wonder Years” I am still here today. In June (2011) I attended the release show in Philadelphia for “Suburbia I’ve Given You All And Now I’m Nothing,” where I was able to tell “Soupy” that his music saved my life and shook his hand. While the moment was brief, it was quite possibly one of the most amazing moments in the twenty years I’ve been alive.
Most recently, on the Camden stop of the 2011 Vans Warped Tour, I was able to better express to the entire band how their music affected me. I had worn a shirt that I handmade which read, “The Wonder Years SAVED MY LIFE,” on the front of it. This (Along with my drawing of Hank the Pigeon) grabbed a lot of attention from the guys when I met them that day.
I had thanked all of the guys for what they’ve done for me, explained my story in short detail to “Soupy,” and once again thanked him for saving my life. This was where he replied, “No, thank you man,” and shook my hand then told me that he’d see me when they played later that day. Shortly after that encounter I took a photo with them and as you will see, I have one of the largest and most genuine smiles on my face.
In closing I want to say that it’s wonderful to see a band that genuinely cares about their fans and the way they affect them like “The Wonder Years” do. This is why I am extremely proud to say that, “The Wonder Years saved my life.” And I know that they will probably never see this, but I want to thank them once again, for everything they’ve done for me with their music.
Reblogging myself for reasons.
Where the hell is this from!? I must have a physical copy of this in my life.