As many people will be aware a number of days ago recording artist Jahméne Douglas released a tweet in which he speaks about his life, it’s direction and his sense of brokenness. Jahméne finishes by saying that all he has left is his desire to die. He does not want this desire yet there it remains nonetheless. What Jahméne has done takes incredible strength of heart and spirit.
I have chosen to pen this brief blog post simply to put forward a few words towards Jahméne in light of his recent post. Some months ago when his album Unfathomable Phantasmagoria was released I blogged on the album for more than two week’s straight. In that time I was blessed enough to receive communication from Jahméne thanking me for carrying out this piece of writing and encouraging me to continue with it. As someone who has struggled for so long to find their own place in the world (and continue to do so) to receive these words of support and encouragement from this artist gave my spirit such a lift and helped me believe that indeed my life does have a purpose.
Anyone that knows me will know that I have struggled myself with depression and anxiety over the years. I was fortunate to receive counselling and I cannot put into words how important this and the support of my family and friends was for me and continues to be. While everyone of us is different I can only say that my experience of this darkness was one in which my perspective on the world changed so drastically that I could not see a place in the world in which I wanted to exist. Once this darkness takes hold of you it feels impossible to overcome it. With the darkness closing in around you the path ahead seems clouded and uncertain. How can the path ahead lead to something beautiful, true and good when all around it is veiled in sadness, bitterness and uncertainty? How can we who have experienced this darkness return to a place of Love when so much Hurt has taken place? It appears hopeless. Yet in reality there is a Way. While nothing can ever go back to the way it was we can at the very least decide what we want it to Be. We do not have to be chained to our past or our future restricted. We can live the life we choose and we can love it! This is the freedom God has given to each of us. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life!
To Jahméne I offer these words: you do not struggle alone. You are surrounded by love and by light. No darkness can overcome you because as long as one speck of light remains then the darkness will always lose. I believe that you have given us a gift in your art. You have been a champion for those of us who are broken and sad. You still have love to give and a cause to fight for. You don’t have to fight this battle alone though. Truly your light remains, however flickering it may be.
I close with the following words which were used when discussing Jahméne’s track Reach You:
As I said before I had an odd couple of days. I have finished reading Mandy Thomas’ book You Can’t Run and I advise all to read it. In fact I challenge you to read it. Just be prepared for it. I have always been a bit of a sensitive person who feels things incredibly strongly and personally…this book certainly shook me to my core and forced me to take a good look at myself. Yet as I said in listening to Reach You I felt as though it had been written just for me. As Jahméne beautifully attests: “There’s no shame in being afraid, in your darkest hour, you can reach out for me. Oh yes, take your time and I’ll lead the way, to a better life, a better love, old memories fade.”
Absolutely stunning. After listening to…relistening to…and listening to some more this marvellous song I now have an item for my Bucket List…which I didn’t think I ever would! I have said before I would like to interview Jahméne some day, but more than this, someday, some wonderful day, I would love to hear this sung live. I want to be there and feel the music, to hear that wonderful piano theme over and over again. I want to witness Jahméne perform his mind blowing fantastical feats of vocal capabilities which at first seem impossible! Wouldn’t that be quite something?
Please Jahméne, we love you. I beg you…I want to Reach You.