I was incredibly moved by Saz’s recent post about how some Coldplay lyrics had proven to have a deeper meaning relating to her experiences with Epilepsy. I feel the same when it comes to my own condition. There are certain songs that I’ve always closely identified with my health issues but the most potent of these is Canturbury’s “Garden Grows”, which has these lyrics:

I’m sure, I used to think that they were friendly. ‘Till they held me by the chest and filled my lungs with doubt. Said, “Breathing’s just a luxury we choose to give out now.”

Just like Saz, I cannot hear this line without ramping the music up and singing at the top of my lungs. I think it might be a more acceptable way of venting, yelling about my condition through the power of song. It perfectly describes my experiences with my chronic pain, the idea of breathing being a total luxury. I can breath comfortable for weeks, maybe even months, but I still know that it could all change. Getting air into my lungs isn’t something I ever take for granted. Perhaps on a personal level, it’s also because in this song there is a definite enemy that is causing the pain, it’s easy to see why that would be appealing to me.

“Go on, Go on, Leave Me Breathless”

It doesn’t help that many song’s about being breathless do so in such a happy way. Being breathless in love suggests excitement and enthusiasm, so they can sometimes come across as mocking me rather than anything else.

It’s quite comforting to discover another person has a song that speaks to them on a personal level. First of all, it means I’m not alone in this behaviour (and that’s always nice to hear) but it also shows that people can react in similar ways to very different experiences. I know many people who have a song of significance that helped them through a difficult time, for some they actually don’t want to hear it again because it makes them relive it. For me, “Garden Grows” will always be a song that I yell, loud and proud, perhaps quietly hoping that there are some oppressors out there that I could fight to get my breath back.


Kayleigh Herbertson

Kayleigh is a 20 something year old woman who is currently living with a chronic pain condition, a skin condition and a mental health condition. Juggling these three can be something of a challenge but she's always ready to take things on head first!

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