Neon Gravestones

I suffer from depression…

This is a statement that more and more people are now admitting to. 15 years ago, saying you suffered from depression was a stigma; you either got the phrase “just get over it” or “just take some medication and you will be fine” or “go to counseling”. Sometimes it made us feel more depressed or have more anxiety because we felt we shouldn’t be allowed to feel this way and because we do there must be something wrong with us. This is where the next thing comes into play… Suicide.
I have blogged about suicide before and have used Twenty One Pilots music as a way to express certain things, but after the new album came out and i heard Neon Gravestones, I felt i had to express more on just how Suicide is a real issue that i don’t think we fully understand.

Let’s start with the song Neon Gravestones…


What’s my problem?
Well, I want you to follow me down to the bottom
Underneath the insane asylum
Keep your wits about you while you got ’em
‘Cause your wits are first to go while you’re problem-solving
And my problem?
We glorify those, even more, when they…
My opinion
Our culture can treat a loss
Like it’s a win and right before we turn on them
We give them the highest of praise, and hang their banner from a ceiling
Communicating, further engraving
An earlier grave is an optional way

The song immediately hits where i think Tyler feels frustrated on how society treats suicidal victims. Let’s use Chris Cornell or Chester Bennington as an example: The moment they passed away, the world was playing their music, wearing their face on t-shirts, sending tributes, etc; way more acknowledgement of these talents after they passed than when they were alive, and then BOOM, no one speaks of them again. I think Tyler feels that it may paint a negative light to those who are currently suffering and that dying is better off. That is why at the end of the lyric is says “Communicating, further engraving, an earlier grave is an optional way… No”

Then he goes down a personal level:

What’s my problem?
Don’t get it twisted
It’s with the people we praise who may have assisted
I could use the streams and extra conversations
I could give up, and boost up my reputation
I could go out with a bang
They would know my name
They would host and post a celebration
My opinion will not be lenient
My opinion, it’s real convenient
Our words are loud, but now I’m talking action
We don’t get enough love?
Well, they get a fraction
They say, “How could he go if he’s got everything?”
I’ll mourn for a kid, but won’t cry for a king.

He says “Hey, I can be just like them and let the darkness take over so people can finally appreciate me” but by the end of the lyrics it expresses on the negative effect that society has on Suicide; If they had it all, why would they kill themselves? Well, it’s because you can have the whole world in your hand and still feel extremely lonely inside. Again with Chris and Chester, they (in some opinion) was living the dream and yet they still felt so small in this big world and felt so insignificant that they felt suicide was their only way to stop the pain.

Last part of the song is where Tyler really gets real on the situation:

Don’t get me wrong
The rise in awareness
Is beating a stigma that no longer scares us
But for sake of discussion
In spirit of fairness
Could we give this some room for a new point of view?
And, could it be true that some could be tempted
To use this mistake as a form of aggression?
A form of succession?
A form of a weapon?
Thinking “I’ll teach them”
Well, I’m refusing the lesson
It won’t resonate in our minds
I’m not disrespecting what was left behind
Just pleading that “it” does not get glorified
Maybe we swap out what it is that we hold so high
Find your grandparents or someone of age
Pay some respects for the path that they paved
To life, they were dedicated
Now, that should be celebrated

I love this whole part of the song because Tyler really is saying yes, expressing that we are depressed is now more accepted than it was 15 years ago, and yet we are so far from fully understanding just how dangerous it is. Taking pills, going to therapy, going to church… whatever we were told that would help is only a fraction of the solution; and in all honesty, is there such a thing as a solution? He also says in the song:

Promise me this (call, call)
If I lose to myself
You won’t mourn a day
And you’ll move onto someone else

Neon gravestones try to call
(Neon gravestones try to call)
Neon gravestones try to call for my bones
(Neon gravestones try to call)

But they won’t get them
No, they won’t get them
They won’t get them
But they won’t get them

Fight. Fight as hard as you have ever fought before. Depression is pure darkness where you feel like you are drowning but can not die (don’t give me credit, i saw this on a meme and i loved it). If you are exhausted, lean on those closest to you to fight. Yes, the burden you feel you do not want to put on others, but those who love you the most do not mind. I speak from experience.

I had to learn over the years that the anger i felt over certain things that happened in my life is what consumed my soul. It ate me up so much that the depression covered me like a thick blanket I could not get off of me. Once I learned how to let go of that anger (which was not easy) that depression felt smaller and smaller and when it tried to engulf me again, I knew it was just a moment and that moment was going to pass and I was going to be okay. Now, this isn’t the same solution for everyone. Everyone has depression but everyone deals and feels everything differently. What i love about Tyler’s lyrics is that anyone who is experiencing their own bout of depression can understand exactly what he says in his songs.


I begin to assemble what weapons I can find
‘Cause sometimes to stay alive you gotta kill your mind

Kitchen Sink:

Go away…
Leave me alone
Don’t leave me alone


Though I’m weak
And beaten down
I’ll slip away
Into the sound

Whatever the song might be, we can all feel just how powerful the lyrics are for our own situation.

Now, if you suffer from depression, please talk to someone. Be open, honest and raw. It will hurt and it may scare people, but those who decide to stick with you after knowing how broken you are the ones who are gonna be your biggest support system. If you know someone who suffers from depression, just listen. I know we want to give advice or tell them your situation in hopes it will make them feel better but sometimes that can make things worse without you realizing it. We are all broken but we are broken for totally different reasons, and we are unique in our own ways.

– J

(Wanna read about being broken and a christian? please click here)

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