A musical note ♫ ♬

Music speaks to Corin Liall Douieb AKA The Last Skeptik. In Issue 2 of Hopezine, the rapper relays how different genres of song have helped with his anxiety, self-harm and depression.

Making and listening to music has helped me in so many different ways during my life. From the big sledgehammer traumas to the underlying buzz of anxiety that I sometimes struggle to successfully manage. Ever since I was little, music has been the granter of permissions for me to feel emotions. Sometimes I struggle in a quiet room to cry or be in my own skin, or process pain, but music (in any form, including film soundtracks) somehow makes the guilt of feeling depressed go away and transports me into a hyper real land where I’m allowed to let it all out.

“Creation is the most helpful therapy I’ve ever had…”

When I first had trouble and had to leave school age 14 I channelled everything in to my simmering love for the power songs had over me, and fully followed my passion for writing. That intense loneliness and sadness I felt, the self-harm both physically and mentally I endured, it was lessened and de-knotted by writing lyrics and music. Still today, I’ll go for weeks where I struggle to make anything at all because I’m not quite ready to face the truth head on. I recently finished writing my new album entirely inspired by the grief experience after a break up, and in exactly the same way it helped me at 14, it has done the same now. I almost don’t have a choice but to write it down. Whilst not in the same suicidal state that maybe I had been in my younger years, I was at my wits end, with my health anxiety. My spiral thinking and panic attacks were at their worst. Listening to the songs I had made were a stronger version of me telling me at my lowest ebb that I could do this. That these things have happened before, and they will happen again, and I’ve always survived. Sometimes teaching yourself to self-soothe is the most powerful tool you can give yourself. By no means am I a master at this – and even as I write this, waiting for the album to be released, I am yet again at arm’s length with my creativity, high in anxiety and not able to face the mirror that is music. It’s these moments I reach for the emergency playlists I make, something to guide me to when I’m stronger. Through the years I’d sometimes forgotten the reason why I create and get bogged down with sales or promoting or not getting the success I dreamt of, then I try and remind myself that creation is the most helpful therapy I’ve ever had, and that even if no one likes anything I make, it has already served its purpose. And I’ve already won.

The Last Skeptik’s new album, ‘See You In The Next Life’ is available here https://backl.ink/SYITNL

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