In Evolving to Grace my first dedication is to “DD”- Duran Duran. I wrote briefly in EtG about how I used to listen to their music, dreaming of going on tour with them, photographing them.
“MTV had just aired a few years earlier, and punk and New Wave music trends were happening across the country, and we loved it. The new British invasion included a band called Duran Duran, and I wrapped myself up in everything that had to do with them. They were my escape from what was going on around me, the only pleasure and happiness I could find. I’d just have to put on one of their albums, lock myself up in my room, and dream of being on tour with them, photographing them, not being in this hellhole. There were a few times later that their music helped me hold on for just one more day and try not to end my life. To this day, I’m so thankful for their music, because it helped me get through very tough times.
I can’t always remember what led up to the very critical points and traumas of my life. Maybe that night I was up in my room, listening to Duran Duran, trying to escape and dream away my reality while I tried to fall asleep. As I got the story from my mother in 1992, she may never understand that this was traumatizing to me, even though I told her that this incident was maybe the most heartbreaking thing up until then that I had ever had to experience in my life besides a friend’s death in 1991. It was a time when I thought I was going to live without my mother.”
There is such a bigger picture to what I wrote. Even if you read Evolving to Grace you may not grasp how deep my thankfulness goes and why they were one of my dedications. The thing is is that they saved me for many years.
When you are a teenager and living with depression, sometimes suicidal, and also having to cope with a vulgar alcoholic mother, a shut-down father and the sometimes violence, it can just be 1 thing that can help you go on. It could be sports, your friends, or theater in school that can help you cope-or distract you from the severe unhappiness you are living with. You just want to spend your time escaping or feeling happy with that 1 thing that comforts you and gets you through hard times. For me that 1 thing was Duran Duran.
It all began when I was 11. Things at home were really bad. Also, I was secluding myself from friends more and more and just starting to withdraw from school. I felt alone. Maybe because I thought no one could understand or help us. Over the next few years my life seemed hopeless. Most days, weeks, months then years, I thought there was no point. But, when I felt like this the only thing that kept me going, brought me some joy and helped me escape from my reality was the music, the videos, the photographs, and the lyrics of Duran Duran.
There were nights, in between the suicide attempts, that their music helped me not try to end it all.
When the time came that I was no longer a young girl living with my parents, having the constant feeling of wanting it all to end, their music still helped me. As a young twenty and thirty something trying to find my way, thankfully rarely having any bouts of suicidal depression and no longer having to witness my drunk mother or my once in a while father having bits of rage, I’d still find comfort listening to DD. When I broke up with a boy or cried when life was feeling too hard, listening to Duran Duran brought a non-spoken feeling. A feeling that everything was going to be alright and a reminder of what was important-me, my future and the things that make me happy.
It has now been decades since that little girl first watched, “Planet Earth” on MTV and that she found something meaningful in her life. It’s been many years that I have “needed” to lean on Duran Duran’s music for comfort or guidance. But, I was reminded months ago when I was driving to see them at a signing of what they did for me and how deep that went. I brought them each a copy of my book, Evolving to Grace (minus Andy. One day I will get his to him.) to say, “thank you” but that they wouldn’t grasp how big the thank you was until they read it. On that partially sunny, rainy Los Angeles afternoon, I didn’t get it until then either. It had been so many years.
I overcame and lived through some things I hope my son will never have to witness. I changed my life for the better. I have had good experiences that I wouldn’t have had if that 1 thing in my life wasn’t there. I am here because 5 guys in Birmingham decided to get together for the love of music, for the love of girls, for the love of being in a band. And, all I can think of is that “Thank you” isn’t enough. They all have a piece of my heart filled with gratitude for the life I have.
Read about how Grace overcame more challenges and heartbreak to find enlightenment, compassion, hope and love in Evolving to Grace.
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