Our Fave Rising Singer (and Mental Health Advocate) on Bullies and Being Herself
Rosie Carney is a rare talent, and we’re not just talking about her goosebump-raising voice or confessional, profound lyrics. The rarest thing about the 20-year-old Brit is how, in an industry full of shiny new stars with facetuned Instagram accounts, she’s radically open about her life’s imperfections. As you may have noticed from the lyrics in her breakout single, “Awake Me,” Rosie’s dealt with some dark times. Here, she opens up about learning to love herself.
It’s hard to know exactly where to start when I talk about my own personal experiences with all things dark and uncomfortable. There are still, and always will be, days where I wake up feeling like I'm suffocating. When my thoughts are so dark and distorted, they leave me feeling like my head has fallen off my shoulders and smacked down onto a hard, concrete floor, forcing all the light and sense to gush out and leave me.
I never really knew how hard it was to be my own friend until I realized I was the one really punishing myself. We are quick to console and comfort those around us who need help, but easily dismiss our own feelings when there is pain. You wouldn’t stand there and watch someone you love suffer; you would do everything you could to help. So why not do the same for yourself? I would be a liar if I said I am my own best friend; I most certainly am not. But it has taken the worst part of me, the meanest enemy, who told me to starve, told me to self harm, told me to kill myself, to realize that, deep down, there was a reserved bubble, full of love and full of light, just waiting there to wrap itself around me, and show me the true meaning of self love.
I spent such a long time punishing myself for other people’s actions; I became one of my main causes of pain. I became one of the bullies who constantly mocked and ridiculed me, who left notes in my locker telling me to kill myself, who put bugs in my hair and told me to “go back to England, you’re not wanted here!” I became so used to this feeling of pain and isolation. I believed everything they said to me that it became my day-to-day way of thinking. It’s hard to tell a 10-year-old who’s met with such hurt, that everything will be OK, and that you are so loved, especially when you become so accustomed to such negativity.
It’s like it creeps into your bloodstream and flows to all the places that you didn’t know could hurt. It waterlogs and rots the roots of your being, burrowing and scratching itself a place in your subconscious, and like a tick or a leach, starts to slowly suck the light out. If you find it and confront it while it’s merely nothing but a nymph, then you are one of the lucky ones--as you will, in some way or another, be saved. Some people go their whole lives so infested with negativity, burrowed so deep down within themselves, they become numb and cold. They blame others. They drain the goodness out of people, like a Dementor from Harry Potter.
I tell myself now that it is all character building. My ability to feel at such capacity is what makes me stronger. Even though my arms and legs are marked with scars, both self inflicted and proof of growth, I am still alive. I am still breathing. You are still alive; you are still breathing. Talking is what saved my life. Finding the self-love and care to talk. Seeking help is NOT a sign of weakness, it is a sign of the best kind of strength. It is the kind of strength that will equip you to get through all storms that brew on your horizon.
I am a strong believer in the power of thought, and the strength of universal projections. When you are so bogged down in sadness, the world is and always will be, a sad place to be. You will find things happen that make you say, “typical” or “just my luck.” But, beautifully, when you are uplifted with happiness and love, then everything about the world seems beautiful, and you will find yourself achieving the things you put your energy into. Things that will make you want to pinch yourself because you feel like you’re dreaming. I have only, in recent years, believed in the power of self belief. You can achieve the impossible when you are on your own team. All cliches aside, if you break down the word impossible, you will in fact find two words. “I’m Possible”. The universe always delivers. So what word/words will it be? Impossible, or I’m Possible.
The bad days are inevitable, the darkness will always be there, but it’s all part of the balance. It’s all part of living. We are constantly learning new lessons, until our very last breath. But, if you remember anything, remember this: You are the one who gets to decide. You are the one who allows for the pain, the happiness. You are the one who gets to decide whether or not it defeats you. You are constantly growing and evolving and discovering different versions of yourself. Look into yourself. Look into your true self, and it will be there, waiting to be tapped into. Tell yourself when you awaken in the morning that you love yourself, tell yourself that you are allowed to seek help, that you matter. Tell yourself you are beautiful. Do this until you start believing it, and slowly, but very surely, you will feel that bubble begin to gracefully and carefully wrap itself around you, taking in every single part of your happy/sad/playful/stubborn being. There is only one person in this life that will be there from the moment you are born, until the moment you die. That person is you.
“To love one's self is the beginning of a life-long romance.” - Oscar Wilde