‘Dear Sadness, you’re always with me.’
Cam Kirkham’s recent video is an introspective letter to his inner demons – a drastic turn from his usual comedic content, but perhaps one of his most important videos yet.
Alone is an exploration of the different ways feelings of depression permeates everyday life. The video opens optimistically with Cam declaring that, well, maybe it’s not so bad! “How can you appreciate the sun without having heavy clouds that were grey?” he asks himself. However, with every stanza, the internalised normalisation of his own dark feelings grows.
For Cam, depression is a lot of things: insomnia, loss of self-esteem, and the desire to just lay in bed, all of which are relentless and hard to escape. He discusses the feeling of repetition, as though nothing will change and this sadness is ingrained into his personality, emphasised by his reiterated refrains: “Dear Sadness.”
“Some days I sit in my room and think, you are a power that I’ll never beat,” he admits, thoughts spiraling towards rock bottom, and the viewer fears that the video’s stark opening may come full circle. However, the piece comes to a powerfully optimistic close. “We’re beginning to fight back because we’re sick of feeling crappy,” he begins, defiant. “Unfortunately for you, I’m learning to deal with it. You’ve made me the person I am, full of wit, I’ve been through too much pain for any obstacle you throw at me not to split. I’m piloting my own thoughts in my mind’s cockpit.”
In the comments, Cam addresses the video content, expressing that the desire in creating this video was to help others who may share his thoughts feel less alone. “For a lot of people, their main battle of life every day is the battle with themselves,” he writes. “Whether that’s through depression, anxiety or grieving,I hope this offers a bit of hope for those who currently see no light at the end of their tunnel…that I’ve been in that situation before and found the bravest thing in life is to continuing living when all your feelings are telling you to do otherwise.”
It’s hard enough to have an honest conversation with yourself about your mental health; it’s another level to post a depiction of those thoughts online. Thank you, Cam, for sharing your story.