top of page

That Time Billy Joel Put Me In A Depression *trigger warning: it's a bummer*



Did I ever tell you about that time Billy Joel put me in a deep, debilitating depression? It all started...


I like to listen to music every morning to get my day started... to kind of, set the tone and pace, if you will. Some days I start off with Motley Crue, and on those days I dress a little more eccentric than usual and drive a respectable 1 mph over the speed limit, with my teased hair blowing wildly in the wind. Wink, wink. But this one day, I thought, how about some Willy Joel lol. Get it, because his name is William. Whatever, the joke slaps hard in person. I used to listen to a lot of Willy growing up. What I didn't realize was that it meant something different to my parents than it did to me, at the time.


All I remember of old Willy Joel's music is upbeat tunes and memories of being a kid, dancing around to it playing in the background of my childhood home. My family loves Billy Joel because we are Italian Americans and of course my family is from New York, so they've always felt as if they've had some claim to Willy (especially the ladies, like my aunts).


Well, on this particular morning of choosing my day's musical start, I thought to myself, "upbeat, I need something happy." Wow, was I wrong to choose Billy Joel's Greatest Hits to kick off the morning. I had never felt more depressed in my entire life. No one ever told me Willy was so emo! I never paid attention to the lyrics, I don't pay attention to much sometimes, but today was apparently the day I decided to focus. Mistakes were made. I felt as if I missed all of my chances in life, everything is terrible, unrequited love abound, too young while also somehow too old, doing everything wrong, lives in the wrong state, heck wrong planet.


And then when I was about to reach for the happy hour menu to try and forget about this whole thing, Vienna came on. The finishing move. That killed me. The tears began flowing. And flowing. And flowing some more. In fact, I couldn't stop crying. Do yourself a favor, if you don't know the song, or are one of the lucky ones to not have paid attention to the lyrics - don't. Just don't. "Only fools are satisfied. Dream on but don't imagine they'll all come true." Then, "TAKE THE PHONE OFF THE HOOK AND DISAPPEAR FOR A WHILE", took me out. I became paralyzed in fear. In sadness. Grief. Loss. Potential gain. Past failures. Future failures. Hell, did I make a wrong move breaking up with my college boyfriend who I was set to marry to move out of state with a stranger I met online, all those years ago? According to Billy, yes and no. I listened to Billy Joel music and then required a therapist. A mental intervention. I just listened to Billy Joel's diary. He trauma dumped on me. Without a trigger warning; how dare he?


What thee hell did I do to myself? Deep depression. Overthinking. Emotions. And that's how my day started that one time Billy Joel sent me into my darkest feels. I must be an oblivious idiot to not have known his music is so sad and can have you reflecting on your entire life in such an emotional way. I was neck deep in my spiritual awakening and healing journey at the time, and let me tell you, ignorance really is bliss. I do miss my joyful state of oblivion. Sometimes. It's not exactly easy having awareness; emotional intelligence. Depth. I know when I'm being a jerk and I have no excuse for it. If I don't know right away, I realize soon after. And I suffer. And on this particular day, Billy Joel reminded me of my pain; he brought it to light. And it felt crippling. And I wondered if it was for a purpose. You know, the old saying that everything happens for a reason? A concept I tend to teeter back and forth about. At times, most times, I agree. Other times, nope; I reject it. That's usually when I'm running from my feelings.


I'm on the fence about whether or not it was meant to be, fated even, for reflective purposes, or if it would have been best to flee my feels. Perhaps, a little of both. Or maybe none at all. It probably doesn't matter all that much. Or maybe it does. What if I had to post this blog because you, for whatever reason, needed to hear it? "You're so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need." This life is just a school. One long lesson or series' of lessons. We are simply spiritual beings here on earth having a human experience. Or so "they" say. All I know is that at this stage of my life, Billy Joel bums me out.


And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off. "You can get what you want or you could just get old."

bottom of page