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Growing Up and Getting Better: Billie Eilish

From Six Feet Under to Happier than Ever, Billie Eilish’s mental health journey seems to have been charted through her songs.


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Images via Vanity Fair. Photo collage via Dazed.

At 21, Billie Eilish has had a glow-up and make-over. Media sources report that she has recently fallen in love, spent Christmas with her boyfriend and a December celebrating her 21st birthday. On top of that, she just finished a world tour and her music continues to stay at the top of music charts worldwide. 

For those of us who have followed her through the turbulent teen years, things were not always like that. Having the public witness Billie’s struggles with Tourette’s syndrome, depression, PTSD, and all accompanying symptoms must have doubled her pressure to cope.

She used to sing about being hurt and lonely, yet afraid of revisiting love ever again.

Billie’s lyrics have always read like poetry. She describes the intense emotions that a young person struggles with when discovering love and yearning. In past EPs like ‘dont smile at me’ to her very first release ‘Six Feet Under’, she seems to share a more reserved approach to love.

“Said I couldn’t love someone ‘cause I might break. If you’re gonna die, not by mistake… I don’t wanna be lonely so tell me you’ll come home even if it’s just a lie.” 

– ilomilo (2019)

“I’m not okay, I feel so scattered. Don’t say I’m all that matters. Leave me, deja vu.”

– listen before i go (2019)

“Go ahead and watch my heart burn with the fire that you started in me, but I’ll never let you back to put it out.”

– watch (2017)

“Our love is six feet under… If our grave was watered by the rain would roses bloom?”

– Six Feet Under (2016)

 

Billie shared with  Vogue that her anger and pain was very much about her self-image.

“I felt like my body was gaslighting me for years,”

“Going through my teenage years of hating myself and all that stupid shit,” , “a lot of it came from my anger toward my body, and how mad I was at how much pain it’s caused me, and how much I’ve lost because of things that happened to it.”

But, in addressing mental health issues during interviews, on talk shows, and even to personal doctors and family members, the young artist has been receiving the help she needs.

“Once I realized we were in it together, my life just got a lot better, you know?”

It is no wonder that she has started to write more hopeful lyrics.

Among other things, songs from Billie’s ‘Happier Than Ever’ Album cover topics about growing up. This 2021 album includes lyrics about overcoming heartbreak, exploring one’s self-image, and considering love interests:

“I’m in love with my future. Can’t wait to meet her… Just wanna get to know myself.”

– My Future (2021)

“I’ve been loved before, but right now in this moment, I feel more and more like I was made for you.”

– Halley’s Comet (2021)

“Guess it’s hard to know when nobody else comes around if I’m getting over you or just pretending to… I know I should, but I could never hate you.”

– Male Fantasy (2021)

“You think that you’re the man, I think therefore I am.”

– Therefore I am (2021)

 

Images via Vanity Fair. Photo collage via Dazed.

She is getting better.

She’s a different Billie these days. She says

“I love that my body is mine and that it’s with me everywhere I go,” she continued. “I kind of think of my body as my friend. My ugly friend! It’s complicated. But what are you gonna do?”

Many have been ‘growing up’ alongside the musician over the past few years, by connecting to her through her songs. I won’t lie, I found comfort in hearing someone sing my thoughts and feelings aloud. Billie being happier than ever these days is comforting to me, an avid follower of hers, but I admit I kind of miss the broody, soulful artist of yesteryear.

That being said, her story is one of personal growth and recovery.

The pop superstar did not shy away from being honest about how tough growing up is. But it seems that, after pushing through stormy weather, there is happiness at the end of it. The 21-year-old musician seems to be in a better place these days.

Her’s is a journey of hope, showing that recovery is possible.

Though it will be a long road (Billie predicts “a couple years” in ‘my future’), there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, keep some of her lyrics in mind:

“It’s okay to cry and it’s alright to fold, but you are not alone. You are not unknown.”

– Everybody Dies (2021)

 

Here are some thoughts to take along your journey:

Why am I going through this …? 

How not to give up

Hope

 

Need to talk to someone?

 

 

 

 

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