This may come as a surprise, but I kind of like this band called Twenty One Pilots. I know, shock. You had no idea.
What you actually might not have known, however, is that starting at 3am tomorrow morning, I am following Twenty One Pilots across a large portion of Europe on their Emotional Roadshow tour.
Because I’m a fucking idiot, that’s why.
At least, that’s what my sister said when I told her what my stupid, reckless ass was doing. And let’s be honest, she wasn’t wrong. I’m in the middle of my final year at university, I have a job that I need to do to pay my bills, I am desperately poor and the possibility of freezing to death on the streets of Prague is all too real.
But there is actually a little more to it than just me having absolutely zero self control.And I felt like I should, if I was going to do this, at least explain myself. I owe it to my parents at the very least.
Having a mental illness is something that I have been pretty open about over the last few years, but it is also something that I have become pretty good at hiding. The truth is that it has only been in the past few months, and thanks to the right medication, that finally the hurricane in my head has stopped long enough for me to clearly and retrospectively assess the damage the past 6 years has left behind. And honestly, it’s a mess.
The thing about mental illness, particularly depression, is that it has the ability to cause you to destroy your own life. It does, it ruins your life. And at worst, it makes you try to end it.
That is where I was when I first discovered Twenty One Pilots.
More specifically, I was in bed, and I hadn’t been out of bed for 3 days, I hadn’t left my flat for weeks and I hadn’t made any social contact other than the occasional depressing Tweet for months.
I had happened to see someone post about Twenty One Pilots online and feeling like I should at least do something, I totally randomly decided to check them out.
Well that was it. A few hours later I had their entire discography downloaded, knew their names, their ages and what their grandparents had bought them for their 8th birthdays. But more importantly, I left the flat. It was like 3am but I left the flat and went for a walk around Manchester listening to their album ‘Vessel’ and it was the most okay I had felt in a really long time.
Tyler and Josh just get it. They get it better than anyone else I have ever met. Over the past 6 years I had seen counsellors and therapists and psychologists and psychiatrists and yet these two random guys from Ohio that permanently looked like someone had stolen their puppy got it better than I even thought was possible. And if you know, you know.
I’m not saying that was me fixed and my life after that point was all sunshine and cupcakes. In fact, things remained pretty solidly shit for a long time.
But in May 2015 I saw Twenty One Pilots live for the first time, and I was lucky enough to hang out and chat with Josh and Tyler after (’cause this was way back when no one knew who ‘twenty four what?’ was) and I don’t know what it was, but I went into that show wanting to die and I came out really, really wanting to live.
So that’s my over-dramatic, sad little Twenty One Pilots story. A year later I had seen them ten more times across the country and every show retained that same magic. Their shows are out of this world and there is nothing better than experiencing one.
So now, here I am, getting ready to get up at 3am to catch a 6am flight to Copenhagen.
If you are at all interested, I’ll be posting about my adventures on the Emotional Roadshow here. Partially because i felt like something productive should at least come out of all of this, but mostly so that my mum knows I haven’t been killed in a foreign country.
If you took the time to read this, thank you. Wish me luck.