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Stay - Randall Standridge

Why I wrote Stay

On a trip in 2023, II read the following on the back of a T-shirt.  "Hey, you, the one reading this.  The world is better with you in it."  It had a profound emotional impact on me, and I decided to put those feelings into music.  The result is this work entitled Stay.

Part of the unBroken Project, this piece is intended to be an anthem of hope, love, and understanding for those who find it challenging to go on in the face of adversity and for those who sometimes feel that the weight of the world is too much to bear.  The piece carries a paraphrase of that message at the top of the score and on all of the parts:

"Hey you.  The one playing this.  The world is better with you in it."

And now, a confession.

The whole point of the unBroken Project is to encourage discussion of mental and emotional health, and I do not feel I can continue to do that without being 100% honest.

As part of my particular mental disorder (Anxiety/Depression), I have very extreme swings in my emotional mood.  These are due to chemical imbalances in my brain that come in waves.  I have likened them before to clouds, but I more frequently refer to them as peaks and valleys.  When I am at one of my peaks, I feel like nothing can stop me, and everything will be alright. 

When I hit my valleys, though, things are very, very different.  

They start with me feeling as if I have no energy left, and then it becomes more emotional as I experience symptoms of paranoia, depression, and fixation.  As it deepens, I have panic attacks, shortness of breath, and moments of fugue state.

When I reach the deepest part of my valleys, I experience suicidal ideation.

So, in some ways, I've been writing these pieces to myself.

I have hinted at this many times but have held back stating it directly out of fear of what the general public would think of this, but I do not feel I can tiptoe around this issue any longer, out of hope that my experience might connect with others and assist them in taking positive steps.

Before anyone feels it necessary to try to "rescue me," I have already been rescued.  Time and time again, as a matter of fact.

I have been rescued by the fact that I have the tools that I need to manage my conditions.  I have medication.  I have therapy.  I have a wonderful support system of family and friends who understand my condition and offer support when needed.  Because of this, I make it through the valleys every time.

Also, just being able to name and understand what happens to me during my depressive episodes has given me more power over it.  Not total, mind you, but enough to weather the storms.

Others are not so lucky.

1 in 5 adults in the US experience mental health issues each year.

1 in 6 youths in the US experience mental health issues each year.

90% of suicides worldwide are attributable to mental illness.

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in the United States.

I am not naive enough to believe that a simple statement at the top of a piece of music or that a performance of one of my works will be enough to pull someone back from the edge.  That would be arrogant at best and actively harmful at worst.  People who experience such things need professional help.  My goal with the unBroken project is to tear down social taboos around discussing these issues, to ease a sense of isolation (you are NOT alone), and to educate and inform people so they will seek out the tools they need to lead happy and successful lives or assist others in seeking help.

To my friends and family who support me and walk me through the valley time and time again, thank you.  

My world is better with YOU in it.

And to you.

The one reading this.

The world is better with YOU in it, too.


Peace, Love, and Music

Digital: $70.00

Physical: $70.00

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