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Take My Hand

Artist: Emily Chen

Ethnicity: Chinese

This music video, "Take My Hand," combines my songwriting, singing, and collage. I wrote this song to begin coming to terms with my experience of suicidal ideation, particularly during my sophomore year of college. Back then, I had next to no knowledge of mental illness, aside from the deep pain from a classmate's death by suicide. I didn't know what depression was, that Asian Americans could have it, or that I had it. I had no idea if it was possible to ever feel better. I felt so utterly alone. I only knew that suicide would profoundly hurt my loved ones. So the desperate, dark thoughts in my mind terrified me. I sought help because I was so scared of the part of me that wanted to die. I worked as hard as I could in therapy to get as far as possible from that darkness. But this darkness is my pain, and hiding it from myself and the world in the years since has allowed this wound to fester. I am still on my journey to heal this wound, and so by making this music video, I hope to bring this difficult experience into the light in an honest, authentic way, to melt away some of the darkness and pain within me. By compassionately acknowledging the intense pain and fear that came with my suicidal ideation, perhaps I can let that hurting part of me know that although it can be so hard to hang onto hope, my efforts to heal aren't in vain: I am now surrounded by people who know me, care for me, and love me. "Take My Hand" is a reminder to myself and hopefully to my fellow Asian Americans out there: if you find yourself in darkness, remember that there are still stars, these stars can guide you forward, and daylight will come before long.

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