Halifax musician on her borderline personality disorder, and the ‘solace’ music brings (Global News)
Music and mental health are related to one another for 26-year-old Wren Kelly, a Halifax musician, and songwriter. She wrote half of her latest single ‘Game Over’ in a car, and the other half in her little office space surrounded by plants, so she can be alone and in touch with her inner world.
“When I incorporate mental health into my art, it’s more of like a reflection … and then when it gets brought into music, it’s me sharing what I’ve already processed,” said Kelly in a zoom interview as she sat with a large mandala tapestry hung behind her.
Mandala tapestry is the perfect symbol to show that process of introspection, which leads to having confidence in directing one’s life. The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word ‘mandala’ is ‘a circle.’
“My main goal (through my music) is to encourage people to learn to hold themselves accountable and be able to self-reflect and just be healthier versions of themselves,” she said.
Having said that, Kelly is still aware of the challenges that come with trying to become a healthier version of herself, and it’s something she touches on in her song ‘Game Over.’
“I wanted to sing my entire life. It was very romanticized. I have a personality disorder, so when you have a personality disorder, it’s very common to really romanticize things, especially from a young age,” she said.
Kelly said she has borderline personality disorder, which is a mental health disorder that impacts the way a person thinks and feels about themsleves.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the disorder can also cause problems functioning in everyday life. It includes self-image issues, difficulty managing emotions and behavior, and a pattern of unstable relationships.
As Kelly started singing for other people, she felt the pressure to take her music and singing more seriously, which meant focusing on the business side of music that doesn’t lend any space for romanticization, and it does demand practicality for the musician to achieve success.
“‘Game Over’ is really about how that can be really stressful, and there are a few lines in it, where I say, ‘you’ve chained yourself to this. It doesn’t have to last’…to remind people as they’re singing along that you can feel uncomfortable with something and it doesn’t make it inherently a bad thing,” she said.
She said starting her mental recovery journey has been a game-changer for her writing and art, and how she interprets her emotions.
“I think that it’s helped a lot because I’m able to reflect so much. I mentioned earlier how people with personality disorders can really romanticize things. So that’s in a lot of the music that is popular,”