“I want to do more with my life than just give up.” – Mandy Harvey

If you don’t watch America’s Got Talent, first, why the hell not? And second, you missed an incredible moment. Mandy Harvey is a talented singer, songwriter and performer with a twist. As a young girl she sang and eventually went to music school to become a vocal teacher. One day she realized that although everyone else was transcribing the music the instructor was playing, she couldn’t write anything down because she couldn’t hear anything. She had gone completely deaf. Due to a neurodegenerative connective tissue disorder, she lost her hearing and would not be able to recover it. 

This week she was Simon Cowell’s golden buzzer on AGT. For you people who refuse to watch this amazing show, the golden buzzer means she goes straight through to the live shows, skipping rounds of eliminations.

This is incredible for a few reasons. The first is that it’s just amazing that she taught herself to sing via muscle memory, visual pitch tuning, and floor vibrations for tempo. Second, she writes her own music, which in and of itself is awe inspiring. Third, her attitude is one of triumph and perseverance, which is I think why her song “Try” touched me like it did. Here is a link to her introduction and performance. I wrote out the lyrics below.

“I don’t feel the way I used to. The sky is gray much more than it is blue. But I know one day I’ll get through and I’ll take my place again. If I would tryyy. If I would tryyy. Ohh, there is no one for me to blame cuz I know the only thing in my way is me. I don’t live the way I want to. That whole picture never came into view. But I’m tired of getting used to the day. So I will tryyy. So I will tryyy. If I would tryyy, if I would tryyy. Oohhh…”

As someone who lives with mental health issues, I can relate to this feeling. My life isn’t quite the way I’d like it to be. I have to do a lot of work just to stay on top of my life and be functional. I take meds, I go to therapy, I went through ECT and hospital stays, my relationships have suffered, my education and career have taken a beating, but I’m trying. I know the only one who can get me through this is me. I take care of myself, I stepped up and went back to school with a serious goal.

All I can do is try.

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