On October 31st, people dawned skeleton masks and embroidered military parade jackets, not to celebrate the night of the dead, but to bask in the joy of the announcement that early 2000’s rock group, My Chemical Romance, are reuniting for a show in Los Angeles at the end of this year, as well as some sporadic dates in the new year.
Countless die-hard fans took to the internet to celebrate the resurrection of the black parade:
As a fan myself, I had to listen to the band’s repertoire once again—and again, and again—including some all-time favorites, “The Sharpest Lives,” and “Cancer” from the band’s second studio album The Black Parade (2006). After ten or so repeats, I was neck-deep in an MCR binge, watching original music videos, old interviews, as well as a full concert recording.
Both good and bad memories flooded back from middle-school, when I worshiped the same songs on dreary mornings before Algebra class. I specifically remembering sharing an earbud (very loudly) with my friend Rachel to listen to “Mama” on a coach bus headed to a class ski trip. Rachel was one of few friends who also appreciated their music, although she didn’t dawn the emo-centric regalia like I so attempted (black jelly bracelets, skinny jeans, studded belts, and converse).
Like the millions of fans, My Chemical Romance offered me a sweet emotional release from the crippling sadness that creeps around every middle school in the world. I could plug in, check out, and feel like I belonged to something when I didn’t otherwise.
It’s cathartic to listen to music that connects with your hidden emotions, especially when they’re tied to rare memories that you wouldn’t normally recall. As I listened, I reconnected with a lot of feelings—a mix of sweet nostalgia and bitter melancholy. I remembered my extreme depression and then manifested it a little as I continued to listen, laying down for hours, doing nothing, with a bottle of red wine at arms reach.
You could say that the music was triggering, causing me to feel these anachronistic feelings about issues that should no longer concern me—having no friends, hating my body, cutting my wrists. When you’re listening to songs that say “I’m not okay!” repeatedly, you can start to internalize that a bit.
However, wallowing in these feelings taught me to appreciate where I came from, and, when I snapped out of the self-indulgent sadness, I discovered how easily I bounce back now. I resumed my normal life with ease, humming their songs as I went.
I’m still on an MCR binge because they’re fucking awesome, and I’m not afraid to connect with those emotions again. However, I’m taking the necessary steps to keep myself in a healthy mindset.