For my first lineage, I selected: “Ohio Is For Lovers” by Hawthorne Heights → “Caraphernelia” by Pierce the Veil → “The Drug In Me Is You” by Falling In Reverse. Each of these songs highlights how hard it is to be alive without support.

In “Ohio Is For Lovers”, they sing: “Because you kill me, You know you do, you kill me well, You like it too and I can tell, You’ll never stop until, My final breath is gone” and “And I can’t make it on my own”. This song really highlights how hard it is to struggle on your own and then also to struggle because the person who was your support hurts you. I think it also correlates to “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” because it takes what My Chemical Romance is doing and goes even further. In this song, they mention things like self-harm which is an aspect of mental health issues that is not mentioned in My Chemical Romance’s song. I think this adds to the overall discussion of mental illness and struggling to fit in.

In “Caraphernelia”, they sing: “Licking your fingers like you’re done, And you’ve decided there is so much more than me, And baby, honestly it’s harder breathing next to you, I shake, I brought a gun and as the preacher tried to stop me, Hold my heart, it’s beating for you anyway” and “Just give her back to me, You know I can’t afford the medicine that feeds what I need, So baby, what if I can’t forget you?”. This song also highlights how hard it is to deal with your own demons and mental illness alone. Especially when the person you thought you could rely on disappears or changes. I think this song also adds important elements to the discussion of mental health issues.

In “The Drug In Me Is You”, they sing: “I’ve lost my goddamn mind, It happens all the time, I can’t believe I’m actually, Meant to be here, Trying to consume, The drug in me is you, And I’m so high on misery, Can’t you see!” and “I’ve lost, Myself, You tried to reach me but you just can’t help me, So long, Goodbye, You tried to save me it won’t work this time!”. In this song, they are trying to say that even though people are trying to save them that it is not enough. The struggle they are experiencing is too great for them to come out of even though they don’t necessarily want to be there. I think this song also shows how consuming mental illness can be.

I think these songs mirror “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” by taking what My Chemical Romance was doing and showing how serious mental health and addiction can be for others. It shows that not everyone’s experience is the same and people struggle in different ways. For example, a lot of these songs mention self-harm and violence as a release for their struggles. These songs go deeper than “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” by addressing these kinds of emotions that they have experienced. “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” just scratches the surface in comparison to these songs and the topics they cover. Even though the connection between these songs is not overt, you can still see the common thread in each song is the struggles of mental illness. Songs like these help any and everyone come to terms with their own mental illness and the struggles that come from them. It helps make people feel that they aren’t alone in their experience.

For my second lineage, I selected: “Pleaser” by Wallows → “Prom Queen” by Beach Bunny → “Supalonely” by Benee. I believe these songs show how a different genre can approach a similar topic. Each of these songs discusses how hard it is to fit in and be liked by others. I think these songs approach what My Chemical Romance is doing in “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” in a softer and gentler way. However, even though these songs are “softer”, it does not diminish their impact on the overall discussion of mental health issues.

In “Pleaser”, they sing: “Indecisive feelings of enjoyment, Hold that thought, I think I need a moment, I’m aware there’s something I should tell you, But my voice annoys me, Bite my tongue off with a smile, I can’t feel it anymore, ‘Cause recently the line is blurred, Between depression and bliss”. This song shows how hard it is for someone to connect with another person because of their anxiety and depression. They are fighting to try and please others, but find it too hard due to their struggles.

In “Prom Queen”, they sing: “Maybe I should try harder, You should lower your beauty standards, I’m no quick-curl barbie, I was never cut out for prom queen, If I’m pretty, will you like me?, They say, “Beauty makes boys happy”, I’ve been starving myself, Carving skin until my bones are showing”. This song shows not only the struggle of depression and anxiety but also eating disorders. This person is trying their hardest to be what everyone wants them to be, but it is impossible because the beauty standards we have set are unattainable. I think this song really shows how hard it is to fit in even if you do try.

In “Supalonely”, they sing: “I’m a sad girl, in this big world, It’s a mad world, All of my friends, Know what’s happened, You’re a bad thing, I know I f- up, I’m just a loser, Shouldn’t be with ya, guess I’m a quitter”. In this song, the singer is embracing their loneliness and showing people it is ok to be lonely. I think this song is really similar to “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” because it is embracing being an outsider.

Overall, even though these songs don’t directly correlate to “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”, I think they still all touch on similar topics of mental illness and not fitting in. I think these songs help spread awareness of these topics and also help those who are struggling to get through their hard times.

Madison Mancino