Toussaint LorenzImage by: Toussaint Lorenz
11 May 2022

Indie Rapper Toussaint on Talking to His Younger Self Through Music

Toussaint Lorenz
3 minutes read time

I've struggled with my mental health since I was very young, due to growing up in an impoverished single parent household. In total, I've moved 47 times in my life, majority of which happened before the age of 20. The neighborhood that we'd settled in when I was a child would seek out weakness and eat it alive any chance it got. Because of this, I was bullied often in my youth and learned to be violent at a young age in response. I spent much time idolizing and looking up to drug dealers and gang members under the full impression that I'd become one by 6th grade.

However, in 6th grade my mother landed a better paying job and moved me to a much nicer area and I went through a deep culture shock that lead to isolation, depression, suicidal thoughts, an attempt, and of course, being the new kid.Although I was in a different environment, my identity had been ingrained in a particular lifestyle for so long I felt the need to carry it, and if I'm being frank, still do to a degree.

I started writing my song Feel Better at a point in time when I’d been having a lot of old trauma surface, some of which I’d actually blocked out. I’d been doing a lot of understanding, spending time with myself, forgiving, and I remember feeling like it was never going to end. I just thought to myself, “I just want to feel better.” So, this song is really a conversation between young me, and me now. First, speaking as my younger self, talking about those difficulties, and dealing with those issues. Then it’s me now speaking. Older, with two kids, going back to those moments and having the talks that I wish I’d gotten then. Providing the love and understanding that I was looking for externally at that time in my youth.

Conceptually, it’s based on a technique I was taught in therapy and frequently use. The technique is when you notice a trigger, to follow it as far back as you can remember, preferably to the first time you’d ever felt it, but really any and all the times you had, and then comfort that version of yourself in that moment. Being the adult you’d needed and wanted at that point of time.

" I'm not perfect by any means, and mess up plenty, but I continue to strive to implement the techniques and teachings I've learned to love myself and better my mental health. "

And because of this, I want to share and help those who may be in a similar place, or even better, attempt to help prevent going to that space in the first place. I hope that other people can learn from this visualization. That they can utilize the technique and put it into practice for themselves -- maybe even seek out mental health help from organizations like Movember or others. Really, if the song can help even just one person to feel related to, and provide them with some insight for themselves then it did its job, and I did mine.

Support Toussaint’s efforts to raise funds and awareness for men’s health.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, or needs emotional support we urge you to head to for crisis support options. To speak with someone immediately, contact your local 24-hour support service.