Overwhelmed – A Ryan Mack Remix

Ryan Mack is a 27 year-old independent singer-songwriter and Youtuber from Ireland that I discovered in the midst of the pandemic. You may not recognize his name but if you watch TikTok, his sound might be familiar.  Ryan Mack writes remixes, does TikTok music challenges, and has produced and released some of his own music. His originals include “Broke” and “I guess that’s love”. His style of music is nostalgic of the 2010s music that I grew up on. His sound is a mix of folk, rock, and pop, and he writes about the reality of what our generation faces. Specifically, there is a cover of Royal and the Serpent’s “Overwhelmed” that blew up on TikTok in the early days of the pandemic. The chorus goes as such:

“I get overwhelmed so easily
My anxiety
Creeps inside of me
Makes it hard to breathe
What’s come over me?
Feels like I’m somebody else
I get overwhelmed”

Feeling anxious is a normal part of the human experience; butterflies before writing a test, jitters when talking to someone new, and the pit in your stomach being away from home for the very first time. Does this sound familiar? These are all things that most of us have experienced in this short time being at university. Even though it’s normal to feel these things in stressful situations, it’s also important to recognize and talk about it when it happens. There is a big difference between feeling anxious in certain situations and suffering from an anxiety disorder. Ryan Mack’s second verse shed some light on what plagues people with anxiety disorders.

[Verse 1]

In my mind
Late at night
Overthinking everything in my life
Just wondering if I’m doing anything right
All these demons inside start to really come alive
Oh my
I get anxious and I don’t know why
I can hear my dreams calling me
But all these doubts are haunting me
Oh, why’s it always right before I fall asleep […]

According to Statistics Canada, “anxiety disorders are the most common of mental health problems.” They go on to say that 1 in 10 people in Canada will be affected by this disorder. Anxiety can feel like how Ryan Mack describes it; demons inside your head telling you lies, questioning your whole life, and wondering if you are doing anything right. For many people, this is an everyday reality, and since the Covid-19 pandemic, more people than ever are facing these thoughts. 

[Verse 2]

I get over, well, well, well
Would you look at that?
Another person telling me that I should just relax
“Calm down and take it easy everything will be okay”
Yeah, sure ’cause that’s what they all say
But oh, my mind
Isn’t really my friend sometimes
I can hear my dreams calling me
But all these doubts are haunting me
Oh, why’s it always right before I fall asleep […]

Has anyone ever told you to just relax when it seems like your whole world is falling apart? Sometimes it all feels like too much and that’s okay. It’s okay to be overwhelmed, but just because the feeling is valid doesn’t mean that you can’t, or shouldn’t, talk to someone about it. What Ryan Mack describes in his second verse happens incredibly often. When someone tells you to just calm down, it actually isn’t helping. What happens is that person is left on their own with their thoughts and now feels unjustified in feeling that way. This can be detrimental to anyone feeling anxious, but is especially harmful to people with anxiety disorders. It is important to process your thoughts in a safe space and as a member of the Acadia family, you have this opportunity. Acadia offers free and confidential counselling to all Acadia students. For more information about this service, visit the Acadia Counselling Center website.

I know that many of you will relate to this, and I just want to say that I am sorry. I’m sorry that you are facing this and I am sorry that you might be facing it alone. Before coming to Acadia, a family friend gave me this disclaimer: “When you go to university you will have to create a whole new routine.” You can look at this phrase and be terrified, or you can look at it as an opportunity! Maybe you want to add some personal care into your day. You have the power to do that!