Arizona Lindsey is a singer-songwriter, actress, and recording artist from Long Island. Lindsey’s first EP, “The Castle You Built Me” was released this past July and has since sold in areas around the US, Japan, and Australia. As an active advocate for Mental Health, the artist has built a brand of de-stigmatizing mental health struggles through music and open conversation with her fans.
“The Desired Way” is a heartfelt and soulful song about grieving the loss of a loved one. “The Desired Way” targets the lack of social support many people feel after losing someone, the complexity of a relationship before and after death, and the resurfacing of other mental health issues triggered by the grieving process.
“What was the bigger story behind the song? What inspired you to write it? How did writing this help you with this experience?”
“This past summer I lost my mother unexpectedly. Her death was less than two weeks before I was supposed to move into my first home with my partner. I had just put the deposit down on the apartment, quit my job of four years, and made a commitment to move. My dad reminded me that my mother would have wanted me to follow my dreams. So with my partner’s encouragement, I moved to focus on our future.
The complexity of the relationship I had with my mother manifested into the complexity of my grieving process; which to be honest I am still going through. I became very depressed, angry, and scared to lose everyone and everything around me at all times. I gave my everything to still be a good friend, a good girlfriend, a good sister, and a good daughter, but the more I took care of others, the bigger the hole I was sinking into grew. My partner left about three months after my mom’s death, and I struggled more than ever to find support. I struggled even more to ask for it. I feel lucky to have music, because writing this song was the first time almost anyone knew I was even hurting so badly.
It was my only way to communicate during such a bad time. In a lot of ways I am lucky. For music, for friends and fans, and for the support system I have worked to build myself after this traumatic experience. I want people to know that It gets easier… but the first step is acknowledging the problem and the cause. It took me a longer time to realize the emotions I was feeling so strongly was normal and part of my grieving process because of my environment. They were temporary and “fixable” with self care and a better support system.”
After your experience and the release of this song, what would you tell your fans is important about loving someone who has lost someone?
To get through these tough times, we need to surround ourselves with people who truly love and care about us. As loved one’s of the grieving person, we need to be patient with each other, understanding, and more selfless than usual. Be understanding that your loved one is not feeling “themselves” at this time or may be feeling new and challenging emotions- which are unique to each loss. Think about what you would want from them during this difficult time. You don’t need to experience a close death to be there for someone who is grieving. There is no reward for hurting someone who is hurting. Educate yourself on how to help and be open to the person about your concerns and feelings. Communication of acceptance, unconditional positive regard, and understanding is the key to helping someone feel like it’s okay to grieve in their natural and individualistic way.
What is it you expect to come out of writing this type of music?”
“People don’t talk about grieving or death enough. If the people around those who are grieving do not know how to address grief, loss, or death, how can we expect those dealing with it to? The person who was closest to me during this time thought I completely changed personality following my mom’s death. I began to feel worse, invalidated, and often crazy for still feeling “off” when it had only been just a few weeks.
I want people to talk about grief, loss, and death more openly. I want people to stop suppressing the topic because it isn’t “light”. When we stop talking about it, we close the door to educating those facing these challenges on how to deal with them. We also stop educating people on how to help someone they love who is struggling. During these difficult times, people need love, unconditional support, and understanding. When we make things about ourselves and take things personally, we hurt those who need us most. We make it worse than it already is. I want people to start talking about these things…so when they come up, we know how to help.
The music video to “The Desired Way” is was shot and directed by Casey Fitzgerald. The video features Lindsey passionately performing the song and portraying the emotions behind it in the heart of New Paltz, New York. Acting as the writer and producer for the music video, Lindsey hopes the video speaks to others who have or are struggling with similar emotions and encourages them to speak out.