If I Look Fine, That’s How You Know I’m Not

If I look fine that's how you know I'm not
Slips through my fingers, everything I got
And I'm doing the things that you do to get better
But my moods are still changing just like the weather
So if I look fine that's how you know I'm not

Roet is an alternative electronic music project and a platform to talk about mental health.  When I started Roet on New Years Eve 2017, I didn’t have much of an idea what I wanted to say with it.  It was just another artistic outlet.  But then I had three friends commit suicide within three years and the songs I wrote in response seemed to help my other friends deal with the loss.  So pretty quickly I found a voice in issues around mental health.  It’s something I’m passionate about, and a place I think I can make a small but real difference.  I dealt with depression on and off from middle school to high school.  Then when I was 19, my parents split up and I fell into a depression that lasted 5 years.  There was a suicide attempt, destroyed friendships, but it was mostly a lot of feeling numb and not like myself.  It took a lot of work to get out of it and I still do a lot to keep myself from slipping back underneath.  My own experiences have given me a bunch of opinions on mental health issues.
The song If I Look Fine was an easy one to write.  Once I had the concept it just kind of came out, that’s really what it’s like in my head sometimes.  The live video was shot in my backyard in Long Beach, CA.  The response has been emotionally overwhelming at times.  The subject matter inspired  people across the internet to open up about their own mental health struggles and I do my best to take people’s words seriously.  For example, one fan commented on the music video on Facebook, “I’m not okay.”  Luckily I was able to get through to him via direct message.  He opened up about his life and we ended up having a great conversation about dealing with depression.  As the song continues to spread, conversations like these with strangers around the world are becoming more regular.

Now it can be powerful to acknowledge the struggles in your brain and relate to someone that’s had similar experiences but it’s usually not enough on its own to make a significant difference in your mental health.  So I also write messages of mental self-care, like gratitude, community, self-love and optimism.  The goal with Roet is not only to connect with people experiencing mental issues, but to promote ways of thinking that might lead to better mental health in those people.  That’s why I’m also getting involved with organizations like eMoods that are making a real difference in this fight.

-Zach Alwin (Roet) is a Musician, Artist and Teacher based in Long Beach, California.  Find more on Roet below: