Missing Dolores

I was shocked and disheartened on Monday January 15th when I read about the sudden passing of Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of the band The Cranberries and one of my all time favourite singers. She was only 46 years of age.

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Regrettably I never did manage to see her perform live in concert, but I was an avid fan of her powerful, yet ethereal voice from songs like Tomorrow, Analyse, Ode to my Family, I Can’t be with You, Saving Grace and my two personal favorites, Dreams and Linger which is about O’Riordan’s first love to a soldier. The Irish born singer was dreamy to me. She carried a look of melancholy, mixed with images of the bittersweet in her petite frame shredding away at what seemed to look like an over-sized guitar on her tiny body. She exuded power, strength, passion and vulnerability all at the same time through her music. She was beautiful.

O’Riordan in recent years opened up about her mental health struggles, particularly bipolar disorder. Although the cause of death is unknown, I can’t help but wonder how difficult it must have been for her to live with her challenges, alongside of the highs and lows of stardom. Like anyone living with mental health challenges, regardless of the support we have around us, it can still sometimes feel solitary. We can feel imprisoned by our own minds and getting out of it can sometimes take a lot of extra effort.

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Here’s some useful tips that might help you when you’re feeling heavy headed and stuck:

Look at your success

The one thing I’ve learned through the years is to try to look for the small successes to lean on each day. One of the many reasons I go to the gym every weekday morning is because I just love the feeling of achievement (dopamine rush) I get after the workout. If nothing else is accomplished for the rest of the day, I always have my morning bootcamp class to lean on. Seeing so many wonderful friends there at the class and treating myself to a Starbucks coffee afterwards is such a rewarding feeling.

So remember to look at the little things you do each day as a step forward and do your best not to undermine your efforts – every bit counts: Getting out of bed and making yourself a cup of tea, going outside to your garden, texting a friend or family member, going for a walk, registering for that course you’d like to take, making small talk to the cashier at the grocery store, treating yourself to a small new purchase, cleaning out your fridge…the list is endless when you strip down the many little successes we have every single day. Refrain from comparing yourself to others. Just like in running, look at success like your Personal Best where you’re not benchmarking against others, just yourself.

Human beings need connections

Making connections with people is paramount for our mental health. More importantly, making connections with like-minded people can have such lasting and positive effects on us. Connections with people who understand us, validates our thoughts and feelings. We suddenly no longer feel so alone. I think that’s one of the positive things about social media and blogging…we can also find connections with followers, likes and comments whenever physical validation isn’t as readily available.

Set small goals

How about writing down on a pad of paper (or maybe even in your head) a list of a few things you’d like to achieve for the day. The list might look like this for example: Get out of bed and brush my teeth and hair. Take a nice long hot bath later tonight. Research online about things to do in the community.

When we tell ourselves that we have a to-do list, it gives us a sense of purpose for the day, and that’s all. There’s no need to think too far ahead when we’re feeling stuck, so just focus on making it through the present day with small goals. (Read: Purpose and Depression)

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We all can feel like we’re in a funk from time to time. Sometimes there’s reasons behind it and other times, not so much. For myself this past week, I couldn’t help but feel sad and sorrowful. Whether or not you’re a fan of The Cranberries, it’s always disheartening to hear about the loss of someone who made an impact on your life. And though I never met Dolores O’Riordan, I was instantly mesmerized and connected to her voice and music when The Cranberries first hit the airwaves in 1992. I often times turned to her songs whenever I felt melancholy, elation, love or anger. I definitely will miss her and the gifts she would have continued to give the world through her music.

May she rest in peace.

Jason, Author of Living with the Dragon

Dreams: Written by Dolores O’Riordan & Noel Hogan

Oh my life is changing everyday
In every possible way
And oh my dreams
It’s never quite as it seems
Never quite as it seems
I know I felt like this before
But now I’m feeling it even more
Because it came from you
Then I open up and see
The person falling here is me
A different way to be
I want more, impossible to ignore
Impossible to ignore
And they’ll come true
Impossible not to do
Possible not to do
And now I tell you openly
You have my heart so don’t hurt me
You’re what I couldn’t find
A totally amazing mind
So understanding and so kind
You’re everything to me
Oh my life is changing everyday
In every possible way
And oh my dreams
It’s never quite as it seems
‘Cause you’re a dream to me
Dream to me
FILE PHOTO: Irish singer O'Riordan poses during an autograph session in Hong Kong
Dolores O’Riordan – September 6, 1971 – January 15, 2018

2 thoughts on “Missing Dolores

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