Billy Joel’s depression was caused by 9/11. After 9/11, Billy Joel says that he went into a depression because “9/11 just knocked the wind out of me, and I don’t know even now if I’ve recovered from it. It really, really hurt that man could do that to man.” In his latest interview with The New York Times which was published on May 24, 2013, Billy Joel does not only talk about his depression, his booz, women, his accidents, and getting on his feet again, but also about the fact that “there’s a pain-in-the-ass factor with celebrity.”
Right after saying that being a celebrity can be “a pain-in-the-ass,” Billy Joel continues to explain.
“There are a lot of moments you don’t have because people interrupt them, and you try to be polite, but sometimes people just don’t think. I try to be as nice as I can and as polite and well mannered as I can, but sometimes it’s ridiculous, so I don’t go out as often as I should. I was never able to take my daughter to an amusement park, which I would have liked to have done, or do things in public, because it kind of gets silly with people’s perception. On the other hand, I was married to some beautiful women. I always get compared to how beautiful they are and how not beautiful I am, and it’s kind of funny, it’s like ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ I don’t mind being the beast, I want them to be good-looking, and if they don’t mind me looking like me, why should I care?”
Billy Joel’s problem is he does care. Not only about being the “beast,” or about being interrupted, or about having to be polite, or about not being able to take his daughter to places that he would have liked to have taken her, but, most importantly, that on 9/11 thousands of innocent people lost their lives in the most tragic and unimaginable way.
Billy Joel says his depression was caused by 9/11, and he is most likely right.
After the disbelief of 9/11 dissipated and reality sank in, millions of people worldwide had one common reaction; it is time for action.
Whether it was going to New York to help search for victims, whether it was reaching out to the victim’s families, or whether it was joining military actions, millions of people sprang to action after 9/11.
According to his interview, Billy Joel went into a depression after 9/11.
Nothing in life is without a purpose; not even a depression.
Unfortunately, the true meaning of a depression is one of the least understood human conditions. A depression is a messenger. According to Exploration International, a depression is a messenger for change and growth.
For Billy Joel, his depression after 9/11 would have been the message that he does care more about things than he thinks. For many who do understand that a depression is a messenger, they try to listen as to what that message is.
One of the efficient ways to silence the messenger is to drink.
Billy Joel says that he uses alcohol as a medication. When the interviewer, Andrew Goldman, tells Billy Joel that there is medication for depression, Billy Joel responds with “Well, I used booze as medication.”
However, there is medication that helps and there is medication that harms.
Using alcohol as medication to relax or for enjoyment can help. However, using alcohol to silence a depression, harms.
Similarly, using anti-depressant medication to be emotionally more balanced can help. However, silencing the depression or the messenger for too long will harm and can turn into suicide.
According to The New York Times article, Billy Joel hasn’t put out an album of new songs in decades. While he has recently begun again to appear in concerts like the Sandy relief concert with the Who, the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney, even at the age of 64, it is never too late to discover that there is still more growth.
Since Billy Joel has done the music, the women, the booz, and all the celebrity stuff, maybe it’s time for him to do the things common people get to do – like talk about their feelings.
“All those touchy-feely kind of shows like ‘The View’ or ‘Oprah,’ people talk about their feelings. I don’t like that,” says Billy Joel to his interviewer.
Even though Billy Joel says he doesn’t like to talk about his feelings, he really does an excellent job during his interview.
Maybe by talking more to people about his feelings Billy Joel would also discover that there is not only “a pain-in-the-ass factor with celebrity” but that at times there is just simply a “pain-in-the-ass factor” with being human.