Someday I’ll wake up when the clouds are far behind me…
Judy Garland is a household name. We’ve met her in St. Louis, attended her Easter Parade and followed her over the rainbow. She ushered our lives into Technicolor with her angelic voice and all-knowing worldly naivety. She was the face of our childhoods.
But there is a dark history that we don’t acknowledge about Garland — she was deeply and wildly depressed. She attempted suicide multiple times, and spent much of her life in a dark place in her mental health, imagining a world she perceived better by her absence.
Mental health wasn’t talked about during her time — it was taboo and distasteful to expose your pain in public. Sadly, Judy Garland wasn’t given the help she desperately needed, as it was looked down upon and mocked.
Garland has often said that she lived for the crowd. She knew she was adored by her fans, and would do anything for them. But she also knew the difference between adoration and love, and more than anything she craved to feel loved.
In recent years, some of Garland’s third husband, Sid Luft’s, written accounts of her depression were found after his passing. A lot of them told detailed accounts of her suicide attempts.
“What demons inhabited her soul just when life seemed so rich and productive? It was a gigantic puzzlement that she would poison herself … and that the toxic reaction to whatever she swallowed would create an impulse for self-mutilation,” He wrote in his book, Judy & I: My Life with Judy Garland.
It is unbearably sad to think that a woman who brought us so much joy spent her life in so much pain. We must remember we are lucky to live in a day and age full of people who are working hard to normalize the discussion of depression and other mental illnesses. We must continue to work hard to pay attention to our loved ones, and make sure that they get the help they need.
We can only hope that Judy Garland finally found peace as she made her way over the rainbow.
Here are some of the most powerful Judy Garland quotes about depression, and what it feels like to be depressed and sad:
1. We all need to believe in the other side of the rainbow.
“I’ve always taken ‘The Wizard of …