Dear All Time Low,
My name’s Jen McBride, I’m 18 years old and from Michigan. I wouldn’t be here without you. I know that’s a very strong statement, but it’s also very true. You’ve kept me sane for the past 6 years and I couldn’t thank you enough for that. You were there for me when no one else was. You never left me. You were there through my hardest and happiest times. I always find myself going back to you when I need help. Thank you for always being here for me.
I used to struggle with self-harm. I was self-harming for almost 5 years. On October 17, 2012 I had a meet and greet with you guys at St. Andrew’s Hall in Detroit, MI. When I handed Jack my copy of Don’t Panic to sign he grabbed my hand, looked at me, and said, “I love you.” I don’t know if he saw my arm all tore up, or if he was just saying it to say it, but that simple thing change my life. The last time I self-harmed was October 11, 2012. When Jack told me that he loved me, I genuinely felt like someone cared and that’s something I didn’t even feel from my family or closest friends. I feel like it was Jack trying to tell me, “Hey, what you’re doing isn’t cool, I love you, stop that.” Maybe it wasn’t intentionally supposed to be that, but that’s how I took it, and because of that, I’m over 2 years clean from self-harm. Believe it or not, no one else has ever told me to stop. Out of the 2 people I did tell about my self-harm, none of them cared enough to tell me to stop. They only said, “I’m sorry.’ Thank you, Jack, for changing my life.
The lyrics you write in songs have helped me more times than I can even count on my fingers and toes. I know that when you wrote “Therapy” you weren’t expecting it to help as much as it does. You just wrote it to help yourself, but that song has gotten me through so much shit and helped me in so many ways. When I lost 4 of my best friends at once, the lines “in a city of fools, I was careful and cool, but they tore me apart like a hurricane.” Made me feel less alone about the situation I was in. Those 4 people did tear me apart, but I still wasn’t alone, I had All Time Low. Stay Awake has also had the same effect on me. Especially the lyrics, “get a grip and get out, you’re safe from the weight of the world. Just take a second to set things straight.” Like, Hey. I know I’m freaking out right now, but if I just take a second to think straight, I’ll be fine. That has saved me from so many panic attacks. I listened to those songs every day before going to school just to help calm down my anxiety. I’d listen to them in class when I was feeling anxious. It just helped me breathe. I listened to those songs every day before going to school just to help calm down my anxiety. I’d listen to them in class when I was feeling anxious. It just helped me breathe.
Thank you, Alex for making me realize I’m not alone.
Thank you for helping me realize that I’m capable of helping myself. I don’t need to depend on anyone, and that I’m strong. When I met you on October 4, 2013 I told you my story about self-harm and how I tried to end my life a year before that. You told me to “stop doing stupid shit.” And “You saved yourself, I didn’t do anything.” Although I was kind of expecting a different response to what I told you, you were real with me and I appreciate that. I kinda needed to hear what you told me. Yes, I was doing stupid shit, and yes, I stopped doing stupid shit. You gave me a sense of pride like hey, I stopped doing this stuff because I wanted to, not because I had to. You helped me believe in myself again and I appreciate you a lot for that. Also, thank you for all the shout out tweets for buying amerrickan stuff. :)
Thank you, Zack, for helping me believe in myself.
The last time I met you we talked about tattoos and about how you’re glad I’m happy now. You told me that I deserve to be happy. You helped me realize that I am capable of being happy and that I deserve to be. You’ve also taught me how to stay humble. You’re such a nice person, you’re nice to every single person you meet and I think that’s not always the easiest thing to do. I appreciate everything you do for me. My favorite memory with you is when I met you and I told you that I didn’t think you looked like a potato (still don’t think you look like a potato) and you just looked so happy that I said that. Ahaha it’s something I’ll always remember.
Thank you, Rian for keeping me happy and humble.
All Time Low,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to travel. I went to Baltimore from Detroit for my 18th birthday to see you guys because I couldn’t make it to the date in Michigan. Without you four, I probably wouldn’t of had the chance to see how beautiful Baltimore really is. Also, thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet wonderful people. I met two of my best friends, Kayleigh and Shelby, because of you four. We met at Ferris Fest. Ever since that day, we’ve been good friends. We always meet up at shows. We hang out outside of shows too. I actually took Shelby with me to Baltimore to see you guys. I moved out of my parents’ house closer to Kayleigh and Shelby so we could hang out more. Without you guys, I wouldn’t have met them and I don’t know where I’d be without them. I appreciate you more than you’ll ever understand. You’ve changed my life for the better in so many ways. Thank you again. I love you so much.
1. The first time I met All Time Low. Ferris Fest, Ferris State University, April 21, 2012, Big Rapids, Michigan
2. The last time I met All Time Low. A Love Like War Tour, Ram’s Head Live, May 1, 2014, Baltimore, Maryland
3. My All Time Low inspired tattoo. It’s a compass because it reminds me of the lyrics “before you ask which way to go, remember where you’ve been.”