Become a member of Allies in Recovery and we’ll teach you how to intervene, communicate and guide your loved one toward treatment.Become a member of Allies in Recovery today.

“Hi Ren” Brings the Inner Demons out in the Open

Photo credit: static dive

Our sanctuary blog is often a place where you’ll find light, comfort, and tales of perseverance in the face of immense challenges. Today is no exception—but a warning: all of those familiar qualities are accompanied by one of the more vivid portraits of suffering we’ve shared with you.

“Hi Ren,” a 2022 masterpiece by Welsh musician Ren Gill, was an instant underground hit, racking up 7 million views in the first two months after its release in the United Kingdom. The song portrays the artist’s encounter — very nearly a fight – with his own dark side, in a back-and-forth duel of words and emotions. Ren, who has spoken publicly about his lifelong struggle with mental health and autoimmune disease, remarks that writing and performing “Hi Ren” was “not easy.”

That’s surely a huge understatement. As you’ll hear, the lyrics are brilliant and rapid fire. When Ren gives voice to that dark side, moreover, they become self-accusing, even lacerating. The roleplaying here is something to witness. You can’t doubt the wounded look that Good Ren shows when Bad Ren scores a hit.

But it’s Good Ren who has the last word. And it’s that hard-won faith in himself and willingness to be share his journey that make this song perfect for our community. Brace yourself and have a listen:

P.S. almost as moving as the song itself are the innumerable reaction videos of first-time listeners. Youtube will provide you as many as you could wish for.


Related Posts from "Sanctuary"

IFS: Embracing and Listening to Our Multiple Selves

“Most of the world’s problems arise from a misunderstanding about parts and burdens,” Dr. Richard Schwartz asserts. In IFS, which he founded, the “parts” are our multiple internal selves, and the burdens are the trauma and wounds they try to manage on our behalf. The simple but radical proposition of IFS is that these multiple selves arise for good reasons and have a lot to offer—if we can help them change with the seasons of our lives.

Dr. Gabor Maté: The Power of Addiction, the Addiction to Power

Across four decades of work on issues of trauma, addiction, childhood development, stress, and illness, Dr. Gabor Maté has become an internationally recognized thinker, author, and public speaker. But his brilliance is only one side of the coin. The other side, evident in all his remarks, is profound compassion. In this TED talk, both qualities are on full display.

Using ChatGPT To Fight Depression: Some Creative Ideas

ChatGPT is not a living mind, let alone a therapist. It is, however, proving to be an immensely useful online assistant for people across the world. Little wonder that professionals and others are finding ways to apply its powers of information gathering and synthesis to the challenge of living with depression. This article offers one emotion expert’s tips on how ChatGPT and related technology might be able to shoulder a bit of that burden.

Dating Someone With Depression: A Brief Guide

More than one quarter of U.S. adults report having been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives. The disease makes life challenging in all kinds of ways, and relationships are no exception. For partners of those suffering depression, the inability to “fix” the other’s condition can be difficult and frustrating. But even though we can’t cure our partners’ depression, we can learn skills that strengthen our relationships and make them more fulfilling for both parties.