With Thanksgiving just days away and being all sentimental lately with the success the boys are having, I felt like blogging about why I’m really thankful for the Backstreet Boys.
I wish it was just a simple “they saved my life,” because, in fact, they did save my life – but it’s so much more than that.
Just before I turned sixteen, my grandmother died and I found her. I fell into a depression that I really didn’t know how to control or conquer. I had people in my life, but they just didn’t see what the big deal was and I was so shy then (I know, shocking!) and refused to talk to a therapist. Then some other bad things happen and the night that I decided to stand up for myself, there they were … at my Grand Nite, performing.
I was too concerned with Rhett Akins being there – my favorite country singer from my hometown that I knew and Thomas Rhett’s dad, but I eventually went over to the Backstreet Boys concert and Nick asked me a question with three words – “am I sexual?”
Something inside of me said yes and I was intrigued, so when my life changed again with the end of high school the next month, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. But becoming a fan kind of saved me from having a nervous breakdown from everything going on in my life. I hadn’t felt that excited about music in years.
Fast forward a few years and I dropped out of college and Nick went solo. I was in such a deep depression that I tried a few times to end it all. I wanted to end it all, but Nick’s solo album stopped that. I saw him so many times over the course of that year that I saw him more than my family that lived in the same town. He kept me sane. He’s why I got out of this funk, starting meeting people with shared interest and why I went back to college.
I’m thankful that they taught me my love of writing even if it did start with silly fan fiction. I met some of my best friends that way. The Backstreet Boys lead me to my sisters that I never knew I needed or wanted. They kept me sane when my Mom almost died two summers in a row. They keep me sane everytime that depression tries to tip-toe back into my mind. They kept me sane while I was at a shitty job and could barely hang out.
To say that the Backstreet Boys have saved my life once is an understatement. Over the past 20-plus years, they have continuously saved my life over and over and over without ever knowing it. I’ve gotten the chance to tell this to Nick before, but not the others. One day I hope to tell them. Kevin will probably cry.
Of all the celebrities that I have met in my fangirling life, which is a lot, other than the two Akins boys that are from my hometown, the Backstreet Boys are by far the most down-to-earth, kind-hearted guys I have ever met and had the pleasure of knowing. I have never devoted the amount of time I have to the Backstreet Boys as I have any other artists in my life and that’s because they are why I’m still here.
It’s like I’m paying it forward.
To Kevin, I’m thankful that he came back to the group in more ways than I can count. I’m thankful that he was the rock that Nick could lean on when he needed it. I’m thankful that he showed me it’s okay to show your emotions and to wear your heart on your sleeve.
To Brian, I’m thankful for your huge amount of humor and for always making me smile. I’m thankful that I can say a Backstreet Boy doesn’t live that far from me. I’m thankful that you are finding your voice again because I never had any doubt that you wouldn’t.
To Howie, I’m thankful that you are the rock that keeps this group together sometimes. I’m thankful for your silly moments when sometimes everything is tense. I’m thankful that you found your happiness and that even when you’re so busy, you’re always willing to do something for charity and it makes my heart smile.
To AJ, I’m thankful that you can admit that you’re not perfect and you show the world that even the biggest stars can have weaknesses. I’m thankful for you for sharing that it’s okay to battle depression and to make the subject not-so-taboo. I’m thankful that you found Rochelle and have Ava and Lyric and that you’ve finally found your calling with country music.
To Nick, you know what I’m thankful for. You’ve been there at times when even you didn’t know it. You are probably the one person over the past 20 years that I have kept me sane. I’m thankful that you exist. I’m thankful for everything you’ve done from me – from your encouraging words to your small messages to even the birthday tweets. You’re my happy place.
The Backstreet Boys are my happy place and for that, I’m thankful.