Amanda Bøg: »I’ve cried so many times in that recording studio...«
Photo: Sofi Hellberg Olsson
Amanda Bøg has written songs about the feelings of powerlessness and grief she experienced when she was in a relationship with a person who was mentally unstable. ‘Cause where do you place your own feelings, when the other person’s feelings take up all the space there is? In november her debut EP will be released, and the making of the record has helped her understand and process a difficult time in her life.
Early in our lives we learn that it is important to be something for someone else. That we should carry our loved ones and be there when they need help.
But sometimes the burdens of others can be so heavy that you end up hurting yourself in the attempt to carry them. Amanda learned that, when she dated someone who was mentally ill. The love between AManda and her partner ended up being synonymous with grief and self-destructive behaviour, and this is what her songs are about; Her debut EP ‘Med Hensyn Til Dig’ (Regarding You) is about losing yourself bit by bit in the attempt to save the person you love.
»It was extremely difficult to be in that relationship. During that time I became self destructive with him. I tried to compensate for all the sadness and it became an overwhelming project. I came to believe that his well being depended on me and that everything would get better if I could help him. It’s a topic that has been present throughout my whole life; the idea that if you can be there for someone and carry their burdens, it makes you more valuable as a person. But that whole savior complex thing was unhealthy for both me and him«.
When Amanda looks back on the relationship it strikes her how she couldn’t find the help she needed to deal with the relationship. She couldn’t find a safe space for herself to feel sad, weighed down and exhausted, because she felt that she needed to be there for her partner at all times. It became a massive source of exhaustion for Amanda, that she needed herself to be strong and show endless care and affection for her then boyfriend.
»It is a beautiful thought that we can strengthen each other and make each other grow. But it can’t become a reward game. It’s no good if you think that someone else’s happiness depends on you alone,« she says.
»I’ve often been close to someone who has experienced illness and death in their family, and I’ve found it hard to figure out what to do as an outsider who is still deeply involved in the situation. Where do you place your own feelings, when your friend or your partner loses a parent? You can find a lot of advice on the internet about how to be a good friend in situations like that. But what if you feel miserable yourself? It has been difficult for me to seek help in these situations, and that’s why this record has been so important to me. It was what I needed to process everything and be able to move on. I’ve cried so many times in that recording studio«.
Despite the unhealthy relationship being hard and traumatizing, Amanda’s message is not that you should protect yourself from people with problems. Her message is that with love and devotion comes frustration and grief. Which is why it is okay to draw a line for yourself and stand up for your needs and wishes – all though the relationship is complicated.
Amanda Bøg’s debut single will be released through W.A.S. Entertainment on August 12th, 2021.