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Me(n)tal Health Focus | Adam McCann Shares

Welcome to this episode of Metal Digest’s Me(n)tal Health Focus Campaign in collaboration with Heavy Metal therapy. Today, Adam McCann, co-founder of Metal Digest Magazine shares a story.

How do you even begin to talk about mental illness? You sit down and begin writing about experiences or talking about your medication, coping mechanisms and triggers, but like me, you suddenly feel self-conscious, the questions race through your mind, am I really suffering? Am I stealing somebody else’s thunder? Other people are worse off than me? Why am I complaining? Am I being too narcissistic? Even now as I write, I feel like a charlatan, a bandwagon jumper or a grief thief and I become wracked with guilt, shame and remorse. Okay, now that is generally my default setting, but there’s a lot of self-loathing locked up within this bag of bones held within a suit of meat.

                So, what do you do? Well, push it down, deep down, trap it up, never let it out, you let that spring become so tightly coiled that it threatens to erupt in a violent orgy of destruction that leaves you stood in the hallway looking like Carrie, well, that is until you snap out of your fantasy and you realise that you’re driving and that there’s only you in the car and nothing but the soothing sounds of heavy metal coming through the speakers. Like many people, I sought solace in music, the fortress of solitude where its just you and the album, you find that it speaks to you in a way nobody else can and even at that lowest ebb, the rock bottom of waking up with a hangover which feels as if you’re recovering from what can only be described as an autopsy, fully clothed with enough puke around the room to warrant a visit from the local priest to perform an exorcism, it’s there, that little earworm of a song, it’s almost like a scene from ‘Rocky’: “Get up! Get up ya bum!” you stumble to your feet and a bit of dried puke falls from your hair. Hmm… diced carrot? I don’t remember eating that? Why is it always diced bloody carrot? And you say: “hey life, I didn’t hear no bell”. Just then, as you’re stood there, your arms sting and the you realise that your shirt and bed are covered in blood from the knife marks all over your arms, you wince with the pain and there it is, not only are suffering from an apocalyptic hangover in a room which smells of stale alcohol, cigarettes and vomit and the guilt and shame that comes with that, you realise that your arms look like you’ve done 12 rounds with an alley cat and lost big time.

Then there it is again, that huge swell in anxiety and shame at what you’ve done. But you can’t help, you tried to mask it with a bottle of vodka, a band-aid that can be placed over the mental trauma stalking you like the black dog, the pressure that builds up and like that initial coiled spring, it snaps, the blade comes out and the pressure ebbs away with each blood trail. Ooo, that’s going to leave a scar. Fuck it, I can cover it up with a long sleeve shirt, it’ll scab and then hopefully no one will ever notice the scars… I’m fucked if they do, they’ll ask questions and then I’ll have to think on the spot about some bullshit answer about fighting an alley cat, I got rabies but fuck me, if you think that’s bad, you should have seen the cat… shame…guilt…. Hopefully that’ll be enough to answer their curiosity and they’ll go away. You sort yourself out, you need a shower to wash away the night before, but you know it’s going to fucking hurt like hell, oh well, it serves me right, serves me right for being a massive prick and doing what I did, you’ll never learn. You have a shower, clean yourself up, you’re vaguely human, well, you look like one, you don’t feel like one… what does one feel like? What does it feel like to not have those thoughts? What does it feel like to mindlessly watch the television worrying about soap characters or reality stars? Do they feel human? Maybe it’s just me, maybe I am the problem? Maybe I worry too much, maybe no one worries about things as much as me, maybe no one see’s me as I scurry from A to B staring at the floor.

Fuck it.

I’ll take my medication.

Tomorrow will be a new day.

We will keep the conversation going and we will be sharing interviews, playlists, articles and resources so stay tuned for more!

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