Tag Archives: addiction

Shane McGowan

Shane McGowan Gets A Top Set Of Gnashers

Pogues front-man Shane McGowan is almost as famous for the hideous state of his mouth as he is for his music.

McGowan’s propensity for excess, his heroin use, binge drinking and total failure to look after himself wrecked McGowan’s health and at one point even led to Sinead O’Conner reporting him to the Police in an attempt to help him break his heroin habit.

It seems like McGowan has finally acted to repair a mouth that was the epitome of the stereotype of Brits with bad teeth.

According to the Independent dental surgeon Darragh Mulrooney described repairing McGowan’s mouth as “The Everest of dentistry.”

McGowan recorded most of his great works when he had some teeth to work with,” Dr Mulrooney says. “The question on everyone’s lips is how it will affect his voice. The tongue is a finely attuned muscle and it makes precise movements. We’ve effectively retuned his instrument and that will be an ongoing process.”

McGowan now has a full set of teeth but Shane being Shane he likes to make a statement and does so by adding a single gold tooth to his pearly whites.

The Daily Mail reports that McGowan, who is 58 on Christmas Day has now been able to reclaim his voice.  If he can stay clean who knows, perhaps we might once again be able to see an artist who at his best was spellbinding, at his worst a shambles, perform live again.

Who knows perps McGowan’s future will see him produce performances like that he produced with the late, great Kirsty MacColl on “The Fairytale Of New York.”

 

Robin Williams – A Black Dog Day

Today the world mourns the passing of another tortured genius.  Robin Williams, a man who brought a smile to the face of millions, took his own life whilst in the grip of a serious bout of depression.  Once again the Black dog of depression has claimed a life.  It is widely acknowledged that those with high levels of intelligence, creativity or artistry are, for reasons we may never understand, more susceptible to diseases of the mind, especially to depression and bi-polar disorders.  It would appear that many are also susceptible to addiction.  It would seem that Robin Williams fitted into all of the categories mentioned. An intelligent, articulate man, a comic genius who had a unique gift to make people laugh, especially, for me at least, in his more slapstick roles.  Seemingly hugely successful in everything he did and yet his struggles with alcohol, drugs and depression are well documented.

Thankfully the subject of depression and mental illness is less of a taboo now than it once was.  Williams spoke openly about his problems, he paid regular visits to rehab and no doubt employed the best Doctors in their field and yet depression still claimed his life.  Those who have not suffered from or lived with depression may well look at Williams life and ask the question ‘What did he have to be depressed about’?  Why on earth would a man with all the resources available to him feel the need to take his own life?  The answer in Williams case may never be known, but from my own experiences I will make some educated guesses.

When in a depressed state a sufferer feels like a failure, no matter how brilliant or successful they are or how wonderful their lives seem to others.  No matter how loved you are you feel worthless.  No matter how much you are supported you feel alone.  Depression rarely lasts for a few weeks, recovery takes many months, sometimes years and all too frequently it is a lifelong struggle.  Medication helps in some cases, talking therapies help in others.  For me a mixture of medication and mindfulness meditation exercises has helped me to bring my condition under some measure of control.  That said just last week I had a couple of really bad days, my black dog days.  Singer songwriter Gaz Brookfield’s song really touches a chord with me.  Depression is that black dog that you can never outrun, it is always there ready to pounce, but with help it can be leashed and brought under some measure of control.

That old dog knows how to find me
It matters not which road I travel on
And I thought those days were behind me
But it turns out I could not have been more wrong
And he sits right there on my shoulder
His cold, wet breath upon my neck
And they said he would leave when I got older
But he still creeps up when I least expect

And it’s hard to say why it has to be today
And I can’t explain how it feels
But a black dog day could be just one sleep away
And I’ll never see him coming but I’ll keep running with him snapping at my heels

And there’s no good reason for his visits
He requires neither catalyst nor cause
And he’ll push me to my very limits
And leave with nothing but the scars left by his claws
And he steals the wind right out my sails
And he leaves me at the mercy of the waves
And I’ve tried but I have failed to outrun him
But I’m not fast enough on my feet to escape

And it’s hard to say why it has to be today
And I can’t explain how it feels
But a black dog day could be just one sleep away
And I’ll never see him coming but I’ll keep running with him snapping at my heels
At my heels

And it’s hard to say why it has to be today
And I can’t explain how it feels
But a black dog day could be just one sleep away
And I’ll never see him coming but I’ll keep running with him snapping at my heels
And it’s hard to say why it has to be today
And I can’t explain how it feels
But a black dog day could be just one sleep away
And I’ll never see him coming but I’ll keep running with him snapping at my heels

Robin Williams I am so sorry that your black dog caught you and that you felt you could not fight him any longer.  I am sorry that you couldn’t make through the day, I am sorry that your loved ones now mourn your passing, no doubt asking themselves what they could have done to prevent this tragedy.  It will be very hard for them to understand that they could not have done anything, you would have found a way.

A light has gone out in the world, we will miss you.  Rest in peace.

Reviving Bricks – Come down and Jam

Todays daily prompt is to explain what we would do if we inherited a crumbling pile in the Country.  Money is no object.

For me this would be a dream come true.

If you have read my blog before you will know that my passion is music, that I have suffered from depression and that I love my family and my dogs.

I would combine my passions to help others.  It is a hugely sad fact that so many people with depressive conditions end their own lives.  So many gifted people fall into depression and this can often lead to problems with drink and drugs.  Despite huge talent many gifted people suffer from low self esteem.

I would love to establish a retreat for people suffering from depressive conditions or addiction problems.  This would be free to those who came for help but as well as receiving treatment people would use their skills to support the retreat or to teach new skills to others.

Musicians could teach others to play instruments, artists could teach people to draw or paint.  Others could work to make the gardens beautiful, to grow food or to repair and decorate the house.  Residents would cook, keep house and support each other, learning new skills and increasing their self worth.

The retreat would develop to be self sustaining, environmentally friendly and would teach everyone the value of caring for each other & the environment.  Everyone would come to realise the value of living a simple, less materialistic existence, the value of stopping to appreciate all that is good in life and learning how important it is to make space just to be!

How glorious it would be 🙂