Dancing in the Flames

We will soon be bringing you the blog from our most recent event in Lampeter on 22nd October, part of the wider Mental Health Arts Festival – Walls:Muriau 2016. In the meantime, we are honoured to be bringing you this guest post from a MaDCaff performer who came to our last event and sang 3 songs, the middle one being this. Many of us were blown away by the song, the way that it was performed, the lyrics, everything… so much so that I asked if I could record it again, without all the café noise and children running around, so this is the video we made in only just 2 takes and virtually no editing and is by no means of professional quality but I hope it gives Cameron Watson the strength to carry on and to get the song recorded properly by a professional (and we think this is going to happen) so for now, read what he has to say then watch the video. It’s very powerful.

Dancing in the Flames written and performed
by Cameron Watson

My darling brother Gary died on the 2nd February this year after a 15 month terrible breakdown.

He was generous to a fault, much loved by his family, friends and neighbours, always helping others or up to some fun or crazy antics.  For many reasons I’m immensely proud of him, which the song “Dancing in the Flames” doesn’t convey.

It was the most terrifying incident I have witnessed personally and I was unable to help him.  Neither could I find help for him despite many appeals.

I’m shattered, not only by the loss of my dear brother, but his tragic demise and the withdrawal of friends, who “don’t know what to say”.

This foreboding account reveals the intensity of bearing witness to the (assumed) suicide of our loved one.

Mental health, suicide, death, 3 taboos in one.  Initially I was reluctant to publicly play this song, written before he died (except the last chorus).  News of his passing was not a surprise to me, expecting it did nothing to ease the shock.

The rather dark and brooding nature of the words led me to wonder if it would serve anyone to share it.  Yet many let me know they were moved by it and some thought it good writing.  Rachel said she’d like to post it and we decided to do a better recording.

She also helped me to find some peace with making it public after telling me that suicide is the main cause of death in men up to the age of 50 in the UK and it needs to be addressed.

So in the hope that it moves or touches people in some way or encourages discussion it is being put on the web.

In general, it seems to me that we want the pretty, young, successful, to be entertained, anything to avoid the situation we all find ourselves in.  Temporary visitors with a best before and sell by date.  Yet the mental, physical and environmental health is rapidly breaking down as we cram into boxes, stare at screens and cut ourselves off from nature and each other.

It’s a recipe for disaster.  Let’s talk!

Cameron Watson

IT’S SUICIDE. (click the graphic to go to the CALM website)

Infographic from CALM website - click to go to the CALM site

45-59 year olds have the highest suicide rate of all, the highest suicide rate in the UK in 2014 was among men aged 45 to 59, at 23.9 deaths per 100,000. This age group also had the highest rate among women, at 7.3 deaths per 100,000 population.

So Please…

Talk to each other and if you can’t talk to each other, talk to a Samaritan or find a local organisation that can help. It can be feel very isolating to live with a mental illness, no matter how much your loved ones and friends want to help, so please, if you are feeling bleak, feeling like depression is setting in or anxiety is overwhelming you, don’t let it get so bad that you turn to thoughts of suicide. Talk. Talk. Talk.

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