“Everyone has got to realise you can’t hold onto the past if you want any future. Each second should lead to the next one.”
Joe Strummer over the years has become more and more of a hero to me. He would stand on stage, slashing away at his guitar, his foot stamping out a rhythm whilst spitting out lyrics of truth and hope. Joe didn’t care who you were, he cared about what you were. He was cooler than cool.
To me, Joe represents a certain truth that only few artists have. He cuts to my soul and speaks to me on a direct level. Sure, he’s made some poor decisions in life (look at some of his decisions concerning the Clash), but at least he would admit he was wrong. How many of us can say that? Most of us will just spin it out just plainly blame someone else for it.
Joe might have been an idealist but he was also a humanist. He could see into the very core of people and try encourage goodness in them. That’s the true spirit of punk music. Change is possible but only through people.
I bet you’re wondering why I’m waffling on about him and what this has got to do with a blog about depression and anxiety? Well, it’s my blog and I can write what I want lol. Seriously though, he’s inspirational to me. He tells me not to dwell too much in the past and to work towards the possibility of what can happen. After all, “the future is unwritten”. Anything is possible, we can try to achieve what we want and there is nothing wrong in failure, that’s just a lesson for us to learn from.
Occasionally I will ask myself ‘what would Joe do?’ He’d take the opportunity and do something with it. There are plenty of stories of him wanting to run a marathon. So he did. Without any training. There wasn’t anything stopping him so why shouldn’t he?
What holds you back? What stops you from going out there and doing something you want to do?
I’ve spent a lot of my time over the past few years not taking some opportunities in life. I’ve allowed self doubt and my insecurities to dictate how I live my life. But I’m learning to push through that now. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to say if I feel good or of I feel bad? Failure IS an option and it’s one we should be able to embrace.
Over the past few months I’ve been trying to do things that before I would have baulked at. I’ve set up my blog and my support page. I’ve been vocal about my mental illness and because of that I’ve been able to help others. I’ve gone to the front of gigs I’ve been at. I’m going to play a solo acoustic gig soon.
When I say I’ve been making these changes I wouldn’t have been able to do them if it wasn’t for the people I have in my life. Surround yourself with good, positive people and you’ll find that anything is possible.
I will not allow my self doubt and internal criticism to set ridiculous limitations on my life. Sometimes we need to go through things that make us uncomfortable for a while for what we will achieve at the end of it. The end goal is the result.
Life is for living, not spectating.
I will leave the parting words with Joe. It’s a quote about people in general but I really think that a lot of it you can apply at a more personal level.
“I’d like to say that people people can change anything they want to; and that means everything in the world. Show me any country and there’ll be people in it. And it’s the people that make the country. People have got to stop pretending they’re not on the world. People are running about following their little tracks. I am one of them. But we’ve all gotta stop just stop following our own little mouse trail. People can do anything; this is something that I’m beginning to learn. People are out there doing bad things to each other; it’s because they’ve been dehumanized. It’s time to take that humanity back into the centre of the ring and follow that for a time. Greed… it ain’t going anywhere! They should have that on a big billboard across Times Square. Think on that. Without people you’re nothing.”
When I was writing this blog I listened to a lot of Joe Strummer’s music, both from The Clash and his life afterwards. I was always struck by his cover of Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’. You can find a YouTube link to it’s video here Joe Strummer – ‘Redemption Song’
As usual if you’d like to chat to me drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Also, I’ve created a closed support group on Facebook, also called The Order Of The Dog. It’s set up for people with mental health issues to talk as well as people who want to support others. Nobody can see what gets posted there apart from other members, so feel free to join. Finally, please feel free to share this blog with anyone or anywhere you think it might help.
The Order Of The Dog