You Know You Cast A Long Shadow On The Ground

As I start writing this it’s the fourteen year anniversary of the passing of Joe Strummer, one time frontman of The Clash. 

I always use this day to look inside myself and question who I am and what I’m doing with my life.

This might sound quite odd, especially when most of my writing focuses around mental health, anxiety and depression. But it has the simple answer that is this: Joe Strummer lived his life the way everyone should. 

Strummer took the essence of punk and distilled it to a formula to live your life by, a moral code to follow every day you walked the planet. It wasn’t about the music, although that was a factor of it. It was about how you approach your life and how you face the conundrums it throws in your face. 

As the above quote says it’s about “exemplary manners to your fellow human beings”, words to live by.

To me, it means to live by this example. It means questioning things you feel ate wrong. It means helping up others who have fallen. It means accepting your weaknesses and asking for help. It means keeping your voice clear. It means apologising when you know you’re wrong. It means listening to your inner voice and following your heart. It means living your life as best you can, being proud of who you are and what you do.

Today is a good enough time as any to reinvent yourself what you’re doing, by changing the path you’re walking down. Look out for your fellow travellers and stop to look at the scenery every now and again.

Your heart beats to it’s own rhythm to life, it’s own staccato beat to march along to. If you need to make a change in your life, do it. It might be tough and frightening to do but that doesn’t mean that it’s not the right thing to do. And if you stumble along the way, don’t worry. It means you have the chance to pick yourself up or let others lift you instead. 

Recognise that we’re all living this life together. We are all here to live alongside each other, not to suffer but to actually live, breathe and experience the joy our lives can be. 

And if you don’t where to start, where to begin your chance to change, just look inside yourself and ask yourself this: 

What would Joe Strummer do? 

The title of the this installment of my blog comes from the song ‘The Long Shadow’ by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros. You can find a video for it on YouTube at Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros – “The Long Shadow”. I’ve also now created a playlist on Spotify featuring the songs I include in my blog. You can find it over at The Order Of The Dog Spotify Playlist. I’ll update it every time a new blog is published.

As usual, if you’d like to chat to me further you can email me at and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. I’ve created a closed support group on Facebook also called The Order Of The Dog. It’s there for people who struggle with mental health issues as well as people who want to support and get a better understanding. It’s a closed group which means only members get to see and interact with what’s posted there. Finally, please feel free to share this blog with anyone and anywhere you think it might help.

The Order Of The Dog.


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