Still broken, still mending.

“Translated as ‘Golden Joinery’ , Kintsugi (or Kintsukuroi, meaning Golden Repair) is the centuries old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a special lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver or platinum. Beautiful seams of gold glint in the cracks of ceramic ware. Each crack or flaw is seen as a unique part of the object’s history, which adds to its beauty.”

On November 4th 2017 I wrote the first post on this blog. The fourteen months that followed, and bring us to the present day, have been, to coin a cliche, an incredible roller coaster ride. There have been moments of incredible joy and happiness, long periods of stability, and some of the most terrifying lows that I have experienced in what is my almost 50 years.

The last post I made, all the way back in May of last year, came after a period of extreme low mood, high anxiety, and paranoia, which led to me having a rather public meltdown on social media, as my thoughts spiralled down the dark rabbit hole towards taking my own life. Having lost our friend Paul in January 2018, I should have realised how much my words would upset, frighten and worry my friends, colleagues, bandmates and most of all my family. I took a long step back, revisited the doctor and increased my medication. and for a long time, things became stable, and the summer was filled with a lot of positive events and happy times spent with family and my closest friends.

As summer ended and autumn seemed to rush headlong into the door, some setbacks made me wobble again, but I held things together, my physical health from August until recently was poor, I allowed my low mood to give me an apathetic view on taking care of myself, and as a result, my symptoms of type 2 diabetes returned, and I have been placed back on medication to try and control this. The run up to Christmas was busy, maybe too busy as I tried to cram as much work in as possible, DJ gigs, MC duties at the Lescar, as well as rehearsals with the Everly Pregnant Brothers, and Big Shaun Pops Out. By the time we played our annual show(s) at the O2 academy, I was almost at breaking point, and on Saturday 22nd of December I walked offstage at The O2, leaving great friends Jon and Laura McClure singing the last song of the evening, and was hit by a wave of sadness that almost knocked me off my feet, I broke down and wept, for about 20 minutes I sat alone, missing the last bow of the evening, trying to pull myself together enough to face the crowd, and my bandmates. eventually I did, and order seemed to be restored. Christmas was painful, I can’t go into details here, to protect people whose actions made the holiday a misery rather than a pleasure.

On the positive side, the O2 Shows were phenomenal, the crowd as ever being wonderful, our Christmas video ‘dunt the want me’ received almost a million views on social media, albeit almost getting us into trouble with a very large global conglomerate. and on the 28th of December my special show for Radio Sheffield ‘Big Shaun’s Vinyl Showdown’ was broadcast and has since received glowing and wonderful feedback.

All of which I hoped would see me into the new year on an even keel. Until once again, the black dog came in and filled my dance card, and once again I hit a deep depression and my old friends the suicidal thoughts, came back again. once again, more out of desperation than good sense, I took to social media to make my cry for help, and thankfully, the cry was answered, by many, heartwarmingly so, unfortunately this had the plot twist of making me feel guilty, and exacerbating the situation. The last time I went to see the G.P. the advice was, ‘book in for 1 to 1 counselling and get some weight off, that will make you feel better. I’m still being frustrated in my efforts to get the counselling, but I am trying a new approach to getting the weight loss moving, and for the next month I will be following an extreme regime (so I may be a grumpy arsehole for a while).

something that has been a great comfort in the last few weeks especially, but certainly over the last year, has been discovering that there are a lot of people, friends and acquaintances on social media, who share the struggles, and as a community I have found a lot of support and I hope given a lot of support, to people in the same situation, and sometimes worse. This led to a discussion with two online friends about inner light, and that if we come together to support each other, we can restore each other’s inner light, and become a beacon, for those who are still suffering, and if we can help them to rediscover their light, we can grow the movement and make a whole network of beacons, shining the light of hope. we’re all broken, but each break is a part of who we are, and each mending, like a Japanese bowl, adds to our strength, and our inner peace, and our inner beauty.

Nobody really has to be truly alone, there will always be a voice out there, an ear to listen, and arms to hold us. We suffer together, we hurt together, we talk, we share, we support, and we heal together.

To close this post, firstly another apology to all those who were worried by the way my thoughts were going. It means the world to me that you care for me, and I love you all for it, I can’t promise that I’m not going to get those thoughts again, but while ever I can share them, I’ll be around to do just that.

We’re all shining with the golden joinery of our past,  Our flaws and fractures shine brightly with the light of eternal love and hope, we are broken, we are mended, we remain whole.

Shaun Doane. January 30th 2019.

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