It’s hard to write this and feel that there is anything positive to say. What positive can you take away from a life cut too short by a brutal disease?
I’m not even sure why I’m quite as cut up as I am. I didn’t know Scott, not personally. I know people who knew him, he could have been any one of my friends. Maybe that’s why it hurts, why so many people are touched by his music and his death. He could have been any one of us. He wrote about each of us, not just the surface things- the casual sex, the drink and drugs, the parties, the weather, the things that mark out normal Scottish lives. It was they way he got beneath our skins, because what was beneath his is beneath ours. The anxiety, the awkwardness, the constant presence of thoughts darker than the Scottish winters.
Maybe I’m cut up because his lyrics run through my own work. MAybe not directly but Frightened Rabbit have been a constant muse. The feelings their songs bring me make their way into my own work. If I’m stuck they would be one of the first bands I put on to bring me home, to take me back to what I remember, what I love and what I hate about home.
Maybe I’m cut up because it’s another fail on the system, on the way we treat mental health, and the way we treat people with mental illness.
Maybe I’m cut up because selfishly, I won’t ever see them live now. I’ll never get to shout along with the crowd, pouring out my own landslide of rocks and hopes and fears.
Maybe it’s because everytime depression takes another of us I have the voice in the back of my head that knows why a person would want to end their life. Because that voice, the voice which is nothing but a disease, whispers a little too loudly to me sometimes too.
But maybe that’s also my positive here, the thing I’m taking away. Because I know that voice and when it claims another of us it gives me the strength to face it and tell it to go fuck itself. It won’t take me. And I will damn well fight to make sure it is silenced in as many people as I can reach in my work.
So fuck you depression. Fuck you mental illness.
While I’m alive, I’ll make tiny changes to earth.
Goodbye Scott. Hope it’s easier on the other side.