So…… Where do I start?
Firstly a MASSIVE thank you to Jim, Ben and Rob for the last six weeks!
A few weeks ago I got a call from Jim, telling me that Oli had broken his wrist and that they had a gig in six days at Elsewhere in Margate with the outstanding Spanish Love Songs and Pkew Pkew Pkew. We had two practices and at the gig I was absolutely f***ing s***ing myself!
The show went oh k. I left in a not-great way, struggling to get the positives out of it. My mental health in the build up was absolutely dog s***, during and after.
It was the reassurance and support from these dudes which massively helped. We had a few more practices in the build-up to playing at the Harp Restrung last weekend (a gig with 18 bands giving their time to try and save the Harp Restrung in Folkestone).
The show went well, we had a laugh and won the crowd over! I wasn’t as on edge, or on the verge of being sick, or having a panic attack courtesy of my mental health and social anxiety. I pushed through it, had a laugh with my mates and actually enjoyed it!
This weekend, we had the privilege of playing in the Bands For Vans fundraiser at The FAR Academy Trust, based in Whitstable. This has been one of the best laughs of the year! We played alongside the amazing State Of Mind UK (watch out for these up-and-coming guys), the ever so solid The Nightmares and Tax Return, and the always awesome Red Light Runner.
The FAR Academy Trust is such an awesome place, which deserves the support and backing of all of us as they are doing amazing things! Please check them out and support them!
The set today was so much fun! the adults, children and fellow band members all got into it and made it such a great afternoon / set.
It was only on the drive home I started processing all of this. Particularly as I’m now in the build-up the the punk rock for charity gig The Booking Hall, Dover on Saturday 31st August (last few tickets still for sale!), a fundraiser in memorial for my father-in-law, the wonderful Neil Martin, who I lost last December.
Depping for Hands Up arose due to unforeseen circumstances, and the last six weeks have been life changing from where I have come!
I don’t usually write messages like this. I am not embarrassed to write this and I admit that I have serious mental health and anxiety issues but if people reading and sharing this helps one person, then that’s awesome!
To conclude, we all have issues (not always visible!). Ensure WITHOUT FAIL that you have an excellent support network of people who you can talk to, bounce off, perk you up on a bad day and more than anything be there for you WHATEVER life throws at you!
In my case this is the hands up crew (and extended crew) and I can’t thank you enough. I feel like a person reborn from where I was six weeks ago and I owe this to hands up!
Please take a minute to like, tag people in, comment and share and hopefully this will help others like myself.
You only get one life, so LIVE IT!
Aaron Doolan (Aged 31, legend).
Punk Rock For Charity and Pilgrim’s Hospice – A Fundraiser memorial in honour of Neil Martin, Doolan’s father-in-law and drummer for legendary punk band Jester, Health Warning and the Remains. Raising money for Pilgrim’s Hospice, who were phenomenal in Neil’s last few weeks.
The FAR Academy Trust – The FAR Academy Trust is a multi-award winning registered Charity which provides innovative education and an alternative teaching style for young people. The emphasis is on creating a positive attachment to learning. Our programmes equip young people with the qualifications and skills they need to flourish.
Mind – Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
The Samaritans – The Samaritans is a unique charity dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide.
firstname.lastname@example.org – this is our email address. We take our role in our community very seriously and one of us is always available to talk and help. It can be anything at all, don’t hesitate; SEND.
* This post was originally posted on Aaron Doolan’s personal Facebook page and has been edited and republished with his permission.