Take only one metric, say, substance abuse. Most of us can relate, because at first glance a drink or two at night is the path of least resistance. These are frantic times: full schedules, long commutes, stressful jobs, a constant deluge of information and images, artificial light. The body grows accustomed to two drinks, so we add a third. Months pass, perhaps years, and three becomes four: an entire bottle of wine a day, or nearly half a gallon of beer. Sleep is adversely affected by alcohol, and this compounds the stress, anxiety, or depression the drink was meant to relieve. In time we take medication to sleep, then caffeine or other medications to wake back up. We ingest anti-depression and anti-anxiety drugs. Stress and sleep disturbances aggravate physical pain, but there is medication for that, too. There are secondary pills for lessening the side effects of our primary pills. Even when it is perfectly legal and in many cases over-the-counter, it is substance abuse all the same, from the humble coffee bean and the leggy Malbec to the long-chided OxyContin. And it might all start with a single drink a day.
Some remain sick, yet somehow press on. Tragically, others succumb. But some seek out the treatment they need. Yet what of those who have no access to treatment? Expand the view now from substance abuse to physical or domestic abuse, sexual assault, relationship breakdown, bereavement. Or in the case of adolescents, widen the lens to street violence, parents’ addiction, self-harming, family breakup, trauma, bullying, exclusion, restructured family systems, abusive parents. Or in the case of very young children, family breakdown, peer pressure, social exclusion, sexual abuse, young carers, domestic violence.
Crisis Counseling, located in Erskine and some 15 miles northwest of Glasgow, provides treatment to those who would otherwise have no access.
Their website proudly states: “Crisis provides counselling and support to people who need it when they need it.” Fraser McGowan, whom we know as Caught In The Wake Forever, recently sought out the clinic’s care, and discovered that funding was short. Economic pressure risk putting Crisis Counseling out of business. He writes:
From the first moment I contacted Crisis I felt a genuine warmth & compassion I had never come across before. They quickly provided me with a fantastic mix of specialist therapeutic services & weekly counselling sessions which were tailored specifically to my needs & what I wanted to achieve. One of the best things was that there was no set time limit for my treatment, there was no pressure for me to get well, I could work at it at my own pace & in my own time. Throughout the last 6 months I’ve been on a wonderfully strange & beautiful journey. Each day I get stronger & stronger & it’s all thanks to the continued support & teachings of the amazing staff & volunteers at Crisis Ltd.
McGowan and the community at Mini50 Records have responded with a benefit album, featuring 17 tracks, just under 80 minutes of previously unreleased material. Buy it for about US$10, and all proceeds will be donated to the center. Longtime TMIM favorites Matthew Collings and Antonymes have contributed music, as has new Muse band-crush Hiva Oa. McGowan has also contributed a track to the collection. But the most rewarding part of compilations like this is new discovery, and the walzy, provincial “Daylight” (Christian Eldefors) is a terrific surprise. Try also the edible and fire-lit “Recent Waves,” by Guy Gelem.
Stream below, but please purchase at the Bandcamp page.