Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam’s Pete Dixon: ‘Emotional intelligence is a gift’

Dixon reflects on suicide and how 'difficult feelings are nothing to be afraid of'

For World Mental Health Day, Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam‘s Pete Dixon has penned an emotional essay for NME about masculinity and mental health, reflecting on his own past suicide attempt.

Renowned for having released over 100 songs via Bandcamp, the Birmingham punks’ latest single ‘All The Way Over The Edge (Bros Don’t Talk About Anything’ reflects Dixon’s own battle with depression, and how common it was among his male friends.

Read Dixon’s full essay for NME below:

“I had been swimming along for years thinking I was okay.

“‘You alright Pete?”
“Yeah man sound, you?”

“I now realise my specific brand of ‘okay’ was manic. I could either be very silly, always trying to have a laugh or extremely angry and frustrated – but always avoiding and never realising my sadness and despair. I feel it is instilled in generations of men to dust themselves off and keep going – cowboys don’t cry.

“A few years back a very good friend of ours, the drummer Pete Hayes from Echo Lake, died due to problems with his heart. He was a few years younger than me and just on the cusp of fulfilling so many of his dreams with his music, his burgeoning career as a cameraman and he’d met his soul mate in his girlfriend Caroline. It seemed so unfair that he was taken from us right at the moment.

“After the funeral and the appropriate amount of time had passed, every Christmas Day I would allow myself cry for him. A few times when we were young we had spoken on the phone on Christmas Day, we would share a smoke via mobile phone.

“When I would cry, the outpouring was not only for him but for all my repressed emotions and I would feel shame. My tears were partly for myself: my own fear of mortality, my selfishness and how much I must be letting everyone down.
I pushed it down, filed it in the too dark to talk about down the pub folder – ‘you’re a bloke, men are meant to be strong and sadness is weak‘.

“That was until a few months back when I found myself frantically writing notes in the morning before visiting several different chemists for codeine, popping into the off licence to buy some rum and wine before getting into a warm bath fully clothed and drifting off. I felt clarity in that moment. I was afraid of death, but it had been my decision. Blackness.

“Next thing I knew, I woke up in a hospital bed – I had been incredibly lucky and I slowly started to realise I had lost my mind and hit the very rock bottom.

“If I could give my younger self, or anyone else in that position, any advice at all it would be to never be ashamed of your emotions. Being strong is about using everything you have in you and difficult feelings are not something to be afraid of, emotional intelligence is a gift, and never be afraid to talk to a doctor or a trusted friend, internalising you’re issues only makes it harder.

“Lots of love
“Pete D.”

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