LISTEN: Fears – ‘two_’

**Content Warning: Talk of self harm and mental health issues.**

A poignant meditation on some of her darkest hours, Constance Keane aka Fears has shared her latest single ‘two_’. The experimental pop artist has transformed her struggles with self-harm into a gentle, cathartic new offering, specially commissioned for the Northern Ireland Mental Health Arts Festival.

Today marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK & Northern Ireland and Fears is helping to raise awareness of this with the self-directed accompanying video for her track. The visuals feature repurposed footage of Fears and her family, depicting the non-linear path of recovery from trauma. She tenderly confesses in her lyrics “If not for my family / I’d never have healed,” a sentiment that’s reflected in the footage she’s chosen to share.

Two years on from receiving inpatient treatment in a hospital in Dublin, Fears now uses her musical creations as a form of therapy. “Creativity was, and still is, such a huge part of recovery for me,” she explains. “So to be part of a festival showcasing the creativity of people with mental health issues is incredible. I think when it comes to budget cuts for the mental health sector, creative resources are too often the first to go, so it’s great to see a group celebrating the significance of being creative in maintaining positive mental health.”

For many who suffer with mental health issues, the road to recovery requires immense amounts of patience and a huge shift in perspective. Fears extrapolates on this further: “For me, there is no final point where I’ve ‘gotten better’. I am better than I was before, but ‘better’ isn’t a destination. It’s about learning, maintenance and forging trust in myself.”

“It’s important for me to discuss the topic of self harm; it’s something I’ve been trying to figure out how to approach for a while now. I don’t endorse self harm. It’s an unhealthy coping mechanism when you’re distressed; but it’s also incredibly common. Within the improving awareness and discussion around mental health, I feel self harm still carries the weight of secrecy and shame. I have lines on my leg from hurting myself a few years ago. They’re most likely going to be there for a very long time. I want to wear shorts in summer. I’m going to wear shorts in summer.”

Fears’ determination and honesty in the face of adversity makes listening to ‘two_’ all the more poignant and necessary. If you’ve been affected by any of the issues discussed in this post, please reach out to Mind or other mental health charities.

Follow Fears on Spotify & Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

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