Father of two’s recovery from ‘severe’ mental breakdown aided by the creation of the cover version of the Flower of Scotland charity
After losing his beloved great-aunt at the height of the lockdown last year, Andrew Durning suffered ‘severe’ mental breakdown and was warned that he could be a danger to himself and his family.
But, luckily, Coatbridge’s selfless father-of-two is in a much better place now.
And as part of his continued journey to recovery, he teamed up with 16 other musicians to record a cover of “Flower of Scotland” to benefit a mental health charity.
Passionate artist Andrew and his ‘Weegie Warriors’ band mates hope to raise as much money as possible for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).
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Andrew, 34, aims to highlight the ‘absolutely crucial’ work done by mental health charities and courageously shared his darkest moments with Lanarkshire Live.
He told Lanarkshire Live: ‘When we first entered custody in March of last year I appreciated it as I was able to spend more quality time with my three year old twin sons, Kieran and Connor.
“Then, on June 21, I lost my great aunt Gina to COVID. She caught him in the hospital while recovering from a stroke.
“If there was a specific time my mental health started to deteriorate, it was that day.
“Before the confinement, I was very close to my family. The family reunions were full of joy, laughter and love and no one embodied it more than my great aunt who, before the confinement, had all been out. days and still busy – even at the age of 91.
“After his death everything became more difficult for me. I was not facing my grief and the time spent with my sons became a daily struggle. I started to wonder about things that were once second nature, and I started to believe that my wife and sons didn’t love me anymore.
“A month later, after taking my sons to the park, I had a severe nervous breakdown. I went to my room and cried for hours. I felt like a failure as a father, husband and human being; I thought I was a burden and that there was no benefit in being alive.
“The lowest point came when, after admitting that I needed help, I was asked to leave the family home for a while to focus on my recovery. Feeling like a failure was one thing, but being told that you might be a danger to yourself or your family was the worst feeling I have ever had in my life.
“I thought there was no way to go back then. After leaving, I remember sitting alone in a room and seeing two paths in front of me. The short road was to give up, and the long way was to fight back.
“I made the choice to do the job and improve myself; not for me, but for my boys.
Andrew’s recovery is on track – and he’s used his latest musical project as a vehicle for better days to come.
He said: “Things have improved dramatically.
“I consult regularly and make a conscious effort to develop a more honest and loving relationship with my wife and sons.
“I’ve been sort of a performer since I was six and I’ve often been told that I have a good voice.
“After what I went through, I wanted to give something back to the mental health community as a thank you for doing so much for me when I struggled and, at the same time, doing something to honor the memory of my late great aunt.
“Then I remembered one of my ambitions on the goals list; recording of a modern cover of Flower of Scotland.
“I like being Scottish and not just because I’m red! And I had the idea of doing a cover of this historic anthem for almost 12 years, but I always found excuses not to do it.
“So, I thought, ‘why not combine the two and save the kit to raise money for mental health awareness”? “
Andrew has been successful in gaining support from other musical artists and the “Weegie Warriors” version of the national anthem will hit digital platforms next month.
He said: “I have had so many fellow artists – 16 in total of musicians, producers and singers – who have offered their help and talent for the cause.
“Due to COVID restrictions, we recorded the song at two different studios; one for music and the other for singing.
“I’ve always been known as someone who takes on impossible projects and makes them happen and that was a good thing to put in place.
“Everything was very pleasant and helped me get back into the rhythm; I found my smile.
“I hope as many people as possible will contribute to our fundraising page.”
The Weegie Warriors’ Flower of Scotland will officially release on Spotify, Amazon Music, iTunes and other digital platforms on September 18, and is available for pre-order on September 1.
To donate to Andrew’s fundraising effort, visit in line.
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