A MUSICIAN who battled bouts of depression and ill-health, attempting to commit suicide twice, has revealed how music saved his life.
Wayne Calford, of Trimsaran, has courageously opened up to the Star about his personal troubles, in the hope that his story will inspire others to never give up when they hit rock bottom.
The talented guitarist, of Coed y Clun, says he did not know how to deal with the tragic loss of friends and family -- leading him to do things he regrets.
After losing his uncle, aunt and grandmother, and with memories flooding back of his friend Matthew Kelly who tragically died in a car crash six years ago, everything around him was negative.
People were dying all around me and I was back and forth to the doctor and seeing a counsellor, he said.
Everything bad was happening and I was frightened to attach myself to anyone. I tried taking my own life twice and things were spiralling out of control.
Wayne, who was previously of clean character, hit the headlines after he was ordered to pay more than Pounds 900 in fines after using his girlfriend's Facebook account to lure a man to a park before punching him in the face.
The assault in February caused the man to suffer a broken tooth and bruising to his cheek and forehead, and magistrates were told it was because the victim had hassled his girlfriend.
I was so low at the time -- this guy came along and everything was distorted, said Wayne, who is a carer for his mother.
I was feeling so low and I was vulnerable to everything. I'm not proud of it and I really regret it.
For Wayne, it was music that pulled him away from those troubles and onto the right road.
He first got the music bug when he was 12 years old and admits he dedicated his time to music as anxiety stopped him going to school.
I remember having my gran's music box which played Beethoven and the hairs raised on my arm. I've had a deep passion for music ever since then, he said.
One day I was walking to the back of Garden Suburbs when I came across a burnt out rally car with a guitar at the back of it.
It was pretty beat up and I replaced it with bits and bobs, and used fishing wire for the strings.
I have developed a lot of good mannerisms through music and I just want people to look at it as a way to change their lives if they need to.
If you are going through a crap time there is always something that can make you feel better.
I'm hoping I can show people that when you are rock bottom music can pick you up, and in everything I do I look to give back to others, whether recording or performing or teaching others.
Wayne, who has music inspired tattoos including a treble clef, dedicates his life to his passion, and teaches at Llanelli's Cadno Music. He will also soon be teaching with The Academy of Creative Arts, and doing a series of clinics at the end of the year.
The 24-year-old, who says he routinely practices the guitar outside -- including at the local graveyard -- is soon to release his 16th album, Dancing Fingers.
The tracks are based on nursery rhymes and lullabies and aim to tackle a new genre of music through a rock and metal sound.
I have learnt to believe in music and music pulled me away from all that depression, he said.
Music has made me stronger over the years. After all that happened in court I know it won't happen again and I feel a bit better in myself again now, even though I am deeply ashamed.
I am lucky I have got such a supportive family, girlfriend and friends around me and I have learnt to appreciate that.
Music has saved my life and I will tell anyone that.
VIEW ONLINE Watch a video of Wayne performing online www.llanellistar.co.uk
'Music has saved my life and I will tell anyone that.'
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