It’s scarcely worth a doo-wop and Do You Smoke?

Greetings from a bed and breakfast in Belfast.  It is very odd yet kind of cool to be in a B and B in my home town.  I guess it says a lot about my relationship with the place.I deleted my last entry as it was far too personal for a blog such as this.  It made me somewhat uncomfortable reading it, nevermind anyone else.  It’s neither your concern nor business if it doesn’t involve the subjects I created this blog for.  Trouble is, subjects such as these are all-encompassing.  The gist was:

Nice to be home, for a change

My relationship with my home town is fraught.  A lot of bad things have happened to me in Belfast, a lot of people are gone now, I had no wish to live with ghosts.  At least since my diagnosis I have understood that I wasn’t a bad person, wasn’t deserving of some of the shit that was thrown at me.So our relationship is more tender now.  I am feeling far more gracious towards the city and its skelatons.  On almost every mission home I have attended wakes, funerals, bedsides, ghosts and this time I am here for no reason.  It’s so lovely.  Last night I sat on the damp steps of a fire escape and looked at the stars.

Yeah, yeah.

Oh, I know you retched at the last sentence but up yours.  Sentimentality is the one thing I didn’t have when looking at the past and now it feels a little more within my grasp.  So to be mawkish and embarassing about it all is happy to me.  I always have such horrible stories to tell.  It is nice to remember the happy ones at last. 

My feet are frozened on hardwood floor.  The room I am in is palacial, it’s ridiculous.  Yet it’s a cheapo B&B for breadliners like ourselves. We stayed here last year when my dad died.  Rob slept while we attended the wake and found a rat in the cupboard.  I daren’t mention this, but when they give me a measly portion of scrambled egg tomorrow morning for breakfast, I might mention it.  Play my trump card and receive an extra slice of toast.

Seroquel strikes again

Seroquel has now ruined two days out of seven for me.  On Saturday it blitzed my chances of becoming a moderately paid extra in a music video and today it obliterated any hope I had of waking up before the sun sneaked behind the clouds.  I did make it for 9am, but then felt absolutely bizarre.  Horrible dissociation (“Are those my hands?” “Is this chair solid?”) and dizziness.  I bravely sucked a shaking cigarette before passing out again until the afternoon. 

Bundle of fun me, I tells you.

A rumination

I am legendarily nosey and have a question. 

As well as often having substance abuse problems, it’s been said that a large number of people suffering from mental illness smoke.

I smoke 20 or so a day. The number of cigarettes I smoke doubled when I was in the mental hospital and now my habit is more severe. I don’t like smoking but am hopelessly addicted and I am also rather furtive with my hands so it keeps them busy.

Do you smoke? Do you ever think about why you do? Whether you suffer from a mental illness or not, vote in the poll and let me know.

I have tried to post a poll here four times but WordPress ain’t having it.  You can vote by clicking this link.  Yes, this link.

Because most of my family smoke, I always assumed it was the done thing. I was shocked when I moved to London. People found it repulsive and socially unacceptable. Not all people, of course, but no-one has ever barked at me to stub it out anywhere else.


Today is Valentine’s day so go out and tell that mysterious passerby you love them.  When you find out they’re you’re erotomanic stalker, don’t blame me.

8 Responses

  1. most everyone I know who is ill smokes

  2. Hi


    I though you might be interested in this petition, which I wrote about on my blog.It is against banning smoking on acute mental health wards. Prisons are already exempt from the upcoming smoking ban.

    My opinion is that of course giving up smoking is an excellent idea, but not during an acute episode of mental disress!!


  3. I hate Seroquel. I can’t wake up. I’ll get up, eat, get dressed, and then I sit down to put my shoes on and wake up two to four hours later.

    Yes, I smoke. Have done for about fourteen years now. I smoke about 20 a day right now, but at the height, I was smoking 35-40 unfiltered a day. I quit once. I didn’t smoke for a whole year. I woke up every morning craving a cigarette. I just couldn’t take it.

  4. we hav enough to deal with in psych wards, let alone withdrawling from nicotine!

  5. I guess I’m a little late for the petition, but I’ve smoked about 25-40 a day since I started at 19. More in college around exam times, more in college around exam time or when out on a long night of drinking. (Yes, I’m bi-polar, but wrongly diagnosed as major depressive until several years ago.) Now I’m 35 and the doc told me last July that I’ve started the early stages of emphysema. Watch out all you crazies, but then again I’ve found that forewarned is not necessarily fore-armed for me and my ilk. I guess I’ll go try and sign the petition now.

  6. Sheesh ain’t people stupid.
    I spent two spells in a psych ward as a younger man, fags were all that kept me together. They give you a kind of structure to the day, they’re a little freedom when everything else you’re taking in is so rigourously proscribed (and prescribed), they’re social glue for people who have been thrown together in the worst circumstances, a kind of potlatch currency, and most importantly, they give you something to do with your hands!

  7. I started smoking because it was the most socially acceptable form of self-harm I could carry out whilst maintaining a semblance of a job and a life.

    in a psych ward it was unbelievable how even the most tranquillized, uncommunicative or incoherent patient could muster the impetus to stand outside in the cold to puff. Otherwise, many spent their time catatonic in the TV room.

    I definitely agree with Gavin M, it was a form of social glue and currency.

    Power up to the stars for Walter Raleigh bringing us baccie!

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