Edit: Speaking of writing, here is a piece I did for One in Four on the subject of mental illness and humour:
Long time readers will know that the highlight of the week is my sloping down to the newsagents in my pyjamas to return victorious with my Thursday Haul of trashy magazines. Then I spend a glorious hour flipping through them all (for an hour is all it takes to read them), and then they spend the next week in the bathroom to salve the stigma of suspiciously long sojourns there.
Well, in this week’s, “Real People” (released today, folks, go grab your copy!), me and my friend Jenna are in the problem page. We are the hallowed, “Pictures Posed by Models”.
Fun fact: the coat I wearing smells of cat wee, although I didn’t know this until I was on the tube. Shame it’s not scratch-n-sniff.
I was contacted by BBC World Service looking to speak to me about the following programme. Considering I’ve only spent four days on a mental ward, I don’t think I’d be much help. But one of you may be, so if you’d like to speak to her, email her at lucy.williamson (at) bbc.co.uk.
I work on a programme called ‘Witness’ – it’s a new kind of programme for BBC News; more oral-history than factual analysis. Each ten-minute programme is based around one person’s unique memories and perspectives of a particular event: the images that stick with them, the feelings they felt, the actions they took. This is then interwoven with some archive material for atmosphere, and a light script to give a bit of context to the topic and the speaker.
To mark National Health Day next month, I’d like to make a programme with someone who’s spent time living in a modern-day psychiatric unit. So much of our audience is still reliant on a kind of Ken Kessey image… it would be really good to get someone who’s spent a proper amount of time there, to talk about the good, and the bad, and the obstacles to adapting (and leaving)
Edit: No iPhone over here! No smartphone at all, just a wee cheap one.
I’m looking for a mood diary. I’ll fill it in with Robert’s input considering there are a fair amount of times I wouldn’t be able to recognise my own mood.
I want a computerised one because- well, they’re fun! I like ones where I input more numbers (mood 1-10, hours of sleep etc as I’m very aware that sleep impacts massively on my mood and I exploit that) than words because, at a glance, it’s easier to see where I am.
So if you have any recommendations, hit me up! If you use one, how useful do you find it? I’m still feeling fairly low but some self-deception, making sure I don’t sleep too much and attempting to keep busy is helping. My plan, I guess, is have an emergency stash of medication in the house so when my mood starts to get too high I can knock it on the head or at least sleep. If I even bother to think it is too high, which is why I’ll need Robert’s help. In my current Regime, it’s unlikely I’m going to be on any mood stabilisers, and I’ve (genuinely) forgotten to take citalopram in the past few days (I’ll go back on it today), so, self management it is! I’m mostly fairly self aware and years of practice have meant I’m a lot better at being pro-active in managing my moods than I ever used to be, so I can do it. I’m trying to organise things in other ways, too. I have a chalkboard in which I write things to do on it, which makes me feel a bit more like a human, even if I seem to totally neglect the, “Have a Wash” command (but really, I’ve also neglected, “Wash the Towels” so what can you do?) And I have a year planner in which I’ve written my writing hours in and my class hours. In glittery pens like a fecking ten year old. Hooray!
I’m very keen not to get unwell. In December last year I was signed with a literary agency and it seemed like 2010 was going to the Year For Me. Instead, it’s virtually wiped out by not being entirely well. I don’t want another year like that; there has been far too many already.
So, loaded question here and one I’ve always resisted asking on this blog: where do you stand on religion, alternative medicine and other such spiky subjects?
I wrote this on my other blog (which I forgot existed, whoops) and am reposting it here. It explains my stance on such matters.
I’d marry James Randi, if he weren’t such a funny colour. He’s had the skin of a cadaver since he was born. The reason he grew that beard was to discourage people poking him on the chin to see if he moved.
He’s also gay, three times older than me and about a thousand times more clever than me.
Here he is in an exquisite takedown of Uri Geller and Peter Popoff:
And in a lovely lecture:
I’m a skeptic. I’m an atheist. I often tone down my opinions on such things in polite company, just as I try not to rant about atheism into the face of theists. I especially toned it down on my other blog, leaving nary but one huge rant and a few subtle links in the sidebar to give me away. It was mostly to avoid showdowns with people who had mental health problems who felt they were helped by such things. I have no right, and no interest, in doing anything to despoil that. Even if every other day I received emails- ranging from well meaning to what the fuck- exhorting me to turn to god to be healed, or have I tried this homeopathic remedy? It’s water, but, y’know. Or the seminal: DIET AND EXERCISE! FRESH FRUIT! EAT IT! EAT NOTHING BUT! I couldn’t be arsed in the end.
For the record, I think psychics, dowsers, fortune tellers, faith healers, aura readers and their ilk are all either deluded or charlatans. Continue reading
I haven’t slept and have barely eaten, and I’m finding citalopram (mixed with caffeine, let’s be fair) somewhat activating, which has made me faintly giddy. Which is a good state in which to receive the news that I got onto the course at Birkbeck! Yay! It’s just a part time access course but it’s something at least and rights the deep wrong of my lack of A-levels. I hope I can manage, and also fund it!
Today has been the best day I’ve had in a while. I spent the whole day out of the house and had a good day without bawling. I watched a manic rendition of mediocre Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor at the Globe. I took photos for the first time in ages. I got home to two good emails that I have good responses to, and my letter. I always just feel better when I’m doing *something*, so I hope I can manage!
C’mon everybody, please say HAPPY BIRTHDAY! to my favourite baby sister Orlaigh. She’s 18 today, which should frankly be illegal as in my mind she’s still six and sleeps in the bunk above me. Now she’s a beautiful, cheeky, clever woman who posts Facebook status updates that disturb and delight me in equal measure. I can’t threaten to deck her boyfriends anymore, nor can I tell her off for swearing. And her now being an adult when a second ago she was in nappies reminds me that we are all marching towards death.
YAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY ORLAIGH!
Stop being taller than me!