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“Good evening my name is Dennis (whoops Mrs Stephens your sitting on my radishes) O’Dell.

Welcome to our series of fly on the wall documentaries, What Are They Good For? This week we turn the spotlight on Charity Trustee board members. Come with us now as we take you over to a live (which is more than can be said for the brains of many of the board members) board meeting”.

Chairperson: “Thank you for your attendance ladies and gentlemen, now that we’ve finished off the free food and drink we should I suppose start the meeting. Can we take it as read that the minutes of the last meeting are a complete and utter fabrication?”

Whilst he’s talking (Omnes Board members mumbling “Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb, one shouts Custard”)

Chairperson: “Now I have here a letter from the chief executive of the charity asking what in practical terms we can do to support the charity in its work with the mentally ill”.

Board Member 1: “Good God!!! Do you seriously mean to suggest they expect us to actually do something useful?”

Board Member 2:” How Rude I know I offered my services when brought on to the board, but good Lord! You don’t expect decent people to take you up on an invitation”.

Board Member 3:” Hang on can we just clarify an earlier point this charity deals with “LOONIES” I thought it was poor and or orphaned kiddies”.

Chairperson: “Could I just remind board members that we never use the L word we prefer the term the Synaptically Misfiring”.

(Omnes Board members mumbling” Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb”, one shouts “Custard”)

Board Member 4: “Sorry missed all that was busy texting my daughter”.

Chairperson:” We were discussing the fact that the charity we are meant to be trustees of expect us to sing for our supper”.

Omnes: cries of “never,” ”rubbish,” “rhubarb,” “who runs this charity some sort of commie left wing do-gooder” “God!!! The people you meet when you don’t have your shotgun”.

Chairperson: “Settle down please it gets worse it seems from the letter it was one of us who suggested we take a more active role”.

Shout from the room “I resign!!”

Chairperson “Hmn it seems we now have a vacancy on the Board, any suggestions?

Shout from the room” I’ll do it”.

Chairperson: “Name please”, (a name gets shouted) “Splendid! Same as the last member”

Chairperson: “Now I think we should bring this meeting to a swift conclusion as I see by the time they’re open, so like all good comedy acts we’ll finish on a song “.

Omnes: “We are the lads from M.H.N.E.

M.H.N.E. where’s our O.B.E.

We do our bit for charity

We’re splendid chaps we’re fine

So when you’re handing out the knight hoods

And you’re stuck for a name use mine”

 

 

 

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It’s only a WHIMSICAL NOTION I know, but wouldn’t it be nice if everyone I knew and that includes family and friends. Would treat as the person I am not as a list of SODDING symptoms from a definition of a mental health condition someone has labelled me with. It would be BLOODY MARVELLOUS!!!!! If they would allow me to have the  normal human emotions they attribute to themselves.  For example if I appear annoyed or pissed off, it’s simply because I’m annoyed and pissed off. In the same way everyone else gets aggravated when things get up their nose.  But of course I can’t possibly be experiencing an ordinary human emotion or response to an infuriating or upsetting situation or circumstance. I have to be behaving that way because I suffer from mental distress. “Look out Dad’s having one of his turns” or “Oh God the nutter’s going off on one” or the mock sympathy approach “Are you all right?” If things are getting too much for you maybe you should take a break. “Is there anyone I can call for you”? “When did you last see your CPN/Psychologist/Psychiatrist or Counsellor”?   Along with lots of other stupid meaningless phrases,

Well to you all I give this message “DON’T TRY TO FIX ME I’M NOT BROKEN” though I sometimes think my mouth is as nothing I say seems to get through and everything I say, every simple action is always linked to my mental health issues. As an illustration just recently I said that I wanted to go to sleep and not wake up, so of course that means that I want to kill myself it couldn’t possibly be that I’ve been so busy and am physically exhausted that I just want to get some sleep and build up my physical and mental reserves I could have just as easily said I could sleep for a week. The thing is even if I was contemplating taking my own life then that’s no one’s business but mine, it’s my life it’s up to me how I choose to end it and it certainly wouldn’t be because I was depressed or felt life was no longer worth living.

So in conclusion I again proffer this heart felt appeal to everyone who knows me

“LEAVE ME ALONE, NOT EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE RELATES TO MY MENTAL ILLHEALTH, and most importantly DON’T TRY TO FIX ME I’M NOT BROKEN”.

A message from beyond by Harold Peregrine Gibson

I H.P. Gibson being of sound mind, sound body, sound of wind and limb, hale and hearty, fit and healthy in every way, am rather surprised to be dead.  How! I hear you cry (metaphorically speaking of course, I can’t really hear you cry as being dead and being made of the ghostly substances, that is the ectoplasmic constituents. I don’t have any ears with which to hear). Can I possibly be communicating with you?

WELL I’M DOING THIS THROUGH THE AUSPICES OF THE REKNOWNED MEDIUM MRS RITA CAKE (please excuse the capitalisations that appear in this piece, it’s just Mrs Cake is rather deaf and sometimes I have to shout). I have to say it’s a strange business this whole death thing, I mean it’s not until you GET HERE YOU REALISE HOW DREADFULLY DULL AND TEDIOUS the whole thing is. Walking through walls and saying boo!! Soon wears thin (It really is so dull dreadfully,dreadfully dull, you may think that being a domestic science teacher or a traffic warden is as dull as watching paint dry but that’s just peanuts to the afterlife). I could go on about the dullness but what’s the point, I think the only reason I’m wasting my breath communicating this is that “BEING DEAD I DON’T HAVE ANY OTHER USE FOR IT” (thank you Douglas Adams for that quote) and that’s another thing. WHAT? MRS CAKE PLEASE DON’T INTERUPT ME WHEN I’M RANTING. These bloody mediums never get any better honestly! I could have messed around with someone’s oujah board and not had this much trouble or freaked out Derek Achorah (the UK’s version of Scooby Doo travelling about in a van contacting phoney ghosts) by giving him his first genuine psychic experience. Sorry I digress where was I? Oh yes, my contention on the button a major bugbear if you wish is the difference in the way the deaths of celebrities that are linked to Mental Illness are covered by the media back in the fiscal worm. NO, NO MRS CAKE I SAID PHYSICAL WORLD (who ever heard of a FISCAL WORM unless you mean George Osbore the phoney Chancellor).  Bugger! I’ve lost the thread now, (no wonder Houdini never came through).

Ok I remember now, why is it when a celebrity with Mental Health issues dies the media suddenly develops a sympathetic understanding of and an interest in Mental Health along with its attendant issues, becoming all self-righteous and banging on about how disgusting it is that stigma exists in this day and age and if only we’d all be a bit more “mindful” (along with other meaningless buzz words), the world would be a better place. All this is supplemented of course by the dragging out of some token mental health sufferer (who doesn’t really get listened to and is just there for effect) or more likely some platitudinous professional spouting cliché after cliché and how if we all spoke about openly about Mental Ill-health these tragic events could so easily avoided. This then is followed by a rush of other celebrities eager to talk to the press (colour me contemptuous, but any excuse to get their name in the papers) about their own struggles with mental health issues.

Contrast this with when Martin Spelk from Croydon or Joe Schmo from Gateshead , who because they are ignored by or due to funding cuts can’t access the pitiful second class mental health services that do exist, tragically take their own lives, it hardly rates a comment. Where then the outraged media?  No its seems John Q Citizen suffering mental distress is only news worthy if he kills someone else, then of course it’s out with the sympathy and let’s get these nutters off the streets becomes the cry.  It’s enough to make you want to chew your own foot off.  Well it seems my time is up and I haven’t another shilling (shilling how old does that make me sound) to put in Mrs Cakes psychic meter so this is H P Gibson signing off from the great beyond so until we meet again in a better place and God knows this isn’t it (which is why he or she or both depending on your point of view has sodded off and hasn’t even left a forwarding address).  Well I’m off to tea with Marilyn Monroe. Stay Lucky

 

A really well thought out and intelligently argued blog around the issue of how society constructs it’s view of what constitutes beauty. Well worth a read

cervixsays

Gilly Hicks had a sale recently, and as usual, I deliberately ordered enough stuff from their website to get free shipping, with the intention of returning most of the lot. This morning, while searching for their return policy to see how many days I can hem and haw before the sales are final, I wound up on a couple of Abercrombie & Fitch (their parent company) and Hollister-inspired Tumblr blogs. Apparently, it’s customary in the group interviews with these stores to be asked a make-or-break-you question about “what diversity means to you.”

Laughing-Kid Diversity? At Abercrombie & Fitch? Bwahahahaha

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Bunwackett,Sprocket and Sprongs  The Happy Tablet Academy St Looney Up the Cream Bun

Bunwackett,Sprocket and Sprongs
The Happy Tablet Academy
St Looney Up the Cream Bun

 

Dear Sirs
I should like to complain in the strongest terms about the scurrilous portrayal of the psychiatric profession in your publication. It is just this sort of namby pamby left wing socialist diatribal misrepresentation that detracts from the splendid work that I and others in my profession are very highly paid for, (oops what a giveaway) I mean that we carry out in the interests of humanity. It is particularly galling to see the continual referencing to psychiatrists and antidepressants. Let me say right here and now and for the record that neither I, nor any of my colleagues are antidepressants, I personally like depressants they are in fact my favourite type of patient. They just sit there quietly in the corner, hardly speaking or complaining in any way about their treatment. In addition, I would like to draw your attention to the ground-breaking new therapy we here at Bunwackett, Sprocket and Sprongs have spent years developing.
This therapy that we refer to as Psycho-traumatic Aversion therapy is a proactive approach which is based very much around the vigorous participation of the mental health sufferer. The therapy sessions each lasting half an hour takes place over several weeks, during which the client is beaten soundly about the head with one of our specially medicated hammers, while the psychiatrist chants the self-image enhancing mantra “Get over yourself and grow up you looney”
In conclusion I would be grateful if you could publish this letter in your publication, which should hopefully go some way to redressing the balance and give the lie to the representation of the psychiatric profession currently displayed in your rag.

Yours Sincerely
Reginald Bunwackett MRCP.

Dear Sirs
I should like to complain about the above complaint; it isn’t even from a proper psychiatrist. His hair’s too long, those aren’t even real letters after his name and no bona fide psychiatrist would ever under any circumstances refer to the mentally ill as looneys. We prefer to hide behind obscure mnemonics and abbreviations, which the service user doesn’t understand to make fun of oops!! I mean refer to in the most sensitive way.

Yours Arthur Wilson
Wilson, Keppel and Betty.

Scene: Joshia Twaine a man in his late to mid fifties is sitting in a plain room with subdued lighting in front of a red curtain
“Begin, Twaine begin! But In that small word indeed the problem lies. Where to begin this sorry tale, for by the very nature of the word and in the circle of my existence, there have been so many beginnings. Each interlinked yet diverse in context and with its own ending piled each upon another!”

He stops, suddenly seeming lost in thought and staring through lifeless eyes into the distance, whilst singing softly in a barely audible whisper.

“Where did the time go, belief never will grow
Who are these people in my mind?
Senses are reeling insanity stealing
Crept up on me from behind”

Then waking as if coming out of a dream he begins to talk again in an agitated voice

“Begin, begin, WHERE TO BEGIN? Should we start with birth IS THAT WHERE THE MADNESS HAS ITS ROOTS? Like some deadly poison left lurking in the womb. The worm’s insidious crawl, BURROWING INTO THE STILL DEVELOPING BRAIN OF THE CHILD. AWAITING ITS RELEASE. Like some deadly bacillus to spread beyond its host and infect those around him

He rises from his chair and begins to walk about the room

“When SHE LEFT without an explanation or so much as a backward glance, was that the beginning of my descent into madness? The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back or merely the inevitable outcome, relief for a tortured mind, insanity the final refuge my sanctity of solace”

Looks in a mirror

No wonder she left, I mean why she would stay with a worthless self absorbed fruit loop, a paranoid, neurotic wing nut, like you incapable of any real emotions, Is one of life’s imponderables. Though if of course the madness has a deeper darker route and SHE was not the beginning of my sojourn in to insanity then is it that perhaps this thing I see before me is simply the madness in its final form a tracery, a shadow, a shade much less than a man.

He stops again to sit aimlessly, head bowed and eyes closed softly singing

“Today once again I read the note you never wrote
Just once more I hear the words you never spoke”

He speaks, but softly

“But there’s the thing her voice for when she speaks such music upon my ears doth descend, such sounds I hear!!” “The like of which no God could ere compose or the minds of mortal man comprehend”
He jumps up screaming

OH DEAR GOD!!!!!! Is this as good as it gets? Is this how I must spend my life? Playing the part of a human being, laughing and joking but all the while waiting and watching from behind the wall awaiting its inevitable collapse

Softly he mutters

Am I but the darkened musings of a disordered mind, on a long lonely road existing only in the spaces between here and back, where shade and nightmare have substance, where whispers walk and monsters dwell?

A Buzzer sounds loud and harsh and an LCD display board lights up bearing the legend
JOSHIA TWAINE TO CUBICLE 3 ST PETER WILL SEE YOU NOW…………

Whenever I hear someone talking about depression or read an article or report in the media, the overwhelming impression given is one of blackness, Churchillian phrases such as “Black Dog” or the ubiquitous “Black Cloud“. Not only are these yet more instances of negative use of the word Black, but do not match my own experience of Depression. To me it has no colour, or at best an opaque nothingness, that couldn’t even be described as shadows or fluctuations of light and dark.
It does however have a sound and it’s a dirty, soft, insidious sound. Like the slow ringing of a broken bell. Coupled with this there is a cold numbness that creeps slowly like some plague carrying bacillus or to quote Natalie Merchant’s song “My Skin”; (this is about a woman with terminal cancer but I feel the lyrics have relevance to my experiences as a mental health sufferer).
“Well, content loves the silence it thrives in the dark. With fine winding tendrils that strangle the heart”.
But it’s not just the total lack of colour or the innate sadness and irrevocability of the time lost that speaks volumes to me and gives shape to my depression. It’s also the; (and this I feel applies to any diagnosis of any description) loss of identity the total disappearance of the self, the total shift in others perceptions of me once they become aware I have a mental health problem to quote “My Skin” again
“I’ve been treated so wrong I’ve been treated so long as if I’m becoming untouchable – I’m the slow dying flower. In the frost killing hour – sweet turning sour and untouchable”
Where once there was a creative, caring human being who had substance, who lived and loved, laughed, and cried, had opinions and ideas, there now stands an empty shell, a non person who in the eyes of many; (particularly the medical profession), is only validated by dint of a medical diagnosis. The problem however is that this coincides with exactly how I see myself during my darkest periods, so this attitude has the unfortunate effect of further reinforcing my sense of worthlessness and decreasing myself image still further and my depressive symptoms become in effect an ever decreasing series of circles as well as a self fulfilling prophecy, I am perceived by other as a nonperson an emotional zombie therefore, I am. This of course is just my own experience of how depression presents itself and will be vastly different for others, no two people despite sharing a diagnosis will share the same experience.
This brings me to the point of this piece, which was to hopefully encourage other people to share their experiences of mental illness (not just depression) whether as a sufferer or carer, to engage in open honest debate for once be a really valuable source of information and resource sharing on mental health problems. That comes from real experiences and is purely evidence based, user friendly and jargon free.
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