Saturday, 28 April 2012

Radio Daze

I have just been on the radio!  I have an old friend who works at the local hospital radio station and recently I got in touch, sent her a copy of my book, and asked if I could come onto her programme to talk about it.  It was all arranged a week or two ago.  I only told a few people because I was already nervous and I didn't want to put too much pressure on myself by announcing to everyone I knew in advance that I was going to be live on air.

The programme lasted about an hour and a half and Helen and I talked for a good forty minutes of that.  Two of the friends I had told about it both texted while I was still in the studio to say it had been fantastic etc, but I was convinced that they were just saying that to make me feel better, because I was sure it had not gone very well.  There was so much I had wanted to say that I had not expressed properly.  And my fears were confirmed as soon as I got home - before I had even walked through the door Paul greeted me by saying that I had sounded very nervous on air. 

Paul had managed to record the show, so I sat down straightaway to listen to it.  And actually it was not nearly as bad as I had thought - at times I sounded quite coherent.  Although I hadn't put across all of my views on the subject of mental illness, I did manage to voice some of them.  And although the beginning of the 'interview' was a bit disjointed - Helen had asked questions about my early childhood and education and that all seems such a long time ago... - there were times in the middle when I became impassioned by what I was saying and it all seemed ok.

The main thing, I think, is that by being on the radio talking about mental illness and the diagnosis of schizophrenia, the subject seemed to be normalised.  I do think these sort of things benefit from being aired.  I am going to try to put Paul's recording onto this blog tomorrow, and then you can let me know what you think.  I might send it to the Time to Change campaign people too.  Because that is what they are all about - starting conversations, normalising the subject, and after re-listening to myself on air I can see their point even more than usual. 

So that was my evening.  Much more exciting than usual.  Another thing I have done that I have never done before and never thought that I would.  Actually I have been on Helen's show once before, many years ago - she used to read out some of my poetry and one evening she asked Paul and I to join her for a quiz live on air - but I remember being completely crippled by nerves on that occasion and almost totally inarticulate as a result.  So tonight really was a whole new experience - another big step forward.  Thanks to Helen, for giving me the opportunity.

Whatever next?  Watch this space!

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