Thursday, 17 May 2012


I was about to write a post, but got distracted by something from Beyond Meds that showed on my dashboard - about Robert Whitaker's response to E.Fuller Torrey.  Then I read an article on Beyond Meds written by someone who has recovered from schizophrenia, although she still hears voices - Eleanor Longden.  Then I watched the most amazing YouTube film of Suzanne Beachy, 'What's next for the truth'. 

It has been an hour very well spent.  So the best thing I can do is provide you with the links to the things I read and watched on the Beyond Meds website - it really is the most amazing resource.  Here's the link for Suzanne Beachy's talk:

Here' s the Eleanor Longden article:

And here's Whitaker - the Master -

I had a dream last night that I was psychotic, or just becoming psychotic - it was very alarming to feel that I was losing control.  I remember wondering who to go for help and how I would ask...  I was very pleased to wake up sane.

I used to have very frightening dreams on a regular basis - at least several times a week.  That happened from when I was very young, and right through my life since, especially at the times when I was very unhappy and not functioning at all well.  Now that things are settled in my life I rarely remember my dreams - when I do, I find it interesting to observe how daytime worries are played out in our dreams.  

My application to be a Peer Specialist has finally been approved and I am now employed, on a very part time basis.  I had to go to the office a couple of days ago, to sort out some details with the Business Development Manager.  I  was asked how I would cope if I became unwell - it was made clear that this was not a discrimatory question, but that all employees are encouraged to think about these things.  They are a very enlightened employer. 

I think I gave the wrong answer - although it was an honest one - that I cope well with stress, have been busy and challenged at times in the last twelve years bringing up my kids, and that it has been a long time since I was unwell, therefore I don't anticipate that this will happen.  I did add that I make sure I always sleep and eat well, exercise and so on. 

I think the right answer would have been that I would inform the employer I was feeling stressed, and ease off on the workload until I felt better.  I think my answer probably suggested complacency about my mental health.  I am actually quite aware of my mental health - perhaps a little over-sensitive to it - and for the last day or two since the meeting I have actually been a little stressed. 

It is a big change, going out to work - something that I have wanted and feel ready for, but still a change.  I have found myself thinking how uncomplicated life could be if I didn't bother to push myself - I could still write from home, it would be easier to keep up with the housework and childcare, and there would be no pressure.  I found myself nostalgic for the days when I could just saunter around, without a care in the world...

Then I remembered that I am just not like that.  That during all these years when I have been based at home I have always pushed myself, always felt that I should be doing more, never felt completely fulfilled.  What I have wanted is to be using my mind in the workplace, which I finally have the chance to do, and also to make a difference to the outcomes of those with serious mental health problems like I once had - to be instrumental in giving hope to others.

What I now have is the most fantastic opportunity - part-time work in the field that interests me most, the chance to feel useful at last (I know I have been useful bringing up the kids, but actually I think it will now do them good to have a mother who is forging a career as well as catering to their needs).  It is great to feel that I will have a place in the world at large.    

Anyway, the dream was clearly my subconscious questioning whether I would cope with work - and it did my mind good, because I woke up this morning feeling happier about the fact that everything is moving in the right direction.  As long as I can still find the time to write, all will be well in my life - so I am off now to do some more work on my recovery book.

Have a good day! 


  1. Congratulations on becoming a Peer Specialist, something to add to your growing credentials as a writer!

    In your radio interview you said that you didn't recognized the warning signals in the past when you were heading to a breakdown. You mentioned lack of sleep and loss of appetite. I've been meaning to ask you, what you would do if you knew the warning signals? Please don't think that I am implying that you will relapse again, because you give every indication that you are well past that, but I am more thinking about my son. I also don't think he is in danger of relapse now, but in the past, one indication of relapse was that he barely ate. Yet, knowing that, I still couldn't stop the relapse. Any suggestions?

  2. Hi Rossa.

    I wrote a reply that ended up so long it wouldn't fit in the comment box - so it now forms a new post instead. Louise x