Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A very quick one...

I feel bad that I haven't blogged much recently... I blame Mslexia magazine; last month's issue had an article about how blogging takes up time that could be spent writing one's magnus opus...  I think that sunk in, and consequently I have eased off the blog - the shame of it is that I have not progressed with the other thing.  In fact, I decided to shelve my recovery book for now, and write something different, a children's novel in fact.  I sat down to write, not sure what I was going to write, but intending it to be fiction - and a children's novel is what started to emerge.  It will be a light and fun project - just what I need in my life (don't we all?) 

As if in confirmation that I am on the right track, the new issue of Mslexia arrived today, and it announces an upcoming competition to write a children's novel.  The entry fee is £25, but the prize money is considerable - so now I have a deadline to work to.  Which I like, oddly enough - I was one of the odd few who used to get my essays in on time at University, which obviously did not make me popular.  I could never understand why everyone else flapped around and made themselves late - they knew the deadline was coming up, what was their problem?  But obviously I was in the minority, so I must have been misguided.

By the way, Mslexia is a very enjoyable and instructive  women's writing magazine.  I highly recommend it to anyone who is at all interested in writing.

I have just been watching the Grayson Perry programme on taste.  It was excellent.  But made me realise (again) that I am an oddity - I do not surround myself with objects that I have specially chosen in order to fit in and become a member of a tribe, as the rest of society apparently does.  I know I am a member of a tribe - the human race - and I don't see the point of sub-dividing into sects.  But I digress...

What was I on about?  Oh yes, apologies for lack of blog posts.  I am excited today - I had an email from Rethink asking me to do something for them (watch this space, it won't be long).  I also booked for a Time to Change public speaking training day - which is just what I need, for other reasons that I won't divulge just yet (because me and my big mouth keep going talking about things before they have properly manifested and I am getting superstitious about it). 

I did some mental health work today - although it didn't feel much like work.  I went to eat lunch and mingle with some psychiatric staff.  I spoke a bit about my experiences, in the hope that some of my views about medication and restraint will filter through to the professionals, although those things were not strictly speaking the subject of the meeting.  I did also do the job I was sent for, which was basically to establish links between my organisation and the people I went to meet.

I asked for gluten free food, because last time I went to an event which involved lunch (the Rethink day in London a few weeks ago) I hadn't mentioned my gluten intolerance and so spent some time picking the fillings out of the sandwiches and leaving the bread (which I feel made me look a few bricks short of a load).  Wishing to avoid making a spectacle of myself again, I therefore raised the subject in advance, and a sandwich was especially prepared for me with gluten free bread.  But.  Gluten free bread is notoriously crumbly.  I therefore soon realised that the floor around me was coated in white pieces of bread and crust which were dropping off my sandwich as fast as I tried to stuff in my gob - delightful.  A nice helpful psychiatrist suggested that I move my sandwich onto a larger plate - but I demurred, and just went on my merry and messy way.  It is the sort of thing that Miranda would have a field day with - in fact, I can't wait to tell my daughters about it in the morning, they love Miranda and would find the comparison hysterical. 

The episode where Miranda and her mother are sent to see the psychiatrist is my all time favourite.  Brilliant.

Anyway, as I have said before, this mingling and lunching and speaking type stuff hardly feels like work - I am used to proper physical slog in the workplace and at home - but actually it is quite draining in a way.  Especially after one of these events, when I can't help magnifying everything that happened and convincing myself that I made a complete fool of myself.  Why did I not just put the sandwich on a bigger plate?

I don't really care though.  I am just pleased that I am doing something different and getting paid for it, and I am sure I will get more used to it as time goes on.  And, also as I have said before, I am ecstatic that I am able to do it.  Mingling and talking would have been my worst nightmare a very short time ago.  I feel as though I have been liberated from the anxiety that stopped me enjoying my life and I am still revelling in finding out what I can now cope with.  It may be just normal stuff, but it pleases me immensely to be able to do every bit of it. 

Anyway, that's it for today folks.  More anon.


  1. Well done you! My daughter is also reading Mslexia and enjoying it as I write.She says that there has been a survey about creativity and "mental illness" not long ago. She went through a bad spell at school: she refused to talk to teachers in class. The more her teachers pressed, the shyer she became. It took her ages to grow out of it. The teachers being forceful didn't help.

  2. I'm hardly blogging these days but I'm also behind on finished my book. What would Mxslexia say about that?

    Who is Miranda? I'm guessing a character in a television series?

  3. I read recently that only creative types are susceptible to mental health issues - apparently people who aren't creative don't suffer that way at all. Maybe I read it in Mslexia, thinking about it. Every issue seems to chime with me in some way at the moment.

    Schooldays can be so hard, can't they - emotions seem so strong at that time, and those memories seem to stay with us for so long. I know a lot of adults who are still hung up about things that happened to them at school - and some of them are well into middle age now. It is good that your daughter was able to confide in you about her problems at school - I hope mine tell me if they ever have any issues.

    Yes, I had a feeling I should have made that clearer, Rossa - Miranda is indeed a TV programme, a situation comedy. Miranda Hart plays the eponymous heroine - who is basically supposed to be a version of her real self. She is typical of a certain sort of English girl. Maybe you can watch it on the Net somehow, or get a DVD - you won't regret it. So funny.

    Louise x