It’s #timetotalk today, highlighting issues of mental health. Here are a few things I feel it’s #timetotalk about:

  • It’s time to talk about the fact much mental health care on the NHS is inadequate and underfunded.
  • It’s time to talk about the fact 6 or 8 sessions of CBT is just not enough for many; that feeling abandoned and lost after your sessions end is a frightening experience and can often lead to relapse
  • It’s time to talk about the intersections of mental health and gender, race, disability, sexuality, poverty
  • It’s time to talk about the fact many struggle with no support at all
  • It’s time to talk about how ‘scrounger rhetoric’ damages the mental health of so many, that makes us live with a constant sense of shame and disgust at being ill and vulnerable.
  • It’s time to talk about the thousands of people denied benefits and whose health has been made worse by insensitive and unfit for purpose work capability tests.
  • It’s time to talk about the people who’ve commuted suicide because of a toxic culture of shame and stigma around claiming benefits, having their benefits stopped and being left destitute.
  • It’s time to talk about the fact ‘mental patient’ is used as a Halloween costume.
  • It’s time to talk about pill shaming & pull yourself together bullshit.
  • It’s time to talk about being denied access to employment and education because of your illness.

This is just a tiny snapshot if what we need to talk about in relation to mental health, what do you think it’s time to talk about?

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I’ve signed up, a few days late due to my impeccable organisation skills, for NaBloPoMo at BlogHer for Feburary, this month’s theme is ‘Perspective’, one which I think fits well with this blog.

For this first post I am going to write on something that has been brewing in my mind for a long time.

Perspectives on physical and mental illness, what it’s like having both.

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Some vague, messy thoughts in response to some shit being thrown around the twitter and blogosphere.

In the original blog post by Glosswatch (which has been edited to remove some remarks but no apology or note that it’s been edited has been posted) White women who identify as disabled, especially those with mental illness, were accused of using their disabilities and MH problems to ‘score points’ in some sort of oppression bingo,  of leverage in a battle to become ‘the best intersectional white feminist’. This is reminiscent of the ‘queerio’ bullshit spouted by TERFs on twitter . The ‘smugsexual’ stuff.  How Women of Colour have been accused of ‘not looking like a WoC’ and ‘making it up to further your agenda’.  All these examples use women’s identities against them in an attempt to discredit their arguments. They are prejudiced bullshit. They attempt to tell women that their lived experience isn’t valid or that it’s only worth is to be used as some sort of cheat code in an argument or game of oppression olympics.

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I am having an out of sync day. My mind is whizzing round so fast I can almost feel it and my body is slow, slow, ‘can I have a nap please?’ slow.

I never know how to cope in these moments, I try to let my brain do it’s thing get out the creative energy when I have it before it all goes to mush and nothingness again, but when my body wants to rest, to do nothing, it’s hard.I risk burning out by doing much, especially due to my history with M.E/CFS and my whole life being a series of roller coaster up and down-y phases, but when I get that spark I just can’t stop it, it feels too cruel, knowing how awful I feel without it, it needs to be listened to and let loose even though my body doesn’t agree half the time.

Sometimes I wish my mind and body would be one person and not try to be about 10 at once all wanting contradictory things, stomping around being divas demanding I pay attention to them, right now dammit!

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I’ve been having a patchy few months, from the excellent; a week work experience in London which proved I am capable, the the shitty, the dribble of rejection emails for the few jobs that are around proving that whilst I am capable no one is willing to take a chance on someone with a patchy CV and a history that you can’t really whitewash and remove all the being ill stuff.

Needless to say this all has lovely positive effects on my mental health.

I know doing things and keeping busy helps me, but I can’t make myself be busy doing nothing or fabricating stupid nonsense like getting up early even though you have nothing to get up for just to be ‘in the work habit’ or whatever. My brain isn’t stupid it knows there’s no point so why pretend there is?

If one more well meaning but otherwise idiotic person gives me an ‘ooo have you tried?’ and then lists everything I am all ready doing, such as volunteering; I have volunteer work coming out my eyeballs, I do stuff in my preferred field but it’s sporadic opportunities and the more permanent positions are competitive, so that leaves me in the even more ego massaging situation of getting rejection emails for work I won’t even get paid for. Sometimes you get the scared look on their face when they realise you have tried all their suggestions, often more, and the realisation that maybe they can’t explain this one away hits them  and the awkward silence and a few mumbles of ‘ohh gosh oh sorry must be awful’ descend.

That and the fact I know I can’t spiral into full time full on work with my health, especially if it’s a less than ideal job that will suck out any remaining vestiges of my soul.

I’ve been blank again, I have no desire or need to write and I hate it. I get a pang of guilt every time I get a notice saying someone has subscribed to this blog (thanks!) and I haven’t written anything in months. There’s just noting to write about, or if I do get inspiration it fades long before I can sit myself in front of a keyboard. I heard people talking about depression and creativity the other week, the whole ;ohh there must be a link, Sylvia Plath!’ refrain. Perhaps there is and in certain moods I churn out pages of drivel, but there are also spans; months, years, lifetimes of nothing; just an endless expanse of mindnumbing dullness. An endless river of woodchip wallpaper painted beige without even a a blob of blu-tac residue to liven it up.

On the plus side the likelihood of me ever having to pay back my student loan becomes minuscule so at least I got a sort of free education, though at times I do wonder why I bothered and didn’t just do a tesco diploma in workfare.

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