When faced with my demons I clothe them and feed them…

Archive for the ‘creativity’ Category

Citalopram etc etc…

Think I forgot to mention in my last missive that two weeks ago I saw my shrink and she put me on the antidepressant Citalopram. And whether by coincidence or whether the two are related, my mood has definitely lifted in the last few days. I’m afraid I am sceptical to the last about psych meds. My experience is that they do not (consciously) make me feel better, but have sometimes made me feel worse. Other times they disappointingly seem to have very little effect one way or the other.

My experience of depression is that it invariably does lift eventually anyway, new drug or no new drug. But for now, I feel inclined to give Citalopram the benefit of the doubt. You never know do you. Maybe it’s the wonder drug I’ve been searching for all these years! I like the fact that it’s meant to be good for social anxiety and the like as well as the depression. It seems to be quite the flavour of the month, as I know quite a few people who are on it.

Like Stormgazer I must say that I love this time of year. Perhaps paradoxically it seems to be the time in my life when I make a fresh start. It’s always linked with starting a new course for instance, which I’ve done so many times, almost always with great excitement and anticipation. I also really get off on the colours. I often come to a standstill when out walking, just transfixed by a particularly beautiful tree.

Which reminds me that Richard was over at the weekend, we are quite aimiable at the moment and we went for a long walk on the Sunday up through Alexandra Palace, and along the Parkland Walk at Muswell Hill to Highgate Wood. Richard once did a course in Arboriculture and Tree Surgery, and so he knows a ton about trees. By the end of the walk I was amazed, mainly by my own ignorance and by how many different varieties of tree there are. If you asked me to name all the ones I could think of I would probably only come up with about ten.

Don’t know much about tree-ology…but I do know that I love them…especially  decked out in their autumn clothes.

Talking of clothes that’s another reason to love autumn. Clothes get interesting again. You have an excuse to wear more layers, and be creative. Some of us (usually the young and the skinny) look better the less they wear. Most of us it’s probably the other way around, certainly it is for me! Yesterday I treated myself to two lovely Merino wool jumpers and a smart shiny black padded jacket from Uniqlo in Oxford Street. Aah, retail therapy!

Take great care of yourselves dear peeps…


First post at my Bright New Shiny Blog!

Hello everyone.

First a big welcome. Please update your links to me on your blogrolls, though of course I have left a link at Blogspot redirecting people here.

First I did promise to update you about Bonkersfest. Well might I suggest you pay a visit to Mental Patient About Town as he has given a good account and also thoughtfully provided some pics!

There’s a whole ‘scene’ in London which as far as I know is pretty unique, although I can’t be sure. It used to be known as ‘Survivor’s Poetry’, but that also seemed to cover music. It is a sort of blend of politicised madness as in Mad Pride and Survivors [of the psychiatric system] Speak Out and a kind of bohemian underground scene which could really only thrive in an enormous city like London.

There are regular gigs at various venues around the city, where you usually get some headlining acts plus a lot of ‘spot’ performances from various poets and other artists. I would have to say honestly that the results can be a bit patchy and shambolic at times but then your patience will be rewarded by hearing an absolute gem.

The whole ethos is quite ‘punk’ I guess…the emphasis being that pretty much everyone who has been through the mental health system has something valuable to say. Audiences consisting largely of ‘the converted’ (and other performers) tend to be quite supportive and give everyone a clap regardless of how intelligible they were, just for having the bottle to get up there! And maybe that’s about right. It does take bottle! More than I’ve got for sure!

If it’s a shambles sometimes maybe that’s a part of it’s charm. We’re all too used to slick professionalism. Anyway I think these gigs and the Bonkersfest definitely contribute something to the sum of human happiness and do very little harm. I’m aware that sounds a little patronising. Put it this way, I want to support them but my sceptical mind tends to get in the way.

Anyway it was an enjoyable day on Camberwell Green ‘celebrating madness, creativity and eccentricity’. According to the programme, after last year’s event MindFreedom International acknowledged Bonkersfest as ‘the biggest grassroots mad-run public arts event in the world’, so I guess that is an achievement. I wanted to visit the ‘Denormalisation Tent’ which sounded like a great concept but was disappointed on that score as so did everyone else including a couple of film crews!

One last quote: ‘Bonkersfest is a celebration of the creativity of mad people, and pride in our unique way of looking at life, our internal world externalised and shared with others without shame, as a valid way of life. Bonkersfest is challenging the idea that madness is something to be hidden; it realises that visibility counts in order to break the stigma that has a stranglehold over every single mad person alive today. Bonkersfest is saying ‘yes,yes’ to life even if it embarrasses the ‘normals’.’

Anyway what do you think? Love, Zoe.